Michael Strahan’s decision to have his NFL Hall of Fame bust made showing his trademark tooth gap has been celebrated by fans, but the sculptor found it a very difficult request to accommodate.

A Bust with Personality

The NFL puts some rules on what can and cannot be included in the busts for the Hall of Fame. No jewelry is allowed or eye blacking or headwear of any kind.

However, people are allowed to model for the bust with a smile, and it was the uniqueness of Strahan’s smile that gave sculptor Blair Buswell such trouble.

I’m a Sculptor, not a Dentist

The gap between the teeth is clinically referred as diastema

Buswell said that smiling is “not the most popular choice” among Hall of Famers, so he didn’t have a lot of experience crafting teeth for his subjects.

It’s also not popular for Buswell, who notes that it’s a challenge. “I give [Hall of Famers] disclosures, and one of them is that bronze teeth never look right,” Buswell told the New Yorker. He also noted that a previous inductee who smiled, Broncos quarterback John Elway, complained that his teeth looked “like Chiclets.”

Buswell spent four hours measuring and remeasuring Strahan’s face, teeth, and mouth with calipers to make sure he got it right, and even then he isn’t sure that he spent enough time.

However, when Strahan’s bust was revealed on Sunday night, the results were surprisingly good. Not exactly the image of life, but a good representation of what Buswell described as “the Gentle Giant” (though, of course, Strahan’s sack record speaks of something other than gentleness). Strahan himself was quick to show his appreciation, smiling broadly alongside his doppelganger and even giving it a kiss on the cheek.

For the rest of us, though, this is just a reminder of how eager we are for the official start of NFL season, which kicks off September 4.

A Dentist and a Sculptor

The sculptor’s difficulty is a reminder that you shouldn’t let just anyone alter your smile. Your cosmetic dentist has to be an artist with a good sense of how to make teeth look attractive. For help getting an attractive smile, please call 845-627-7645 for an appointment with Rockland County cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Dunayer at B & D Dental Excellence in West Nyack.