Almost 4 years ago I lost one of my front crowns (I have 4). For 3½ months I went about looking like a country hick, occasionally adopting the pirate look for variation.
My dentist at the time seemed amazed any of my crowns had lasted as long as they had, considering they had been attached to filed-down teeth rather than a metal rod. Squeezing me into a series of last minute cancellation appointments, in order to avoid having to wait 9 months for treatment, I was given a root canal and eventually had a new crown put in place by late summer.
What was clear, though, was it would only be a matter of time before the other 3 would go the same way.
Last week, while innocently eating a bowl of muesli for breakfast, I had that gut-churning realisation that another of my crowns had snapped off.
A couple of days later I managed to get an emergency appointment at the dentist where it has been confirmed I will need root canal treatment and a new crown.
I was fitted with a temporary plastic make-do thing until my next appointment – could be July, but I have put my name down as being ready to drop everything at an hour’s notice if someone cancels before then.
The temporary plastic make-do thing fell out with this morning’s bowl of muesli.
Perhaps I should start eating porridge for breakfast.
However, it set me thinking about how much difference a small change can make to our appearance.
Let us establish a base line image – here is a 44 year old man with wrinkles bedding in nicely while grey hairs are establishing themselves ever more abundantly through his hair and beard.
Studies have shown that when looking at photos of people with glasses, we naturally assume them to be a bit more intelligent – it’s a form of “halo effect” – which is where a particular attribute means we look more favourably upon someone.
Drop those glasses to the end of the nose and we add wisdom to the list of expected characteristics
However, a missing tooth seems to have completely the opposite effect. We instantly knock off about 30 IQ points, and start to assume his mother is also his sister and his regular lover supplies all the family’s wool needs.
So I thought I’d see what would happen if I combined the look of my reading glasses on the end of my nose, while revealing my missing tooth. Would they balance each other out?
Actually I think all it’s done is make me look about 30 years older.