Mary Kenny: A winning smile is priceless
Without the marvels of modern dentistry, surely we'd all be toothless crones?
When older feminists get together, they will sometimes discuss "what development was the greatest benefit to women in our lifetime". Some name the Pill, some the motor car, some choose better education and career opportunities, some nominate equal pay: I would like to suggest that modern dentistry be added to the list.
Throughout the ages, older women could expect to be toothless crones by their 60s. If nature had her way, I would surely be a toothless crone by now. Ten days ago, as I was chewing gum - a post-cigarette habit - I felt a sinister, hard lump in my mouth. OMG! It was the best part of a main tooth, sited near the front of my mouth. The tooth had crumbled from its base and come away. Cronedom beckons.
I rescued the corpse of the crumbled tooth and took it along to the dentist. And within 15 minutes flat he had done some sort of magic trick, using an array of lasers, evacuating instruments and dental cement, and put it all back together again. Where there had been a broken shell in my mouth, now there was, once again, a perfectly reconstructed tooth.