About two years back I went to the dentist and he told me I needed a filling. I’m a terrible coward when it comes to needles so I delays and delayed until I couldn’t any longer (my wife started making my appointments). So last week I popped in to see a man about a tooth.
This was the coolest appointment that I’ve ever been to. Even the parts that were meant to be bad weren’t too bad; he did a really great job. But the highlight came after the drilling when he asked me how I wanted to fill my tooth.
Option 1: Traditional filling. Pretty cheap; he injects a paste into the hole and hardens it with his magic ray gun. The filling will hold for 2-5 years, and when it breaks down its likely additional decay will set in beneath the filling, requiring deeper drilling (read: root canal).
Option 2: Ceramic Inlay. Pretty expensive. He takes a 3d photo of my tooth, and a computer models what it would look like if it were whole. Then, two tiny robot arms cut a piece of ceramic down to size until it fits the hole in my tooth exactly. Bit of glue and voila. Average life is about ten years, and a failure is unlikely to have any bad effects.
He had me at tiny robot arms. The part about not needing a root canal was pretty good too.
It was seriously expensive, but I’m blessed with a good dental plan. I might as we’ll take advantage of it.
The best part of this whole thing is that he let me stick around and watch the CNC machine cut the tooth to size.