A dental crown is a versatile restoration that can repair a tooth that has been badly damaged by decay, infection, and oral injury. Porcelain crowns surround the crown of the natural tooth and provide an added layer of strength and protection. The typical porcelain crown procedure requires two dental appointments. At one appointment, the tooth will be prepared and reshaped, the crown will be designed, and a temporary crown will be placed.
The temporary crown protects the reshaped tooth until the final porcelain crown is ready for placement. Dr. Bruce Wilderman discusses the importance of temporary crowns with his Philadelphia, PA patients and offers some tips for caring for these restorations until their permanent porcelain crown is complete.
The Importance of Temporary Crowns
Temporary crowns are an important part of the porcelain crown procedure. To ensure the best possible fit for the permanent porcelain crown, it is important that we fabricate the crown using molds and images of the patient’s mouth. This takes time. On average, it takes about two to four weeks for the final restoration to be complete.
To protect the tooth during this waiting period, Dr. Wilderman will place a temporary crown. The temporary crown covers the delicate, inner nerves and tissues of the tooth that may have been exposed during the reshaping process. A temporary crown will prevent pain and sensitivity, while blocking out harmful bacteria. Essentially, the temporary crown enables the mouth to function comfortably and effectively for the duration of porcelain crown treatment.
Caring for a Temporary Crown
Dr. Wilderman will choose a temporary restoration that fits the patient’s natural tooth as closely as possible. However, a temporary crown is not bonded to the tooth as strongly as the permanent porcelain crown will be.
Dr. Wilderman uses a weaker bonding material that can be removed more easily when it comes time to place the permanent restoration. Because of this, it is important to care for the temporary crown carefully to avoid damaging it or knocking it out of place.
Below are some helpful care tips for patients wearing a temporary crown:
- Brush regularly, but avoid using excessive force
- When flossing, slowly pull the floss out to the side of the tooth to remove it, rather than pulling against the crown
- Refrain from eating or chewing on sticky foods or candies, including chewing gum
- Cut foods into small, easy to manage, bite-sized pieces
If the temporary crown becomes damaged or falls out of place, put it back over the tooth and contact our office as soon as possible. It is important that we bond the crown back into place or provide a new crown (in the event of damage), so that the natural tooth is not exposed.
If you have a tooth that has become weak or damaged, a porcelain crown can restore its strength and protect against further dental complications. If you have questions about this dental procedure, or are interested in finding out if you are an ideal candidate for porcelain crowns treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience.