Today, I will share with you an everyday horror story: “The Three-Toothed Monster.”


I know a dentist in a major city with a major practice in an elite part of town where rents are high and unemployment is low.

His receptionist, his second public face that every single patient sees and must interact with in order to do business in his office — has exactly three teeth in her mouth and none of them in a row and all of them in the upper jaw only — and we all know this because she cannot close her mouth all the way and her lips are held in a perpetual, toothless, smile.

A mouthful of teeth can be pleasing to the eye and aesthetic — but when one only has three teeth, those enameled triplets take on a monstrous life of their own as they become animal-like fangs right before your eyes. 

All three of her teeth are polished and white — but one cannot get over the incongruity of seeing a toothless wonder as an employee in a dental office.

Does the woman’s employer — THE DENTIST — owe her a mouthful of beautiful teeth in exchange for doing her job in his office?

The answer is an unequivocal:  YES! 

If you hire someone to reflect your specialty, you must demonstrate your ability in their care and reformation, or remove them from ongoing interaction with the public as your official spokesperson.

For a dentist to hire a three-toothed monster as a receptionist is the same as having an illiterate working as a reader for a publishing house, or hiring an amputee with a missing arm to sell wristwatches:  The effect is unnerving, and uncomfortable for the public and, frankly, cruel in the job placement.

If you hire someone to do a job — make sure they are fully fit to fulfill public expectation and, if they are not, be prepared to spend your own money to make them whole in your representation.

4 Comments

  1. Anne —
    When you see her three remaining teeth, the only thing you can think of in your mind is how she bloody lost all the others! SMILE!

  2. It was definitely an uncomfortable experience, Katha, and I never returned to his dental office. The dentist was a bit of a boor and after meeting him and his bad jokes and insensitivities, I began to realize why he hired a monster, but didn’t help to heal her.