Yesterday I received a crown. From our new dentist. Our longtime dentist, Doc Adams, has retired and his successor (AKA the kid) has installed some fancy new equipment.
This dental procedure involves a LOT of stuff in your mouth -- and a goodly time lying back, feet elevated, trying to stay calm while lots of things happen -- but your mouth is numb and you don't feel it. Your main job is to stay calm and breathe through your nose while the broken tooth is prepped to receive the crown and innumerable pictures are taken and sent to the computer.
After which -- and this is the amazing part -- the computer sends the 3-D images to a milling machine in another room and this machine takes a little block of dental ceramic material and carves it to fit your tooth exactly. All untouched by human hands.
The new crown is set in place and checked for fit, after which it's put in a kiln for about a half an hour. Then it's glued in place. Done. The whole process took less than two hours as opposed to two visits when the crown was fashioned in a laboratory somewhere else.
I remember overhearing (another) old lady tell a friend that she'd been to the dentist and he'd fixed her teeth with his commuter.
You can read about the whole process and see pictures of it HERE