Sometimes the line between vanity and happiness is a little blurry.
A recent dental appointment made a dream come true and ended a frustration I’ve had for years.
Eyes and Smiles
The first things I notice about a person are their eyes and their smile. As I’ve aged my teeth have shifted slightly forward in my mouth and one front tooth got crowded back somewhat. That tooth was always in the shadows and, to me, looked dead. I was self-conscious in photos to the point that even pics with my grandchildren were taken begrudgingly. Call it Vanity, but I love to smile, always have, and to now dislike my smile, was disconcerting.
I’ve recently moved back to the city I lived in for 30+ years. Realigning with my favourite professionals was a high priority. My dentist was a high energy woman who knew her stuff – I’d trusted my children’s mouths to her so I looked forward to being back in her capable hands.
She did a complete analysis as I’d been out-of-town for 11 years. I can’t remember her question but I pointed at my tooth and looked grumpy (her hands and a tool were in my mouth so words were not possible). She read my look immediately and in her boisterous fashion acknowledged my predicament with a comment that she could fix that, no problem. Still unable to speak I rubbed my fingers together to suggest her solution would cost more money than I had to spend. Not at all was her reply!
Fix My Smile
Completing her examination of my dental situation, she proceeded to explain what she could do to fix my smile and make me happy. Something about fronting up my teeth, realigning the teeth… all with her great skill as opposed to orthodontics or expensive porcelain caps.
I do have a dental plan. It covers 70% and has a yearly maximum but 30% of a multi-thousand-dollar dental bill is still quite a bit of cash so I’ve never really followed up on my displeasure. I just avoided photos whenever possible.
I love this dentist however and threw myself into her hands. An appointment was available the following week. I was so excited I texted my daughters the minute I was home. Flat responses came back immediately – they’d never seen any problem with my tooth or my smile so what exactly was Dr. C going to do? Gotta love the people who love you so much they never see the warts.
Happiness / Vanity
Here is where I return full-circle to the Vanity/Happiness part. Wanting to get healthy teeth “fixed” is Vanity, pure and simple. However, my happiness was attached, really attached, to the “fix” and I counted down the days until my appointment.
Two hours in the chair, flat on my back, mouth wide open while an energetic woman with a face mask and latex gloves worked and checked and worked some more and checked from every different angle in the room – and then raised my chair, took her assistant and stood directly in front of me and told me to smile.
They both grinned back – that grin that tells you they really like the job they’ve just done. And then I was handed a mirror.
I smiled at my refection and then laughed. I was thrilled with the results! My teeth were not Hollywood starlet perfect but my smile was back and I liked it.
I smiled at that mirror. I smiled at my dentist and her assistant. I smiled into the rear view when I returned to my car and I smiled at myself again in the bathroom when I got home.
I had taken a before-picture earlier in the day and I took an after-picture right away. I sent the early one to my daughters first and then, accompanied with an all-caps TA-DAAAA!, sent the after pic. Sent to my daughters because they would be excited for my glee even if they hadn’t seen any issue before.
How About You?
So there is my story of Vanity meeting Happiness. Do you have a small imperfection you’d like to correct? I’m not talking major face lifts or lipo, just something small. So small maybe no one else notices and then, yes, it might qualify as Vanity. If your results could create the Happiness I felt after getting my teeth done though, I think you should make a few inquiries.
For those of you who are wondering, after the Dental Plan kicked in I paid $350. This sort of happiness is worth $350.