I'm being a good boy and flossing my teeth on Sunday when the crown on my left incisor pops off. (That's the number 10 tooth) There was no pain involved but I had a big gap in the front of my mouth. i tried to glue it back with dental adhesive but had no joy. I called my dentist only to find that his number was disconnected. (Not surprising... he was getting a little long in the tooth, ha, ha) I located an alternate dentist and called bright and early on Monday morning to see if they could glue the crown back on. No problem, they said. We have an opening at 9:00.
I showed up at the appointed time and filled out 6 pages of medical history. They shot an xray (did you know that they have digital xrays now? The picture shows up on a high def screen instead of a tiny film strip) Then they told me that part of the tooth had broken off in the crown. They could either glue it back and hope for the best or drill and tap the root, install a titanium peg and put on a new crown which would be a more permanent solution. A couple of hours later I had a new piece of metal in my head.
I've come to the conclusion that dentistry is closely related to mechanical engineering. The dentist took great pains to ensure the fit and clearances for my new tooth (using carbon paper to mark interferences after drilling and tapping the root and then screwing in the titanium rod.