They say that things happen in threes and that seems to be the case with people breaking their teeth lately. In the past month, I have had several patients fall on their face and break a front tooth. One example is a teenager who fainted after a particularly strenuous football practice and broke off his front tooth. I will detail his case tomorrow. The other patient is Kate- one of my favorite patients, Kate is a beautiful 60 year old who LOVES her front teeth. She has bleached them on and off over the years, only drinks through a straw so that they won’t stain, has done braces (twice!) to keep them properly aligned…… she LOVES her front teeth!
So there I was with my son in San Francisco for our weeklong trek up the West Coast and Kate calls me to say how she fell down, walking off the golf course. And you guessed it, she broke her front tooth. She wasn’t in any pain and I wasn’t going to be back in Baltimore until the next week. So Kate saw a colleague of mine to do a temporary repair on the broken tooth. The picture above, on the left, is how she looked after the temporary repair was done. He did a nice job but he didn’t have a shade light enough to match her tooth in his inventory so it looks a little yellow.
Now those who follow this blog know that I love to bond front teeth. I love the artistry and craftsmanship that is called upon to match a tooth to its neighbor and to try to mimic nature – a challenge that can be simultaneously frustrating and rewarding. I am so passionate about this that I am traveling to Brazil next February just to spend a week with the Zen Master of bonding teeth in an attempt to sharpen my skills.
So when I returned from vacation, I saw Kate and did the definitive repair of her front tooth, using a new state of the art material that has improved optical properties- the picture above on the right. In truth, this repair is not definitive because I will be placing porcelain veneers on the front teeth due to the fracture lines in the teeth from the fall. But Kate has a high school reunion next week and wanted to look her best for the event. When we were done she was thrilled and I felt very fortunate to be able to provide this result for her. It is what makes my job so much fun on a routine basis.
Kate is ready to face her high school mates and tomorrow I will show the teenage football player. As I said before, these things seem to happen in threes and here we have 2 examples. So please be careful walking home tonight so that you don’t become patient number 3!!