Friday, June 22, 2012

Can Your Dentist Do This?

My dentist has recently moved into a fancy new office, bought a bunch of fancy new equipment, and trained his assistants/technicians in a some amazing new skills and technologies.
I had to have a crown replaced; the underlying tooth had decayed, so the old crown had to come off, the decay treated, and a new crown installed. In the very recent past, this meant  anguishing time spent with a mouth full of goo while impressions were made, a "garbage can" temporary crown, and once the lab had fabricated the new crown and returned it to the dentist a second visit was required to cement in the new jewel.
This week, the dentist removed the old crown, fixed the tooth, and called in the assistants. They placed a device in my mouth which isolated the tooth and yet allowed me to breathe, swallow, clear my throat, and do everything but talk. Then they used a special little camera and began making digital images of the tooth and the space the crown would occupy. Working on the computer in a 3D graphics mode, they designed the new crown. When the dentist was satisfied, they pushed a button and the crown was manufactured while I sat in the chair. It was cemented in place and I went home a happy person. What truly amazes me is that someday this technology will seem primitive.
I don't have a picture of the tooth, so I'll show you my latest table topper.

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