On this Day:
In 1873, Dentist John Beers of San Francisco patented the gold crown. However, this was certainly not the first bite at trying to fix dental issues with gold.
First things first:
What is a crown? A crown is essentially a cap that covers a tooth. Crowns are placed over a tooth to improve its shape, size, strength, and even help its appearance. A dental crown can be needed for many reasons, such as:
- Protecting a Tooth – If a tooth is cracked or even decaying, a crown can protect a weak tooth from further damage.
- Restoring a Tooth – A broken tooth needs a crown to restore the functionality of the tooth.
- Covering a Filling – Sometimes, if a tooth has a large filling and there is not a lot of tooth left, a crown will be used to cover and support the tooth and filling.
- Holding a Dental Bridge in Place – A dental bridge is something that dentists use to bridge a gap between teeth when a tooth is missing. A crown may be used to cover this gap.
- Dental crowns actually have a very interesting history that dates back thousands of years. Four thousand years ago, Luzon, an island in the Philippines, gold was used to modify teeth. Skeletons have been found with gold caps and gold tooth replacements. Evidence suggests that this practice was popular with the chiefs of the time and was a symbol of wealth and power in society. An ancient Italian civilization, the Etruscans, have also been discovered as using gold for dental crowns as far back as 700 B.C. It is thought that wealth and luxury were important to these people and they put gold dental crowns to cover their teeth. Some skeletons were also found with what are essentially the first dental bridges: artificial teeth were held in place with a gold wire which then banded the fake teeth to real teeth. Pretty cool!
Europeans didn’t start utilizing modern dental practices until around the 1400s. They started by carving dentures from bone or ivory and around the 1700s, human teeth were actually the most popular tooth replacement. But this practice did not work well so it quickly fell out of practice. Porcelain dentures became the most successful way to replace teeth and by the 1800’s, porcelain was the standard material for crowns. The first modern dental crown was created by Dr. Charles Land in 1903. He created an all-porcelain jacket by taking a broken tooth and reconstructing it with a porcelain cover. This essentially made the tooth look brand new. This dental crown practice was used until the 1950s, which is when dental technologies started developing into what we now use as dental crowns.
Today, dental crowns can be made with four different types of materials:
- Ceramics – These crowns are made with materials that are porcelain based. The benefit to these fillings are the natural look they give teeth, as the color blends well with natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are best for restoring the front teeth because of this. These crowns resist wear-and-tear but can become brittle in cases with heavy biting.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal – These crowns are attached to the tooth with a metal base and porcelain is then fused to the metal. These crowns make the restoration stronger than if a crown is made of only porcelain. These crowns also better prevent dental decay from recurring. Porcelain fused metal crowns are very durable.
- Gold Alloys – While there are commonly called gold crowns, these crowns are made up of gold, copper, and other metals. This creates a strong material that supports the tooth. This is a strong material that doesn’t wear or fracture easily. This material also works well with natural gum tissue.
- Base Metal Alloys – These crowns are made with metals that are strong and resist corrosion. When preparing for crowns made with this material, the dentist is able to remove the least amount of a healthy tooth. Additionally, this material is gentle on other teeth that touch the crown (per https://adambrowndds.com/the-history-of-dental-crowns-from-gold-to-porcelain/).
First, a Story:
My dentist informed me today that I needed a crown…
I said: “Finally! Someone who understands me!”
Second, a Song:
The Carol Burnett Show is an American variety/sketch comedy television show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. In 1975, frequent guest star Tim Conway became a regular after Waggoner left the series. In 1977, Dick Van Dyke replaced Korman but it was agreed that it was not a match and he left after 10 episodes.
The show originally ran on CBS from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, for 279 episodes, and again with nine episodes in fall 1991. The series originated in CBS Television City’s Studio 33, and won 25 prime time Emmy Awards. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Carol Burnett Show number 17 on its list of the 60 Greatest Shows of All Time, and in 2007 it was included on the list of Time’s 100 Best TV Shows of All Time.
After the original run ended, material from 1972 to 1977 shows (seasons 6–10) was repackaged as a half-hour series known as Carol Burnett and Friends, which has aired in various syndicated outlets, more-or-less continuously, since the original series ended. Because of this format, material from the first five seasons did not air, outside of their original run, until 2019 when MeTV acquired the rights to these earlier seasons and began airing them. The cast has periodically reunited for various one-off specials and short appearances, and several members of the cast went on to star in Mama’s Family (1983–1990), a half-hour situation comedy based on a sketch series from The Carol Burnett Show.
Thomas Daniel “Tim” Conway (December 15, 1933 – May 14, 2019) was an American actor, comedian, writer, and director. From 1966 to 2012 he appeared in more than 100 TV shows, TV series and films. Among his more notable roles, he portrayed the inept Ensign Parker in the 1960s World War II TV situation comedy McHale’s Navy, was a regular cast member (1975–1978) on the TV comedy The Carol Burnett Show where he portrayed his recurrent iconic characters Mister Tudball, the Oldest Man and the Dumb Private, co-starred with Don Knotts in several films (1975–80), was the title character in the Dorf series of eight sports comedy direct-to-video films (1987–1996), and provided the voice of Barnacle Boy in the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants (1999–2012). Twice, in 1970 and in 1980–1981, he had his own TV series.
Conway was admired for his ability to depart from scripts with humorous ad libs and gestures, which frequently caused others in the skit to break character while attempting to control their surprise and laughter. He won six Primetime Emmy Awards during his career, four of which were awarded for The Carol Burnett Show, including one for writing.
Conway first met Harvey Korman in 1966 during the first of Conway’s three appearances on The Danny Kaye Show. Korman was a four-year series regular on Kaye’s CBS variety hour. 1967 saw the end of the Kaye show and the debut of The Carol Burnett Show. With Korman available, he stepped into a regular role there. Conway appeared as a guest during that first Burnett season and the two men immediately became friends starting a lifetime of working together until Korman’s death in 2008.
One of their most famous sketches was from The Carol Burnett Show called “The Dentist Sketch.” In this sketch, Korman goes to the just-graduated dentist Conway for a toothache. Conway proceeds to remove Korman’s tooth, but before he can inject the novocaine into Korman, he injects it into himself, causing his hand, leg, and head to go numb.
Korman and Conway performed together for 10 years on The Carol Burnett Show before Korman left to pursue his own show. Korman joined Conway on Conway’s shows and then later on in the 1986 film The Longshot, which Conway wrote for the two men. Conway also wrote the direct-to-video films Tim and Harvey in The Great Outdoors and Together Again with Tim and Harvey, which the comedy pair starred in together. The duo also toured the U.S. performing together. The DVD Together Again with Tim and Harvey is a recording of their touring stage show that ran over 10 years to sold out markets until Korman’s death in 2008.
When interviewed in 2004, Conway said of Korman, “We’re friends; He’s a bright guy; he can do The New York Times crossword puzzle in about five minutes, but he can’t tie his shoes.”
Here is “The Dentist Sketch” from The Carol Burnett Show starring Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Funny is funny. I dare anyone to look at Tim Conway and Harvey Korman doing the dentist sketch, which is more than 40 years old, and not scream with laughter.” – Carol Burnett
Today is a twofer from Pete Roberts of Seattle, Washington, USA:
Further to The Pocket Watch Smile, Pete writes:
“Fascinating! I am no scientist but I really respect those who can reason in such ways. Alas, the human mind.
And further to The Moulin Rouge Smile, Pete writes:
“Very interesting and reminds me of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris!
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky