Having a gap between your teeth can be a non-issue. Many celebrities and successful individuals have managed to live their lives appearing normal, even handsome or beautiful, with such a dental condition. But there is a difference between identifying with a feature you have and feeling like it holds you back and doesn’t allow you to express yourself. For me, getting my teeth bonded was the first step towards developing my own identity. It truly changed my life.
I remember when I was twelve complaining to my mother about the gap between my teeth. “Oh that’s nothing to worry about,” she said. “David Letterman has a gap between his teeth. You know he has the money to fix that, but he doesn’t. You know why? He’s made it part of his identity and people find him appealing without him having to fix it.” She had something similar to say about the “Beatles” haircut she preferred me to have, and my father told me smart people wore glasses and I could be the next Bill Gates.
I can’t say either of them were wrong. All those features are not necessarily negative things, but when they aren’t part of your identity, it can make you feel lost. I didn’t want to be David Letterman, Bill Gates, or Paul McCartney; I wanted to be Paul Thomas. The combination of a dated, bowl haircut, awkward glasses, and a gap between my teeth just made me feel like a geek. I wanted change and I wanted it to start with me being able to smile proudly.
Unfortunately, dentists had discovered one of my teeth had a crooked root near a nerve in my face. It was likely something that could be worked around, but the dentist informed my father that there was always the risk of damage to the nerve which could cause the loss of feeling in part of the face. My father, being the cautious one, told me he didn’t want me to get braces until after I had become an adult so that he wouldn’t feel responsible if something went wrong. It was heartbreaking to me. I felt like my father was chickening out of something that meant the world to me simply because he didn’t want to feel responsible in the rare case something went wrong.
We had lived in Redding, California at the time. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I attributed that to my discomfort with my appearance. I got picked on pretty frequently and felt miserable. I spent most of my recesses and lunch breaks doing homework rather than trying to engage with other students. I didn’t feel I belonged and felt my time was better spent avoiding people and getting work done so I could spend my days at home playing video games and detaching myself from reality. When my mother received a job offer in Reno, Nevada, they decided to move. Unlike most kids leaving their hometown, I was happy to go. But I wanted to embrace the opportunity at a fresh start and that meant having a fresh look. Fortunately, my mother had scheduled a dental visit shortly before we left. I voiced my concerns to the dentist about the gap between my teeth. He suggested to my parents another option: bonding.
Bonding offered the perfect solution to my problem. It didn’t require years of adjustment with braces that could potentially have complications with the tooth I had bearing a crooked root near a nerve. It only took a day and the dentist slightly widened my front two teeth fixing the gap. I had a brand new smile and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I had a newly found sense of confidence from which to build a more proud version of myself. I got to work on that development and found a new hairstylist when we moved. When my parents discovered that contacts weren’t much more expensive than glasses, they allowed me to switch and suddenly I felt like a new person. I made friends at my new school and was substantially happier.
I can’t say honestly that bonding fixed all my confidence issues, but it was a great first step. If your confidence is lacking and your smile is one of the things you aren’t happy with, it may be the best place to start for your transformation. Smiling naturally releases endorphins and serotonin, both of which help you live a happy life. Being able to smile confidently may open the door to other options in your transformation. I know it did in mine.
Bonding isn’t always the best option. I really should have gotten braces, as the bonding did not resolve the fact that my bite is still crooked and simple things like biting through a sandwich without dragging out the lettuce or tomato can sometimes prove challenging. However, not everyone has the same dental needs, so bonding is something that can resolve cosmetic issues in many individuals without requiring braces and without functionality being a concern. In my case, the occasional trouble in biting through things is something I have just learned to live with. I expect to have bonded teeth for the rest of my life.
Bonding is said to last up to 10 years, but many factors can influence this duration, such as how well you take care of your teeth and where the bonding is placed. As mentioned previously, bonding does not always resolve issues with functionality. Often being considered a purely cosmetic practice, insurance coverage may be minimal or non-existent. I’ve had my teeth bonded for over 10 years and have not suffered any issues. However, I plan to get a checkup soon and have already chosen my dental center. They are City Dental Centers.
City Dental Centers
City Dental Centers founders Dr. Sam Shahoveisi and Dr. Mike Danial (Dr. Sam and Dr. Mike) have proven to me in so many ways that they care about their patients and their dental practice. Their reputation through their customers speaks for itself. They even have their own, patient-exclusive dental lab for developing their dental materials. This means that should a touch up be needed on my dental bonding, I can be assured the materials will not be ordered from shady third parties, causing my bonding to chip or break more easily. They also have other options like porcelain veneers that can really make my teeth shine, and I trust their doctors to refer me to the best option when the time comes.
If you’re looking for a change in your life that starts with your smile, contact City Dental Centers today!
Written by Paul Thomas
Convenient Dentist Offices in Southern California
Doctor Sam Shahovesi and the team at City Dental Centers are here to provide our patients with the best dental services and dental surgeries for children and adults of all ages. From toddlers to seniors, City Dental Centers offers six convenient dentist offices in Southern California. We even have a dedicated children’s dentist office, City Dental Kids & Braces, to cater to the special physical and emotional needs of children.
Whether you need checkups, x-rays, braces, bonding, teeth whitening, sealants, oral cancer screenings, root canals, crowns, bridges, implants, or tooth extraction, City Dental Centers is here to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.
Contact The Nearest Dentist to You
Ready to experience the best dentists in Los Angeles? Choose one of the convenient dental offices we have surrounding LA. We have dental practices in Azusa, Corona, Lake Forest, Montclair, Pico Rivera, and West Covina. You can call our main line at (888) 624-8933 or reach out to an office directly with the information below. We’re so happy you’ve chosen City Dental Centers. We can’t wait to help you along your dental journey and brighten your beautiful smile!
Dentist in Azusa, CA
Location: 483 S. Citrus Ave. Azusa, CA 91702
Phone: (626) 966-3400
Dentist in Corona, CA
Location: 161 McKinley St. STE 102, Corona, CA 92879
Phone: (951) 737-3746
Dentist in Lake Forest, CA
Location: 24602 Raymond Way #210, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone: (949) 461-5800
Dentist in Montclair, CA
Location: 5182 Moreno St, Montclair, CA 91763
Phone: (909) 295-3477
Dentist in Pico Rivera, CA
Location: 9400 Whittier Blvd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Phone: (562) 949-2526
Dentist in West Covina, CA
Location: 154 Plaza Dr, West Covina, CA 91790
Phone: (626) 962-1722