Long ago I opened a recalcitrant bobby pin with my teeth. (Bobby pin! That verifies how long ago this happened.) It snapped off the bottom corner of a front tooth. My smile now looked whimsical, cute, and I immediately went to my dentist to correct that false impression. He bonded the tooth to make it whole again and it lasted until now.
I barely notice the tiny chip. So I didn’t realize the chip was encroaching on the tooth. One morning after brushing I looked in the mirror and by golly, I had a chipped tooth. On closer scrutiny I saw that my all-day tea drinking had tinted the teeth variations of tea color.
These days you go to a dentist who practices Cosmetic Dentistry. We discussed the problem: correct the chip and give me a uniform color. I explained my anxiety. I did not want the four front teeth to be a sparkling white with the glint shining off in a starburst like in the movies. A pale ecru will be nice, I decided. We talk price, and I scheduled myself for this beauty make over.
I was thrilled to see four front teeth intact and everything matching again.
Shortly after my visit the bottom lip swelled, the side of my tongue was raw and the inside of my cheek was ripped up. Never mind the pain, I looked like I was punched in the mouth. The dentist was out of the office for two days. When I saw him, he found nothing wrong with my bite. I pointed to the corner of a tooth and said, “Grind this down.” He obliged. The raw mouth healed very quickly.
Happy with my teeth again, I admired them with closer inspection. Only now did I notice a thin white line down the edge of one tooth, a ridge across the middle of another, and a somewhat pebbled surface on all.
While I am pondering this, the bill comes. Yikes! I phone. We had agreed on price, what is this? This, is the price agreed upon X4. He had quoted @ 1 tooth.
OK fella, at that price I want movie star teeth. I was reluctant to go back to him to have them perfected. If he didn’t get it right in the first place do I want his hands in my mouth again? I’ll chance it. I was back in his chair.
The white stripe? Just the uncolored bonding material. The horizontal stripe? Just the lower half a little higher than the top. The slight pebbling? A little bonding smoothed over will make the surface slick again. Yes. So why didn’t you do all that in the first place?
The bill? We negotiated hard, and I got a little relief there too.
My smile now looks like a million bucks, as the saying goes.
Did I mention that the dentist is a drop-dead gorgeous hunk, with a smile a helluva lot prettier than mine?
Next time I’ll go to a dentist who looks more dentist-y.