There's very little tooth there, and the original plan was to cut my gum, extract some bone, and use that to build up enough for a new permanent crown. As you might imagine, I was not looking forward to this procedure, since I well remember the painful, lengthy recovery time after my lower wisdom teeth and part of my jawbone were removed.
When my dentist went in to remove the old filling yesterday, however, she saw that there was additional decay, too much of it to bother with the whole bone buildup thing and crowning, so for once, decay is not the worst thing ever. She drilled out what she could of it, leaving the roots alone to hold the space in my jawbone. Then she built up what was left of my tooth (it's like a little stub) with a post and some durable bluish stuff - she said I can chew on it, brush it, whatever. It should last until the decay advances to the point where the remainder of the tooth and its roots must be removed, at which point it will be time for an implant. Which is not pleasant either, but it is not going to happen right now, and it's better than having no molar. I will have time to prepare myself for the whole yucky implant process.
The most unpleasant part of all this is that I have a head cold, so did not enjoy being tilted back with my mouth open. Luckily, it didn't take too long, and the relief of not having that rough silver filling exposed is extraordinary. I was very happy I'd had a root canal in that tooth previously, because it meant I didn't have to get stabbed with needles full of novocaine, which meant I was only a bit sore afterwards from vibration or whatever.
I skipped the gym and went to bed early after all that, dosed up on decongestant. Hopefully, the extra sleep will help with the cold.