I noted from reading the plaques on his wall that he had graduated in 2011 from SUNY Buffalo dental school and I told him that I'd traveled to Buffalo several times during my last two years at work for cases and I thought it was a grand old city, although it tended to be a little cold (all my trips seemed to occur in the winter). I also noted that he'd done his dental internship at a hospital in Syracuse and asked if he'd commuted to there from Buffalo or moved there, because it seemed to me that it was hours away. He said he had moved there for his internship and it sounded like pretty interesting stuff--being on call at the emergency room and being brought in to treat smashed teeth from fights or teeth driven into the jaw or cheekbone from a car wreck.
That was an education, he told me, and he got a faraway, nostalgic look on his face as he thought about (not so) old times dealing with true emergencies. I didn't know dentists did internships in hospitals because I never imagined hospitals dealt with acute dental problems but if you think about it, they must see terrible dental mishaps lots of times that they're not equipped to handle. The ER doctors might save your life, but not your teeth.
And now the good doctor was ready to deal with reinserting an old but intact crown and that didn't seem like it was going to be interesting, challenging or hard for him, not like in the olden days when he saw teeth displaced by force and driven into strange places. The good news was that we were already on a first name basis, Nick and Pete, but the bad news was that about four hours of being in the chair spread out over three days in the next fortnight was only getting started.