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Nothing but the tooth - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Nothing but the tooth
I've realised that a lot of the reason I'm unhappy with the way my face looks is that half-length tooth that I have. People have told me in the past that it's cute, and I used to think that it gave my face "character", but the more I see it in photos the more I think it just looks stupid. So, should I get it fixed? (Getting it fixed would probably be expensive and might be painful.)

What do you reckon?

Get it fixed -- it looks dumb!
0(0.0%)
Get it fixed -- it'll make you happy
2(10.5%)
Get it fixed if you want, but the tooth isn't the real issue -- it's a self-esteem thing
15(78.9%)
Don't get it fixed, it's cute!
1(5.3%)
Don't get it fixed, it's a waste of money and it won't make you happy
1(5.3%)

Other:

Current Mood: toothy
Now playing: Thea Gilmore: Songs from the Gutter

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Comments
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: May 14th, 2003 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
oh yes, and Giles has a similar problem (tooth broken playing rugby, so half missing and top half dying) and he is having it fixed. So yes, it's not going to magically solove everything, but if you feel it would help your self-esteem levels, that's up to you. I think you're absolutely lovely just the way you are, though, and always have done :)
chrisvenus From: chrisvenus Date: May 14th, 2003 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Dunno what is up with your tooth but I would be very surprised if it was a painful thing to have a cap put on or whatever was needed. As for whether you should do it. I think I'd have said "get it fixed *if* it will make you happy". I'm not going to guarantee that you will be happier with a "fixed" tooth. On the other hand I wouldn't say it was a particular self esteem issue. Unless you dislike yourself for your tooth then it is just a case of trying to work out whether you would think that the cost was worth your perceived increase in looks.

As for what I think of the matter. In all honesty I don't really remember it that well. As I think i do vaguely recall but I have to say that I don't think I ever though "Oooh, that's cute" but at the same time I know I never thought "oooh, that looks horrible, she'd be better if she had that fixed". To me it has never really been any different from being just a part of what you look like (which is probably overall cute so maybe the tooth is cute).

Not sure if that made any sense but hell, its me, I never do. :)
j4 From: j4 Date: May 14th, 2003 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Dunno what is up with your tooth

There's nothing actually broken with it, it just never grew to the right length. Silly thing. I had an extra half-tooth behind one of my other teeth, too (which was [painfully!] removed) so maybe it's tooth karma or something.

On the other hand I wouldn't say it was a particular self esteem issue. Unless you dislike yourself for your tooth

It's not that I dislike myself for the tooth, more that I think I look ugly (because I'm not happy with myself-as-a-person) and I may just be trying to blame that feeling on one particular feature. By fixing the tooth I may be treating the symptom rather than the cause. If you see what I mean.

As for what I think of the matter.

<grin> Rambling, but yes, it makes sense, and thank you. :-)
chrisvenus From: chrisvenus Date: May 14th, 2003 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Well, in matters of self esteem cause and effect can be a bit muddled so treating the symptoms may also be treating the root cause in a way. If you are happier with yourself as a result of the tooth thing then self esteem gets better. and so on.

And if the tooth is fully healthy, just little then I have no idea whether it would be painful or not. From my understanding if it is still healthy then it will probably still have a nerve and so on which will mean whatever is done will probably be done under anaesthetic. On the other hand I have had teeth that have been fully helathy and remove (a set of four in fact) and that wasn't too bad. Anaesthetised and gappy afterwards. No actual pain so I see no reason that this shoudl be painful. I guess we need a dentist to tell us for sure though. :)
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: May 14th, 2003 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd agree with "get it fixed if it will make you happy". I had my front teeth straightened with the inevitable brace, in my mid-teens, and I know that getting that done definitely made me happier - the final results aren't perfect and they might have been better done earlier, but whatever. OTOH getting my gap filled has not been a priority, so it's still there, because I didn't think it would make any difference to how I felt. Once I have the nasty tooth removed, I will probably get both replaced (in one go) because having a larger gap will probably make me unhappy about it again. So you pays yer money and yer takes yer choice. IF getting it fixed will alter the way you feel about your face, go for it. It's unlikely to hurt and won't be hugely expensive in the scheme of things.

I can't say that I've ever really noticed it, TBH, which clearly means it isn't one of the most noticeable things about you (either that or it's because I've never tried snogging you :-) ).
j4 From: j4 Date: May 14th, 2003 05:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I had my front teeth straightened with the inevitable brace, in my mid-teens, and I know that getting that done definitely made me happier - the final results aren't perfect and they might have been better done earlier, but whatever.

