While at the dentist office today getting a crown put in, I started to talk to my dentist about the whole process. My dentist had basically carved out the back half of my tooth to insert a porcelain piece in its place. I was curious to know how the particular crown he was putting in could be strong enough to withstand me biting down (the human jaw can produce a bite force of around 175psi) since the crown was in the middle of my tooth creating a fracture line. The bite force should basically break my tooth in half over time I thought. How could my tooth withstand me biting down hard on a popcorn kernel or whatever other junk I decided to throw down the hatch? I told my dentist that I had a degree in physical sciences, so I always want to know how things work. Well, my dentist explained a lot how the new porcelain piece is bonded to my tooth both chemically and mechanically. He described in detail how the dentin in my teeth worked and bunch of other stuff. I mentioned that it sounded a bit like “nano machines” at work. He laughed.
We then started talking about the machine that was building my new crown piece. I told him that I worked at HP for many years and was somewhat familiar with CAD machines and this appeared to be something similar. Again, my dentist talked to me at length about the machine and told me how it carved my crown out of a solid piece of porcelain. I talked to him about how I wanted to get a MakerBot 3D printer. He said he just bought one for he and his son to develop something for dentistry.
It was at this point that my dentist said I reminded him of his son. Now my dentist is a Korean guy and is maybe 5′ 3″ tall. I am of Scottish/Irish/English/American Indian decent and 6′ 4″ tall. Obviously I have some other attribute that made him say what he said 😉
My dentist told me that I talk about things just like his son does. He told me about his son’s current project. He is building a pretty cool vehicle called the C-1 by Lit Motors. It involves using gyroscopes to keep the two wheel vehicle upright at all times. Very cool stuff.
Now it kind of sucked getting a crown put in and a couple of fillings done, but chatting with my dentist about geeky stuff kind of made it a little more bearable :).