This afternoon I paid another visit to my dentist, Dr. Grimm, and was allowed to wear a pair of their festive sun glasses to keep pieces of flying tooth parts out of my eyes. Today I received a new crown on a tooth that’s never had one because the tooth was cracked. I think I now have only about six teeth that do not have crowns. Most of the ones I have are gold. I have ‘bling’.
Today’s crown, however, was totally ceramic and made on the spot. From start to stop the process took two hours. That’s from the moment I was injected with whatever it is they use to numb teeth, until the new crown was in place, the glue dried, and I was walking out the door.
I thought that was pretty significant because the entire event was done with this one visit. Once the tooth was ground down, to a nub of its former self, Dr. Grimm broke out a handy little wand with which he digitized the area when the crown would go, then loaded the data into his 3D printer and made the ceramic cap. It was purple when he showed it to me, before test the fit. He explained that the initial stage leaves it purple to ensure some idiot dentist wouldn’t make the mistake of gluing it in right away. Apparently that was a problem at some point in time. The final step, after adjusting the fit, is to take it back to the lab, at some dye to remove the purple color, coating it, and baking it in a pressurized kiln for 20 minutes at an incredibly high temperature. Much higher than that needed to fire a new coffee cup, I learned.
I also learned that he hasn’t, yet, printed parts necessary to create a gun, and it’s doubtful he’ll do that because it would require the need to procure a gun safe for the office. So, it’s not likely to happen. I guess he’s going to restrict its use to making teeth which is prudent.
The tooth fits nicely and I don’t think it will be giving me any more problems, at least for 5 years. That’s when the guarantee expires. I suspect the shortly thereafter it will crack and I’ll have to buy a new one for another grand. Probably more than that in five years.
Now it’s done, and I’m good for a while. No more drills for a while.