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By Haley Gouchenour

subgingival art

“Subgingival,” not only challenged my scientific knowledge as a Biology major, but it also challenged my artistic capabilities as an Art Studio minor. This 12x4x5 inch series of teeth sculpture contains varying colors of soda lime silica glass. The concept behind this work is to depict the process of tooth decay over time. That process, in itself, also represents a scientific process known as entropy. Entropy, as I learned in my science classes, is the natural tendency for energy to decline into disorder. In my sculpture, we see a healthy, white tooth that then slowly devolves into an unhealthy, decayed tooth. In order to shape the coronal surfaces and the roots of the teeth, I used multiple pieces of equipment such as a pair of diamond shears, jacks, and forceps to sculpt the glass into the desired form.. For the color of the teeth, I used white, yellow, and black fine powder colored glass and strategically layered the different colors. The word “subgingival”, which is dental terminology that refers to the area below the gum line, comes from the plate glass separating the coronal surfaces from the roots of the teeth. The plate glass offers an inorganic form to the piece, while simultaneously representing the anatomical significance of the bone level and gum line within the oral cavity.

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