Dental Crowns: Why You Want to Replace the Temporary Crown in a Timely Manner

Dental Crowns: Why You Want to Replace the Temporary Crown in a Timely Manner

Having a tooth crowned probably isn’t anybody’s idea of a good time. Most likely, you need a dental crown because you’ve had a root canal or large filling, or the structure of the tooth has been compromised. In these cases, only a crown can provide adequate protection.

After the filling, root canal, or other work on the tooth is done, your dentist or specialist will take an impression of the tooth and send it to the lab where the crown is made to fit. This takes a little time, so you will usually receive a temporary crown to protect the tooth until the permanent one is ready. Your temporary crown will help you carry on pretty normally until then.

Proceed With Caution

Your dentist may advise you to be careful about chewing hard or sticky foods in that area, and to brush and floss more carefully around it. While your temporary crown might feel and work just fine, it’s important to remember that they are not meant to be a long-term solution. Your permanent crown will usually be ready within a couple of weeks, and it’s important that you follow through in the timeframe you’re given. Why? Because there can be complications from keeping your temporary crown for too long:

  1. Decay
    Your temporary crown isn’t meant to be there forever. Therefore, it’s not affixed the same way. Temporary crown cement is not the most effective protection against bacteria and decay. Leaving it on too long may result in deterioration underneath the crown, where it cannot be detected until it’s well underway. The longer you keep your temporary crown, the greater your chances at developing this decay. It could even result in an infection.
  2. Deterioration
    Temporary crowns are not made of the same grade materials that permanent crowns are made of. Over time, the material can deteriorate, opening you up for sensitivity and unfortunate changes in your bite, which can poorly affect the surrounding teeth.
  3. Fracture risk
    Especially in the case of molars, your teeth take a lot of chewing pressure. A temporary crown provides only light to moderate protection, and with the tooth already compromised by previous work, it’s at higher risk for fracture (and therefore, extraction). Only your permanent crown can offer the all-around protection the tooth needs.
  4. Staining
    This is a cosmetic issue, but bothersome just the same. Temporary crowns are prone to staining from various foods or smoking. Obviously, this staining will make them stand out. Your permanent crown doesn’t carry the same tendency, which helps it look like a natural tooth.

It’s Not Worth the Wait

Temporary crowns are necessary and helpful, letting you continue with your life in between dental visits. But they are called temporary crowns for a reason. If you’re concerned about timing, need to wait longer because of insurance coverage, or have other questions, be honest with your dentist. He or she might be able to work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.

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