Guys, I have a confession. I’ve had a cosmetic procedure. You see, I was once a vampire.
OK, maybe not a vampire of the blood-sucking, glittering skin variety (thankfully). I was actually born with a fang-shaped maxillary lateral incisor. Growing up we always joked around that I was half-vampire. It explained a lot of things, really, like why I was so nocturnal and why I never seemed to age.
Personal photo & evidence of fang
For a long time, I didn’t mind it. In fact, I embraced it as a part of what makes me unique. And it is! When I had my braces removed in high school the dentist asked if I would like to have it capped and I refused. Long live the fang! But over time, especially in my late 20s, I became more and more self-conscious about my fang. I would never give people a big smile in public. I would always have a twinge of self-doubt during conversations. Add to this the fact that I stand in front of 90 teenagers five days a week and I’m sure you can understand why I was becoming more self-conscious. Friends and relatives teased me because I claimed to have a “good” side when taking photos—my left side, the side without the fang. If you scroll through my profile pictures on Facebook, nearly all of them are photos of the left side of my face. It’s actually kind of sad.
Honestly, I think most people didn’t notice my fang. That or they were just trying to be polite when I mentioned it in conversation. But it was still something that bothered me, and I knew that it was time to have it repaired.
As a graduate student I didn’t have dental insurance, so having it fixed at that time wasn’t an option. But even after getting dental insurance through my school district I waited almost two years before finally deciding to have it fixed. The wedding was certainly a big factor in this decision, but it was also because I was ready to move on from the fang. So this past May while I was in the office for a routine cleaning and checkup, I went ahead and moved forward with the procedure.
The fixed tooth is the one to the right of my front teeth. Excuse the crazy hair—I took this after a day of swimming.
I am extremely happy with the result! Not only was it super quick and easy to repair, but it was also inexpensive. Instead of using a crown or veneer, the dentist used a bonding technique with tooth-colored composite resin. He actually sculpted it around my fang and then sanded it down to look like a natural tooth. It looks amazing—like the “normal” tooth that I never had. I remember leaving the dentist’s office and I couldn’t stop smiling and checking out my new smile in the mirror. The best part is that my fang is still underneath the bonding, so if I’m ever feeling particularly vampiric in the future (doubtful) I could always return to my original tooth. In fact, this procedure only lasts a few years before it must be replaced. I’ll be seeing my fang again someday, even if it is only briefly in the dentist’s chair.
Having my fang fixed wasn’t really a big deal, but it made a huge impact on my confidence, especially when I smile. But it also made me think about the wedding industry and how women are under such extreme pressures to look their absolute best on their wedding day. Personally, I think that means looking the very best for YOU. I don’t think women should try to change too much about themselves for their weddings. I think that you should look like a glowingly happy, polished version of your usual self.
The wedding may have been the impetus for me to fix something that had been bothering me for a while, but I don’t think I would ever take any more drastic steps to resolve other cosmetic issues. But hey, do what makes YOU happy and comfortable and never forget that the person you are marrying loves you for YOU.
Have you had any cosmetic procedures in order to look your best on your wedding day?