What's a Temporary Dental Crown?

When you decide to have crowns done, especially if they involve your front teeth, you will want to be able to give your input regarding how the final crowns will look. One way to do this is with temporary dental crowns. When your teeth are prepared for crowns, the dentist will place temporary dental crowns for you to wear while the final crowns are being made.

What Are the Main Purposes of Temporary Dental Crowns?

  • Temporary dental crowns eliminate any tooth sensitivity by achieving a seal around the tooth.
  • They also can keep your gum tissue healthy by recreating the contour of your real teeth. Keeping the gum tissue healthy is of prime importance when it comes time to place the final dental crowns. If the gum tissue is not healthy when the final crown is cemented, there may be contamination of the cement, which can result in a poor bond and/or sensitivity.
  • They maintain the current position of your teeth by keeping contact with the opposing teeth when you bite and by contacting the adjacent teeth. This is important because all teeth can move and even a slight amount of movement can prevent your permanent tooth crowns from fitting correctly, requiring either a lot of adjustment or having it remade.
  • Finally, the temporary dental crowns should act as blueprints for the final crowns. It is during this time that you can give the dentist your input regarding the position and shape of the teeth (for example, if the teeth are too long, too short, too square, etc.).

Care of Your Temporary Dental Crowns

There are some differences between temporary dental crowns and final crowns that you should be aware of. Temporary dental crowns are made of a different material, usually some sort of a plastic or acrylic. Since these materials are not as strong as your own teeth, you will have to be careful of what you eat. You should avoid hard foods such as nuts, and tough foods such as bagels or French bread.

Another difference is that temporary dental crowns are cemented on with a dental cement. The reason for this is that the cosmetic dentist will need to be able to remove the temporary dental crowns when it is time to cement the permanent ones. Since the cement is not as strong, sticky foods may cause them to come loose.

If your temporary dental crowns come off or are loose, you should call your dentist so that they can be re-cemented. It is important not to wait, as the tooth may be sensitive, it may move, or, if a long enough period of time passes, the tooth may get decay. As far as home care, your temporary dental crowns should be cleaned with a toothbrush, just like your own teeth. When flossing, though, it is important to floss towards the gums and then slide the floss out by one end rather than lifting it back up through the teeth. This will help ensure that your temporary dental crowns do not come off while flossing.

By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD

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Maurice Masliah, D.D.S
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Maurice K. Masliah, D.D.S.

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Maurice Masliah, D.D.S
11645 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1158
Los Angeles, CA 90025
General Info: (310) 820-5703