Today started with two hours of power tools grinding and drilling on my teeth, and the discovery that dental anesthetics don't work right for me.
Marcaine (bupivacaine) is supposed to be the longest-acting of the local anesthetics a dentist can use. Normally, the standard dose of 9mg is enough to keep a site numb for upwards of eight hours. I got a total of 72mg of the stuff injected into my face, and wasn't allowed to have any more, because that would put me over the maximum daily safe dose. I needed that much because for me, the dentists were surprised to learn, the pain-killing effect stops very suddenly after about 30 minutes. That made for some pretty uncomfortable moments, when I toggled from "doing fine" to "my nerve endings are seared by the white-hot flame of the sun itself," without any stops in between.
In addition to the drill-grinding with its intermittent bunches of ouch, and all the sharp needly drug injections, my visit also involved: two dentists, three assistants, a sculptor, several molds, three kinds of epoxy, two kinds of UV-setting enamel, and some funky little blobs of thermoplastic. It's a really fascinating process if you pay attention. At some point I'm sure it will all be accomplished with 3d scanners and computer manufacture, but I suppose the technology just hasn't reached that point yet.
After all that I've got some temporary crowns installed, which are made of plastic epoxy. They feel nothing like my natural teeth and I'm not allowed to bite or chew anything with them. The permanent porcelain crowns will be ready in a couple of weeks, though, and once I've got those in my teeth will be stronger than ever.