This is the thing, I wore a brace for several years when I was younger, and had a sum total of twelve and a half teeth removed over the course of a few years (mostly milk teeth to make room for new teeth, four permanent teeth, plus weird extra half-tooth), and it was painful and miserable and generally quite grim, and at the end of it all I still have crooked teeth. So I'm a bit sceptical about the efficacy of these things. (I don't care about the crooked front teeth, they don't seem to bother me at all. I'm not aiming for Miss Colgate 2003 or anything.)

On the other hand -- I think the half-tooth is about the only thing that stops my face being utterly generic.

It's unlikely to hurt and won't be hugely expensive in the scheme of things.

When I asked (several years ago) they said it'd involve wearing a fixed brace for about three years and it'd be painful and expensive. (And that was when I'd have still been getting some dental work free on the NHS!) Now I can't for the life of me see how a brace will make my tooth grow, but that did rather put me off it. (Maybe they were talking about the crooked front teeth as well?)

I can't say that I've ever really noticed it, TBH, which clearly means it isn't one of the most noticeable things about you (either that or it's because I've never tried snogging you :-) ).

I doubt if it makes much difference to the snogging! ... Hey, here's a thought, maybe I should just get my tongue pierced to detract attention from the tooth. Now that would make a difference to the snogging. ;-)
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: May 14th, 2003 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Well I can't see why getting it capped would involve a brace. I think they probably were including other teeth in that, unless the idea is that somehow the brace would pull the tooth down... but that does seem very strange and unlikely. I can see how that would put you off, though.

I think what I meant about the snogging is that when talking to you I tend to pay attention to your eyes/expression, rather than your mouth. IME people one snogs tend to pay slightly more attention to the mouth - and vice versa. I know I've caught myself staring at someone's teeth before in such a circumstance. Must be a sub-conscious assessment of what one might encounter later. :-)

Getting a tongue piercing certainly would divert your attention from the tooth, which might improve how you feel about it...
lnr From: lnr Date: May 14th, 2003 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I think getting it fixed *might* make you feel happier about your appearance, but I can't be sure: you might just find other things that bug you instead. It's well worth finding out how expensive it would be though. Not feeling self-conscious about my weight any more has definitely done good things for my self esteem, even if it's not a cure for everything.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 14th, 2003 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
you might just find other things that bug you instead

Yeah. That's what I'm afraid of. I don't want to end up addicted to fixing things. And ... (I've only just realised this is buried in my head, so apologies if it comes out all weird) I think I'll feel like a failure if I have to get physical things fixed in order to feel happy about myself as a person. Because I don't think the physical stuff should be that important. Which makes it a bit self-defeating really if making myself happy about my looks will just make me feel bad for caring about my looks.

Does that make any sense?
lnr From: lnr Date: May 14th, 2003 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Makes a *lot* of sense, and I do know how you feel. Felt a bit the same about the weight in a lot of ways: shouldn't *have* to be thin to be happy with myself. And I do worry that I've become more vain as a result.
ghoti From: ghoti Date: May 14th, 2003 05:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Bear in mind that having it done might not make you feel any better, anyway; Jacob has a similar thing, and the join is more noticeable than your tooth, because it's got little dark lines :( Things may have improved sine then, but...

reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: May 14th, 2003 05:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I have had a grey front tooth (repeatedly-repaired cap) since I was fourteen. It looks awful in photos, but hasn't hampered my life that much that I've noticed.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 14th, 2003 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, obviously the tooth doesn't directly affect my quality of life or anything. But it's a question of whether the looking-awful-in-photos (I don't think you do, FWIW) bothers you. If it doesn't bother you then it's not a problem, but it bothers me that I look so bad in photos. No, I don't think it should bother me, but it does anyway. <sigh>
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: May 14th, 2003 09:42 am (UTC) (Link)
You haven't seen my big grin in photos, unedited.

Me with a winning smile - THAT is a scary thought. Bwahahaha etc.
ewx From: ewx Date: May 14th, 2003 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't really think it actually detracts that much. However ... last year I had my toe and my finger sorted out, and although they're not such visible things as a tooth, I'm very glad I did. So if my experience is anything to go by, you should do it.
ewx From: ewx Date: May 14th, 2003 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

And furthermore...

