My dentist is an artist

IMG_7469The photo above is what I stared at for the last two hours. My dentist was trying to save a crown but apparently my root had fractured so we needed to move to implant stage.

He decided to create a temporary tooth for me from scratch, to last until he makes the “flipper” to fit over the implant. He decided to create this temporary tooth out of composite– it only needs to last a couple of weeks. He was so enjoying himself adding  layers of opaque composite of the right shade, then layers of transparent, but colored composite, to really look like how a tooth reflects light and to look like the color of my own teeth. His palette, though more limited than my oils at home, was varied and detailed nonetheless. And his eye totally discerning and observant.

He was totally into shaping this tooth (it’s my front tooth) and, of course, getting the bite right. He handled his sculptural tools with great craftsmanship and experienced skill, while sustaining a soft chatter about each step he was taking and what exactly he was doing (a little bit about his family thrown in too).

All this for a tooth that only needs to last for a maximum of two weeks. He worked with the same care as a Buddhist monk creating a sand mandala, knowing that it was all temporary and in a short period of time would be destroyed, but still putting all his creativity and focus into the work. It was like I was an impermanent empty canvas, a temporary lump of clay, where the artist’s intention was to create their finest masterpiece, knowing it was all about the process and no one would ever see the results of his efforts. I began to feel incredibly grateful that I was giving him the inspiration to experiment and create.

I love people who love their jobs.

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2 Responses to My dentist is an artist

  1. I too love my dentist. Often this love/lust/friendship is at the bottom of the list until a problem surfaces, then he pops to the top. And he is always there for me when I need him. Cavity, tooth-ache, cracked crown, tooth extraction, root canal, bridge. I’ve had ’em all. Some several times. My preference is to stay in the chair as long as it takes. I bring my music (in the olden days a boom box and now my iPhone) and sometimes I will be his only patient for the entire day! Much better than going back how many times? And as much as I love and value my dentist, sometimes I am in awe of how much money I have turned over to him, his office staff, his overhead, his family, his kids, their college funds. Well worth it! P.S. I might add that I brush often, floss, and Waterpik … but the germies get me anyway!

  2. Jerome Bloom says:



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