The Importance of Temporary Dental Crowns: Protecting Your Smile

Dr. Ash Sagar
Narre Warren Dental Care

A beautiful smile is one of the most important assets that a person can have. However, sometimes dental issues arise, and a tooth may require a crown. The dental crown procedure involves fitting a cap over the tooth to restore its function, shape, and appearance. While dental crowns are a durable and long-lasting replacement for damaged teeth, temporary dental crowns play a vital role in safeguarding your smile during the transition.

Temporary dental crowns are placed over a prepared tooth during the dental crown procedure. They are essential to protecting the tooth from further damage or decay until the new crown is ready. Temporary crowns can be made of various materials, including resin or acrylic, and are designed to last a few weeks until the replacement crown is ready for placement.

Proper dental crown care and maintenance are crucial when the patient has a temporary crown. While the temporary crown is in place, it is important to avoid hard and chewy food items, as these can cause damage to the crown or even dislodge it. Instead, patients should stick to soft and cold foods and avoid sugary and sticky food items. The extra care taken during this time will help the temporary crown remain in place and protect the tooth.

Furthermore, dental crown maintenance is vital for the longevity and effectiveness of the tooth crown. Patients should always brush and floss their teeth with crowns regularly and avoid chewing on hard objects like pencils or ice. Dental crown treatment can be costly, and taking good care of the crown is crucial to preventing further dental issues.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the dental crown procedure, the benefits of temporary dental crowns, the materials used, and how to properly care for and maintain them. We will also provide you with valuable tips and insights to keep your dental crown intact and your smile bright throughout the transition. Discover everything you need to know about this essential component of the dental crown process.

Narre Warren Dental Care
  • Temporary dental crowns play a vital role in safeguarding your smile during the transition period of the dental crown procedure by protecting the tooth from further damage or decay until the new crown is ready.

  • Temporary crowns are made from various materials, such as resin or acrylic, and last for a few weeks until the replacement crown becomes available.

  • Patients should avoid hard and chewy food items, stick to soft and cold foods, and avoid sugary and sticky food items.

  • Proper dental crown maintenance is crucial for the longevity and effectiveness of the tooth crown.

  • Patients should regularly brush and floss their teeth with crowns and avoid chewing on hard objects.

  • Patients should avoid eating or drinking for a few hours before the appointment to prevent nausea and the risk of aspiration.

  • Patients should contact their dentist immediately if the temporary crowns become loose or fall off.

What Is a Temporary Dental Crown, and Why Is It Important?

A temporary dental crown is a cap placed over a prepared tooth during the dental crown procedure. It is a protective cover designed to protect the tooth from further damage or decay until the new crown is ready for placement. The temporary crown is made of durable material, usually resin or acrylic, and is created to match the shape and size of the tooth.

Temporary dental crowns are essential in protecting the underlying tooth structure during the transition period between the preparation of the tooth and the placement of the replacement crown. The exposed tooth can be vulnerable to decay, sensitivity, and further damage without the temporary crown. The temporary crown acts as a barrier, preventing food particles and bacteria from entering the tooth, which can cause infection or further decay.

Temporary dental crowns also serve an aesthetic purpose, as they can help maintain the appearance of the patient’s smile while the new crown is being created. This is especially important for front teeth, where appearance is paramount.

The Dental Crown Procedure: Step by Step

The dental crown procedure is a multi-step process that involves several stages of preparation and treatment. Here is a step-by-step guide to the dental crown procedure:

  • Evaluation:
    The dentist will first evaluate the tooth that requires the crown to determine if it suits the crown treatment. They will also examine the surrounding teeth and gums to check for no underlying decay or gum disease.

  • Preparation:
    The dentist will then prepare the tooth for the crown by removing a small amount of the tooth’s outer layer to make room for the crown. If the tooth has extensive decay or damage, a buildup may be necessary to provide additional support for the crown. The dentist will use a restorative material, such as composite resin or dental amalgam, to rebuild and strengthen the tooth. This buildup provides a solid foundation for the crown to be placed later.

  • Impressions:
    Once the tooth has been prepared, the dentist will take impressions of the tooth and surrounding teeth using dental putty or digital scanners. These impressions will create a custom-fit crown that matches the surrounding teeth’s size, shape, and colour.

