|||||Dentist! - Steve Martin - Little Shop of Horrors||]|
Recently, while enjoying some breadsticks, I heard a little cracking noise in my mouth. A little exploration revealed that I now had a chunk missing from the side of a molar. So I called the dentist. Even though the whole dental office had been on vacation since July 4, they made room in their schedule to see me. It turns out an old crown had failed and needed to be replaced. Amazingly, they said they could do the job then and there. Having the previous crown installed required a couple of visits, with a couple of weeks in-between for the crown itself to be custom made.
But technology marches on, and things are much improved today! It only took a little while to remove the old crown and prepare the tooth for the new one. At that point, technology took over. They puffed some blue powder on the area and took a bunch of measurements with a miniature 3D scanner, both open jaw and closed jaw. Then the computer chewed on it for a while, and generated a 3D model of the new crown, designed to fit neatly between the existing teeth, provide a good match to the attachment point, and meet the opposing teeth properly. The dentist fine-tuned the model slightly (of course, I watched), and pressed the "go" button. At that point, a little precision CNC machine carved the new crown out of a "green" ceramic blank. The green ceramic was actually lavender, amusingly enough. Then the crown was test fit, and some very fine adjustments made, as it was nearly a perfect fit to start with. Then it went into a kiln for firing, and once it had cooled, they cemented it in place, cleaned up some stray cement, and sent me on my merry way.
Originally posted at Dreamwidth.org comments