I enrolled in the University of Houston in 1988, and my brother followed 2 years later. We lived together in a garage apartment that was probably 500 square feet. We had bunk beds, as 2 beds wouldn't fit in the apartment. We continued to be competitive, and to argue, and sometimes fight. During one particularly bad fight, I broke my right rear upper molar. Luckily, no root was exposed, and the dentist repaired it by putting in some sort of filling.
The filling lasted almost 20 years. It broke out last week when I bit into a Peanut M&M that contained a surprise shell or other hard object. Yesterday, I had it repaired. What's amazing is how it was repaired:
- I was given an injection to numb the tooth.
- The remaining filling material was ground out, as were the rough edges of the broken tooth.
- Some sort of fluoride layer was applied to the tooth to enhance the tooth strength.
- Several digital photos of the tooth were taken, loaded into a specially designed computer with equally special software.
- The dentist used the software to create a model of the tooth, and of a porcelain insert that would rebuild the missing, broken section of tooth.
- The model was downloaded to a small milling machine, and the insert was machined there in the office.
- The insert was then 'glued' into place and cleaned up.
I'm an engineer by training and education, and this process amazed me. I watched the entire 12 minute milling process, and took the below photo with my iPhone. I had to add comments, as the image is obscured by water droplets on the cover of the milling machine.
I understand that this is one of the nerdiest, strangest posts ever. It's probably in 2nd place behind my Falfurrias Butter post. I don't care. This process was very cool, took barely 2 hours, and I had barely any discomfort, and no pain. It was almost enjoyable!