During a club cricket match, Eastbourne drama teacher and ex-TV regular Tim Marriott (Gavin in The Brittas Empire) prepared to attempt a four with a mighty swing - but instead saw the ball come off the top edge of the bat and smash against his mouth and lips, fracturing a front tooth clean through the nerve. Getting back to his feet with the help of his 15-year-old son who had been playing alongside him, Tim couldn’t decide what was scarier: losing his tooth or facing the wrath of his wife back at home, whose parting words that morning, “Don’t forget to wear a helmet!”, had clearly been ignored.
It was the horrified looks around him that made him think matters were serious enough to need immediate help. As his lips became more swollen and his tooth hung precariously by the nerve, Tim anxiously rang round a number of local dentists for an appointment that same evening, to no avail. It was finally the prestigious Harman Clinic (www.theharmanclinic.com) in Tunbridge Wells which promised to stay open to see him.
Marriot recounts: “We were playing at the Nevill ground in Tunbridge Wells as part of the Bluemantles Cricket week. This is something I always look forward to, as it is a chance to play good quality cricket on a social basis which is great value and good fun. Plus, I get to play alongside my 15-year old son which is always eventful. And so it was of course typical that it was in front of him I was batting and top-edged the ball right off the bat and into my face. I have never worn a helmet and had never had an accident but this one was something else.
"I must have collapsed as the next thing I remember was a crowd staring down at me and hearing my son whispering ‘Come on Dad! Man up!’ I got up pretending that the pain wasn’t too bad and went to continue the game but it was the reaction of the players at the sight of my face that made me realise things weren’t looking too good. I rang around to find an emergency dentist, and I had almost given up before I managed to secure an emergency appointment with Oliver Harman.
"By this time, my mouth was hugely swollen and my lip was lacerated from the tooth which had broken off and was hanging by the nerve.”
According to Oliver Harman, a top dentist who has appeared on TV show ‘Extreme Makeover’ and is a Board member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry:
“Not many people know that if you break your tooth you can bring it with you to the dentist and it can be fixed back in place on the root - luckily Tim brought his. Under local anaesthetic, we surgically cut away the fractured tooth where it was still attached to the gum and removed the ‘live’ nerve. We then carried out a laser assisted root filling, as the laser stimulates faster healing as well as less pain and swelling than conventional scalpel surgery. The middle of the hollow root was prepared for a high tech carbon fibre-post, cemented with state-of-the-art adhesive. The natural tooth crown was then carefully bonded to the carbon fibre post. The process took just over two hours and the results were almost as good as new. The patient – and more importantly, his wife! - could not even detect the join.”
Within two hours of painless state of the art cosmetic dental care and Tim Marriott was able to walk out the doors with his smile intact and the next day went straight out to buy a helmet. By the following Saturday, Tim was back playing cricket and not only protected his new smile, but smashed a quickfire 50 to make him feel better!
Tim adds: “As an actor, appearance is important and although I left the theatre ten years ago to become Director of Drama at Eastbourne College, I’ve never ruled out one day maybe returning to the business – without this expert repair, I might have been limited to Dickensian villains…”
The Harman Clinic offers the full range of cosmetic dentistry services including veneers, tooth whitening, cosmetic bonding, orthodontics and dental implants. The practice is based in Tunbridge Wells.