Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Dental Technology

I went to the dentist yesterday, after a large part of one of my teeth broke off. The tooth had previously had root canal work so there was no pain, but it was pretty much ruined, and obviously had to be filled and replaced.

Given the size I was expecting them to take impressions and make a crown, and have to go back in a couple of weeks to get it fixed, but it turns out that's not the way they do things any more.

The procedure went roughly as follows - I'm undoubtedly misunderstanding or missing some parts of the process that weren't obvious to me in the chair:
  1. Clean out cavity with the usual drill burr thing.
  2. Spray interior of cavity with some sort of sealant gunk.
  3. Harden it with UV light for a few seconds.
  4. Insert a probe into the cavity (not sure what it was, I think a teeny camera but it might have been sonar) and waggle it around a little.
  5. Show me a 3D image of the hole on a computer screen and explain that it's going to have to be filled with a ceramic plug. Naturally I asked how long it would take for the plug to be made - answer, it's a CAD-CAM process, they do it in the surgery with some sort of milling machine, and I should go and sit in the waiting room for 15 minutes.
  6. 15 minutes later, I go back upstairs, he pops some glue into the cavity, inserts the plug, has me bite a few times to get it bedded in, checks that it isn't sticking up too much, and grinds off a couple of places where it's a little too high.
And that was it. Total time from arriving at the surgery to getting out of the chair about 30 minutes, and the whole thing done in one appointment, not two or three. Colour me impressed...
Tags: science

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