I recently completed a case for a young dentist. It had been a long haul for the two of us, and I was both excited and anxious on the day of delivery.

It was a challenging case, perhaps one of the most difficult I have ever done. After almost four years of ortho, periodontal therapy, working with old implants that were not well positioned and two sets of provisionals, seat day was here.

I tried it all in and did my checks and then started cementing and bonding. With each succeeding unit my sense of dis-ease was growing. It had looked so good when I tried it in, but I was beginning to notice little things that were upsetting to me. A slight value difference between the centrals, a line angle that was off contour, an ovate pontic with a little tissue bunch that I didn't remember.

I started making little moaning noises and sucking sounds with my tongue, my bowels were rumbling and I was convinced that I would probably just tear out the whole case and do it over.

I noticed my young friend eyeing me but he wasn't reacting.

I finished and he went to the restroom. When he came back he was beaming from ear to ear. He said, “I knew it was going to be great! You always beat yourself up. Quit that – I think this is awesome!”

Hmmm, whose teeth are they anyway? I will never change. I always see what I could have done better. Yet, I must always remember that my sense of excellence comes from years of looking at minutiae and that in the grand scheme of things, there really is “good enough.”