The problem was the pain. I don't know if the dentist just couldn't get the area numb or if the root/nerve is super sensitive or if it's a paper thickness away from seeing my tongue. Regardless, every step of the way was a new experience in pain. Today was the last piece which is supposed to be easy, they test fit it, apply cement, then stick it in there. When she started the cement application I almost hit her. The cement was cold! Thank goodness I stopped myself - there I was, fist raised just above my chest, my eyes wide with terror and her eyes wide with surprise. As you can imagine the rest of the cement application came with her assistant guarding my left side and me gripping the armrests in a white knuckled death hold.
The picture to the right is the prep work (and is really my tooth, they were nice enough to email me the pic) - the metal filling is removed and is waiting for it's new inlay. It's like a puzzle piece and fits in nicely. I think it is much better than a crown because more of the tooth structure is left. I could never have lived through a crown prep. I barely made it through the inlay prep.
Perhaps we humans were not meant to outlive our teeth? Our perhaps we should just stop eating sugar.