I didn’t recognize the number on the phone, but it was Friday afternoon and as a dentist you develop a sixth sense regarding after hours phone calls, so I answered. On the other end I found Mrs. Thomas calling, frantic that she had “broken” her tooth and she was sorry but could she please come in to see me? To help the emergent nature of her case she added, I leave for Italy for a family reunion on the 4pm flight tomorrow (Saturday).

“Okay,” I said, “meet me at the office in an hour and let’s see what we can do.”

She brought her son to offer moral support and I put him to work on the suction. Melinda Thomas loves her garden and was out weeding and watering when she “tripped over a hosepipe,” her British heritage coming out. Well she tripped good, breaking her fall on a lovely veneer that now hung sadly askew on her upper left central incisor. We checked her jaw and lips for any signs of trauma before focusing on her chief complaint, the broken veneer. The tooth was sore but stable. We managed to remove the loose portion and using our transilluminator, we were fortunately unable to locate any fracture.

“Of course you will need a new veneer,” I explained, “but that will take a few weeks, so in the meantime I suggest a chair-side composite veneer since you are headed out of town.” 

We set about preparing her tooth, selecting shades of composite to layer on to give her the right look. Friday afternoon turned to Friday evening, but as the sun set we finished polishing her chair-side composite veneer. Melinda was relieved and happy to have her smile back in time for her trip and to have a solution that was secure enough for travel. When we saw her back four weeks later for her regular cleaning, the tooth checked out great and she was still happy with the result.

So, keep a sharp eye out for the hose pipe, sprinkler head, dog toy or whatever hides in your yard, but if you should fall we will be here to put you back together again - even if it is late on a Friday and you have airline reservations the next day.