...even if there is an element of "it's a self-esteem thing" can't the tooth be a real issue in and of itself too?
brrm From: brrm Date: May 14th, 2003 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I would have liked an answer somewhere between 3 and 4. I personally think it's cute *and* you should get it fixed if you want, but I myself wouldn't, as I dislike having my teeth poked any more than strictly necessary. :-)
Having said that, if there was a painless way to make my canines pointy again, I might take it...
(they're kind of abraded flat, something to do with tooth-straightening putting them in a position where they rub on each other, I think).

j4 From: j4 Date: May 14th, 2003 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)
if there was a painless way to make my canines pointy again

Mmmmm.... pointy teeth! ;-F

If you find a way of doing this, please do let me know; I'd love to make my canines more pointy. Well, and titanium-capped, but then we're into the realms of fantasy...
From: kaet Date: May 14th, 2003 09:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's cute. It reminds me of a cat I used to have, called Sprocket. Sprocket used to have his two fangs sticking over his mouth. He was lovely. A really long haired tabby, a boisterous tom, the hair on his head was shorter and it made him look like he had a mane. Anyway, Sprocket had an argument with a car one day, and he disappeared, and hid somewhere for a couple of days. When he came back he had a muscle strain on one of his legs and a broken tooth, one of his fangs broken half way up. That's all that was wrong with him, that and he had an itense fear of cars from then on. He was one of a pair, twins. We chose them because they were playing together in the litter, tumbling around. The other cat was called Lestat (not my choice of name, that one!). We got an unrelated third cat, Magenta, a little girl, tortie. The boys were scared stiff of her, despite them being big and playful and scary and always up to tricks, little Magenta ruled the roost. If she got angry, they'd flee like she was a Rotweiler despite bieng about a half their size.

Anyway, one day Lestat got run over and killed, by a car, poor thing. I guess Sprocket's previous near-miss saved him. Anyway, this sent Sprocket a bit loopy. He'd wander from room-to-room looking for Lestat and went off his food and lost weight and started acting really screwy. In the end (only a week or so later) he ran away and we never saw him again. Then Magenta was on her own, but she was never as happy as before, she became introverted. A year or so later, almost to the day, Magenta got run over too.

It precipitated depression in their co-owner, not that it had happened, but that it had happened again. Like the hammer drawing back for another swing. It wasn't worth caring for another because they'd soon get run over again (it wasn't a main road, or anything). Though cats are seen as a cute ephemora, it has been enough to be in no small part (though there are other reasons) for propelling at least one person largely out of main-stream society and to find strength apart from the machine, and left another even more emotionally dubious about extensive car usage. The road was a rat-run, it cut a few minutes off of a commute.

That's what your tooth reminds me of. It's good, really, it reminds me of Sprocket, who I loved lots. But it's a sad story.

If you really do think it will make you happy, though, change it. I've come to believe that things like that can, just for the difference they make inside. But it's worth thinking hard about. Though with it being to do with the squicky subject of all things tooth, I doubt it's anything anyone would do lightly.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: May 14th, 2003 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Just by way of a data point; admittedly I haven't spent much time at all looking inside your mouth, but I had no idea that you had a half-length tooth until you mentioned it just now. :-) (I haven't voted, because my vote is "don't know".)

Being cynical, is there any way you could get someone else to pay for any work you eventually decide to have done on it as a business expense with modelling in mind? Could you claim back tax on the sum you spend on surgery, or something?
k425 From: k425 Date: May 15th, 2003 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I don't know you and I haven't seen your face - or your tooth for that matter - but I'm divided between b & c. If you can afford it and it'll make you happier about /what/ you see in the mirror then go for it. But it won't change /who/ you see in the mirror. Does that make any sense?

I spent many of my teen years in a brace for overcrowded and crooked upper teeth, and had a fair few baby and adult teeth removed in order to make room for straighter teeth. I still have crooked front teeth and an underbite. Or is it an overbite? Bottom teeth are behind the top teeth, anyway. Right now, I don't see it as a problem, except when I bang a tooth on a glass (I've chipped both glasses and teeth over the years!) or when I bang teeth when kissing. However, my Mum also has overcrowded and crooked teeth and has just embarked on a programme of dental work, at the age of 68. If it makes her feel better about herself, all power to her elbow. And if it makes you feel better about yourself, all power to yours too! Who knows, in 30 years time I may be following my Mum's example (as I have so often before...)
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