Everything You Need To Know About Dental Crowns: Part 3 of 4

Welcome to part three of our four-part dental crown blog series.  We’ve already discussed so much about crowns in Mesa, Arizona but today we’re going to focus on the temporary dental crown

 What Is A Temporary Crown?

If your crown is to be fabricated at a dental laboratory and not in-office, then you’ll need to return for a second appointment after the restoration is made by hand. Typically this takes a few weeks, so in the meantime you’ll wear a temporary crown over your tooth.

Temporary crowns are made chairside from a plastic-type material and they’re attached to your natural tooth with a mild cement. 

Why Do I Need A Temporary Crown?

The first reason that you’ll need a temporary crown is pretty obvious: because you don’t want to walk around with half a tooth, especially if it’s one that shows when you smile. 

A temporary crown also serves as a space maintainer for the permanent one.  Believe it or not, if your tooth goes uncovered it’ll shift before you know it.  Since crowns are such a precise fit, even the most minor movement of the natural tooth can keep the permanent restoration from fitting.

In addition to serving as a space maintainer, a temporary crown offers a certain amount of protection.  Prepping your tooth requires us to remove the outer layer of your tooth enamel. As a result, the dentin layer of your tooth is exposed, which tends to be sensitive to temperature changes. 

Taking Care of Your Temporary Crown

Throughout the entire time that you have your temporary crown, you’ll need to be cautious and care for it properly. 

When it comes to eating, you can always chew on the other side of your mouth. But if for some reason you need to chew with your temporary crown, then we recommend that you eat soft things that don’t require a lot of chewing. Avoid very hard and crunchy foods like ice, nuts, and hard granola bars, as these things can break your temporary (“temp”).

If your provisional crown is on a front tooth, then it’s best if you avoid biting into things.  Instead, cut your food up and place it further back in your mouth. Biting into things can cause your temp to break apart or even come off.

It’s also important to avoid eating sticky foods. For example, candy like caramel and bubblegum, as these things can stick to your crown and make it pop off. 

You can brush your temporary crown, just do it lightly.  In fact, you want to make sure that you brush well at the gum line, because the crown procedure and wearing a temporary can make your gums irritated.  Brushing will promote faster healing.

You can even floss. But avoid using floss picks and stick with traditional flossing string instead.  Glide the floss down between your teeth, then maneuver it to wrap around each tooth and gently clean the areas under the gums. Once you’re done and need to remove the floss, just pull the string through at the gum line. Pulling the floss upward can loosen your temporary or make it come off. 

What To Do If Your Temporary Breaks or Comes Off?

If you have trouble with your temporary, you’ll need to come see Dr. Huynh for a proper repair.

If it’s going to be a few days before you can make it to the dentist’s office, there a few things you can try. If the temp came off in one piece, try to slip it back over your teeth. If it goes on, then you can use a variety of products that work as a temporary cement.  For example, toothpaste, vaseline, denture adhesive, or temporary filling/cement material that can be found in the toothpaste aisle of most stores.  

NEVER use super glue or anything else of that nature to re-cement a temporary crown or any other type of dental work! Doing so can cause a mess and damage both your temporary, natural teeth and gum tissue. If you’re unsure of which product to use, ask us when you call to schedule your appointment.

If your temporary broke, then there may not be much that you can do, so let us know when you call. At that point we can get you in as soon as possible to make you a new one. 

Getting Help Throughout The Dental Crown Process

If at any time throughout the crown process you have any questions, call Eastport Dental in Mesa, Arizona.  We’re always here to help you along the way. Also, don’t forget to look out for the final blog post of our four-part dental crown blog series, coming soon!

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