At long last I have the long-term replacement for tooth #27. On Thursday I returned to the dentist's office for the "delivery" (official dentist terminology) of the crown. He worked quickly, unscrewing the temporary insert and screwing in the real abutment. As an aside, you haven't lived until a dentist has climbed into your mouth to tinker in there with a wrench, as if he was a mechanic changing the plugs on a mid-size sedan. Fitting the crown required a couple of attempts, with adjustments to the shape made with a grinder. When he was satisfied, the crown came off one last time, and a semi-permanent cement was applied to the abutment. The cement is not the strongest dental cement available, so that the crown can be removed later, if necessary for some reason, without destroying it. The crown was then mounted for the last time, and the cement allowed to set for a couple of minutes. Finally came the most painful part of the process: The dental technician had to clean up the excess cement sticking around the lower edge of the crown, using a sharp implement; this caused substantial irritation to the surrounding gum.
Thus ends the strange and sorrowful tale of tooth #27, about which nothing more needs to be said, I hope.