  • Crown fabrication:
    After taking the impressions of the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth, the dentist will send them to a dental laboratory. At the dental laboratory, skilled dental technicians will use the impressions as a guide to fabricate the custom crown. They will carefully craft the crown to match the size, shape, and colour of the patient’s natural teeth. The time it takes for the dental laboratory to fabricate the custom crown can vary. Generally, it takes about one to two weeks for the crown to be made.

  • Temporary crown placement:
    While the replacement crown is being created, a temporary crown will be placed over the prepared tooth to protect it from further damage or decay.

  • New crown placement:
    Once the new crown is ready, the dentist will take out the temporary crown and place the new crown over the prepared tooth. The crown will be checked for proper fit, alignment, and colour before being cemented into place.

  • Final adjustments:
    After placing the crown, the dentist will make any necessary adjustments for a comfortable fit and proper alignment with the surrounding teeth. The patient may be asked to bite down on a piece of paper or other material to check the crown’s bite and make any final adjustments.

  • Follow-up:
    Patients will be advised to follow proper dental crown care and maintenance guidelines to secure the crown’s longevity. Regular check-ups with a qualified dentist will also be necessary to monitor the health and stability of the crown and surrounding teeth.

Preparing for Your Dental Crown Appointment

Preparing for your dental crown appointment is important for a smooth and successful procedure. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Schedule enough time:
    The dental crown procedure can take several hours, so you must schedule enough time off work or other commitments.

  • Arrange transportation:
    You may need someone to drive you home after the procedure, especially if you receive sedation.

  • Discuss medications:
    If you take any medications or supplements, please inform your dentist before the procedure.

  • Discuss health conditions:
    If you have any health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, discuss them with your dentist before the procedure.

  • Follow fasting guidelines:
    If you are receiving sedation, you may need to fast for a while before the procedure. Fasting helps reduce the risk of potential complications, such as aspiration, nausea, and vomiting. Follow the fasting guidelines provided by your dentist. 

  • Wear comfortable clothing:
    Choose comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that will not interfere with dental work.

  • Avoid smoking:
    Smoking can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications. Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours before and after the procedure.

  • Recovery plan: Depending on the type of sedation used, you may need some time to recover after the procedure. Plan to rest and take it easy for a few days, if necessary.

The Process of Placing a Temporary Dental Crown

The process of placing a temporary dental crown involves several steps that are crucial to the success of the final restoration. Here is an overview of the process:

  • Numb the tooth:
    Your dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding area with a local anaesthetic to make you comfortable during the procedure.

  • Prepare the tooth:
    The dentist will clear any decay or damaged parts of the tooth and shape it to accommodate the temporary crown. This may involve filing down the tooth or building it up with filling material.

  • Take impressions:
    The dentist will take impressions of the prepared and surrounding teeth. These impressions will be used to create the new crown.

  • Make the temporary crown:
    After taking the impressions of the prepared tooth, the dentist will create a temporary crown to cover and protect the tooth until the new crown is ready. The dentist will choose a temporary crown material that is sturdy enough to withstand normal biting and chewing forces yet easily adjustable and removable. Common materials used for temporary crowns include acrylic or composite resin.

  • Place the temporary crown:
    The dentist will place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth to protect it until the replacement crown is ready. Before placing the temporary crown, the dentist will clean and apply a dental adhesive or temporary cement to the prepared tooth. The temporary crown is carefully placed over the prepared tooth, covering it entirely. This serves as a protective barrier, preventing the prepared tooth from shifting, sensitivity, or damage. It also helps maintain the natural appearance of the smile during the waiting period for the new crown.

  • Check the bite:
    The dentist will check the bite of the temporary crown to confirm that it is aligned properly with the other teeth. Adjustments may be made if necessary for a comfortable fit.

  • Provide aftercare instructions:
    Your dentist will provide instructions on how to care for the temporary crown, including avoiding sticky and hard foods and maintaining good dental hygiene.

Taking Care of Your Temporary Dental Crown: Dos and Don'ts

Dental crown care is important to make certain that it stays in place and protects your tooth until the new crown is ready. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind for dental crown maintenance:

Dos:

  • Practise good oral hygiene:
    Brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent plaque buildup around the temporary crown.

  • Be gentle when brushing:
    Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid putting too much pressure on the temporary crown.

  • Be mindful of what you eat:
    To avoid damaging or dislodging your temporary dental crown, stick to soft foods that are easy to chew and will not cause undue pressure on the temporary crown.

