Tomato PlantThis week has been a perfect example of quintessential weather in Baltimore. The reason I have been aware of this is because of the annual quandary of when to plant flowers and vegetables. There are usually 2 types of planters- those who brave the elements and depend on faith by planting May 1 or those more rational, seasoned people who wait for Mother’s Day (or May 15th whichever is later). I waver back and forth from year to year but this year I decided to go with Global Warming  and planted my tomatoes last Sunday (May 9)…… and then we had a frost the next night!! The old line of “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes” was never more true than this week when the temps one night were 35 and 2 nights later rose by 30 degrees!

Well I am happy to report that all my plantings survived the roller coaster temperature swings. And it got me to thinking how timing is everything. When I talk to patients about the health of their teeth, and more specifically, the integrity of each individual tooth, invariably the conversation revolves around the question of when to jump in and fix a particular tooth. Many teeth have old silver fillings with fracture lines that are in danger of breaking with they next chomp on an errant uncooked popcorn kernel. Now these teeth usually have no decay so there is no immediate need to rush in and “fix” the tooth. But, if these teeth are not attended to with some form of porcelain protection (i.e. an onlay or crown), than the odds are high that a cusp will snap off  which could lead to more involved treatment (root canal, gum surgery or even extraction).

But when to jump in- timing is everything. I remember a patient last year who had 6 teeth that needed protective coverage and we devised a plan to treat 2 teeth a year- not an uncommon way to bring the mouth to total health over time. With this particular patient, we picked the 2 teeth that seemed to be the most at risk for breaking as the first 2 teeth that we would treat…and then she promptly broke a different tooth a month later!! Which just goes to show that teeth with fracture lines can break at any time and , yes, timing is everything.

So, should you find yourself in our office for a first appointment, a complete exam, followed by a consultation where we review all the findings from the exam and, together, devise a plan to bring your mouth to total health and maximum esthetics, just remember—the key is in making the plan. The timing is up to you; whether we decide to do all indicated work immediately or whether we plan to accomplish it all over 5 years, the important thing is that we get it done. Because whether you are planting tomatoes or creating a beautiful, healthy smile…timing is everything!!!!