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What is a temporary dental crown?

Dec 4, 2023oral surgery

What is a temporary dental crown?

A tooth-shaped cap, commonly referred to as a temporary crown, is utilized by dentists as a provisional measure before placing a permanent crown over a damaged tooth or existing crown. This cap serves two crucial purposes – guarding against bacterial infection and stabilizing the tooth in preparation for the permanent crown.

Temporary crowns are commonly referred to as provisional or disposable crowns since they are not meant to be a long-term solution. The materials used for temporary crowns are similar to those used for permanent ones, so there isn’t much of a difference in terms of color or overall appearance.

The dental professional creates a temporary crown on-site as opposed to permanent crowns. This serves as a practical, interim remedy. In contrast to the fixed nature of a permanent crown, a temporary crown is not fused to the tooth, allowing for effortless removal by the dentist if required.

In dentistry, it is a common practice for practitioners to install provisional crowns on teeth while waiting for the permanent ones to arrive from the laboratory. These temporary crowns act as a temporary solution and placeholder to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is available for placement.


How Long Do Temporary Crowns Last?

Temporary crowns serve as a vital link between your initial dental consultation and the eventual fitting of your permanent crown, providing temporary coverage that lasts for approximately 2 to 12 weeks before they are replaced.

Optimal maintenance of oral hygiene plays a crucial role in determining the durability of your provisional crown. Providing adequate care to both your teeth and the crown is directly proportional to the lifespan of the temporary crown.

Maintaining oral hygiene is essential, especially when wearing a temporary crown. It is crucial to exercise the same level of care in cleaning and flossing your crown as you would with your natural tooth, and this must be done daily. It is crucial to ensure that you attend routinely scheduled dental appointments as it enables your dentist to oversee the condition and ensure that your treatment is progressing smoothly.

It is to be noted that temporary crowns have a tendency to deteriorate faster in comparison to regular teeth. This can primarily be attributed to the pressure exerted while chewing and brushing. It is, therefore, imperative to pay extra attention towards the upkeep of your temporary crown and strictly adhere to the instructions provided by your dentist.


When do you need a temporary crown?

In situations where a natural tooth necessitates a conventional permanent crown, a temporary crown is implemented.

Due to the time required for the creation of a permanent crown that will meet your dental needs, your dentist will apply a temporary crown until while your permanent crown is being created in a lab.

A temporary crown is utilized for:

  • Ensuring the safeguarding of the natural tooth or implant site along with the gums is of utmost importance.
  • Facilitate the restoration of a natural smile by eliminating gaps.
  • Minimize potential tooth or gum sensitivity.
  • It is crucial to uphold appropriate spacing within your dental structure.
  • Assist you chew and eat.
  • Assist the dentist in evaluating the functionality of the crown.

A temporary crown is a viable solution to cover up an implant, a tooth that has undergone a root canal procedure, or one that has been repaired. It provides an ideal substitute for a single tooth, and can also serve as a bridge over multiple implants or teeth.

It is possible for certain dental offices to possess the technological capacity and essential tools to fabricate a crown within a day. However, it is common practice for the production of a permanent crown to require a considerable duration of one to two weeks.


Can you eat normally?

The temporary crown affixed to your tooth currently is fixed using temporary cement. Your chewing capabilities should remain normal with the installed provisional crown. However, as the adhesive utilized is not intended for long-lasting support, it’s recommended to abstain from consuming hard, tough, or sticky foods.

It is advisable to refrain from consuming sugary edibles as a precautionary measure. The placement of your provisional crown may result in a crevice between the crown and the gum margin, which could allow sugar particles to penetrate under the crown, thereby leading to tooth decay.

If you have a temporary crown, it is advisable to refrain from consuming certain foods like:

  • Tough meat or steak.
  • Hard, crusty bread, or bagels.
  • Fresh vegetables that are hard or crunchy, such as raw baby carrots.
  • Hard or crunchy fresh fruits, like apples.
  • Corn on the cob.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Popcorn.
  • Nuts.
  • Hard candy.
  • Caramel.
  • Ice.

It is advisable to refrain from consuming extremely hot or cold items as they may have a detrimental impact on the efficacy of the cement used for securing the provisional crown.


What are temporary crowns made of?

The dentist can fabricate a temporary crown on-site using either an acrylic-based substance or metal. An acrylic crown will likely blend more seamlessly with the natural hue of your teeth than a metallic version, although it may not match perfectly to the one being fashioned in the laboratory. Regardless of the hue, the purpose of a temporary crown is to safeguard your implant or natural tooth until the arrival of the permanent crown.


Would it be advisable to reapply the temporary crown?

Indeed, the temporary crown serves a dual purpose by safeguarding the tooth and maintaining its positioning. The nature of teeth is such that they experience perpetual motion. In the absence of a temporary, there is a possibility of neighboring teeth shifting or moving. Additionally, a prepared tooth has a natural inclination to make contact with its opposite counterpart which can lead to an upward movement known as supraeruption.

The accomplishment of the task at hand may take some time, therefore, there is no need to be anxious. However, it is not advisable to stay without a temporary alternative for an extended period.


When your Temporary Crown Falls Off

In the event that your temporary crown dislodges from its position, endeavor to reposition it by delicately sliding it back into place. If you are unable to do so, or if you misplace the temporary dental crown, we recommend contacting your dentist immediately for replacement.

It is advisable not to endure the period leading up to permanent crown placement without the temporary crown. Doing so may lead to sensitivity of the tooth to cold and hot temperatures, resulting in potential pain. Furthermore, the absence of a temporary crown may cause the tooth to shift and become unstable. There is a possibility of complications arising during the placement of the permanent crown.

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