  • Use the opposite side of your mouth:
    Chew on the opposite side of your mouth to avoid putting too much pressure on the temporary crown.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t chew sticky or hard foods:
    Chewy or hard food items can damage the temporary crown or cause it to become dislodged.

  • Don’t use your teeth as tools:
    Avoid using your teeth to open packages or bottles, as this can damage the temporary crown.

  • Don’t floss directly on the temporary crown:
    Instead, use a floss threader to clean around the temporary crown without pulling on it.

  • Don’t neglect your dental hygiene:
    Neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to plaque buildup and gum disease, which can impact the success of the dental crown procedure.

Common Issues with Temporary Dental Crowns and How to Manage Them

While temporary dental crowns are designed to be durable, patients may experience some common issues. Here are a few common issues with temporary dental crowns and how to manage them:

  • Crown dislodgement:
    The temporary crown may become dislodged due to chewing on hard or sticky foods. If this happens, gently clean the area and try to reposition the crown back onto the tooth. Contact your dentist for guidance on how to proceed.

  • Crown sensitivity:
    Some patients may experience sensitivity or discomfort around the temporary crown. This is usually due to exposed tooth roots or nerves. Use a desensitising toothpaste and avoid hot or cold foods and drinks. If the sensitivity persists, contact your dentist.

  • Crown fracture:
    Although rare, temporary crowns may crack or fracture due to biting on hard foods or objects. Avoid eating hard foods and contact your dentist immediately if this happens.

  • Crown decay:
    Plaque buildup can occur around the edges of the temporary crown, causing decay or gum disease. Practise good oral hygiene and clean around the crown with a floss threader.

  • Improper fit:
    Sometimes, temporary crowns may not fit properly or feel uncomfortable. Contact your dentist for an adjustment or replacement.

Making the Transition: From Temporary to New Dental Crown

After the new dental crown has been fabricated, it’s time to replace the temporary crown with the new crown. Here’s what you can expect during the transition process:

  • Removal of the temporary crown:
    The dentist will carefully take out the temporary crown using dental tools. The tooth will be cleaned and prepared for the new crown.

  • Fitting and placement of the new crown:
    The dentist will check the fit and appearance of the new crown to confirm that it looks and feels natural. Once satisfied with the fit, the new crown will be cemented onto the tooth.

  • Adjustments and bite check:
    The dentist will check your bite to confirm that the new crown doesn’t interfere with your natural bite. Adjustments may be made if necessary for a comfortable fit.

Aftercare instructions: The dentist will provide instructions on how to care for your new dental crown, including how to brush and floss around the crown and when to schedule follow-up appointments.

Dental Crown Care: Securing Longevity for Your New Smile

Once you have a dental crown, taking good care of it is important to secure its longevity and keep your smile looking great. Here are some tips for caring for your dental crown:

  • Brush and floss regularly:
    Just like your natural teeth, you must regularly brush and floss around your dental crown to clear plaque and food particles. Use a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid damaging the crown.

  • Avoid sticky and hard foods:
    While dental crowns are strong, they can still be damaged by chewing on hard or sticky foods. Avoid caramel, hard candy, and ice to prevent crown damage.

  • Limit sugary foods and drinks:
    Sugar can cause tooth decay, impacting the longevity of your dental crown. Limit sugary foods and drinks to maintain the health of your teeth and crown.

  • Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth:
    Grinding your teeth can cause damage to your dental crown over time. If you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about wearing a mouthguard to protect your crown and teeth. Similarly, if you participate in sports or activities that carry a risk of dental trauma, it’s essential to wear a mouthguard.

  • Visit your dentist regularly:
    Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for maintaining the health of your teeth and dental crown. Your dentist can also check the condition of your crown and make any necessary adjustments.

Final Thoughts

Temporary dental crowns play a vital role in protecting your smile during the transition period from the preparation to the placement of the new dental crowns. These temporary crowns provide extraordinary support for patients while they wait for their new crowns to be fabricated, so that their teeth remain functional and aesthetically pleasing.

It is essential to follow proper dental crown care and maintenance for the longevity of your new smile. With the right precautions, including proper oral hygiene, avoiding hard and sticky foods, and regular dental visits, you can help your dental crowns last for many years.

If you’re considering dental crowns or have questions about your current dental crowns, contact Narre Warren Dental Care today. Our team of dental professionals can help you understand the importance of temporary dental crowns and provide guidance on how to take care of your dental crowns during the transition period.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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