Replacement Parts

Sorrowfully, I had occasion to visit with my dentist of twelve years today. He’s a good guy and when you have that kind of trust with a dental professional, you don’t take it lightly.

The reason for my visit today wasn’t an easy peasy cleaning and check up, no. A couple weeks ago I bit down on something hard and felt pain shoot up the side of my face.

That *can’t* be good.

So I was unsurprised when the good Doctor told me I had three cracks in my tooth. The same tooth that was home to not one but two fillings.

Feeling myself headed for “you need a crown”-ville, my dentist looked at my xrays and said, “good news, we can use the machine.”

The Machine?

What the [insert dental-fear inspired curse word here] is “The Machine?”

I guess if you need something more than a drill and fill, but something less than a crown, they have this cool device that takes a scan of your scraped out tooth, then creates a puzzle piece-like filling that slips right in there.

It’s milled out of a block of dental porcelain right there onsite, same day.

So the dentist drilled out my tooth, and then I read a magazine while the machine churned and groaned and soon enough, they showed me the little piece of tooth looking porcelain. Add a little dental glue and ta daa! New tooth!

As The Machine worked, my dentist talked about science’s ability to make new body parts, like my homemade tooth. He said, “I laugh when people get up in arms over athletes using steroids to increase their body’s capabilities. In ten to twenty years they will be making new joints, ligaments and tendons, you name it. Athletes can be created, and steroids will be looked on as quaint.”

I replied, “That’s weird, man. In a good way, but weird.”

Oh well, in about an hour and a half all in, I was fixed up and sent on my way with a droopy drool-y smile and a bit of ache in my freshly manufactured body part.


Image from The Searcher’s Flickr Photostream.

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