temporary crown

Dental crowns are a common restorative solution used to protect and enhance the function and appearance of damaged teeth. Temporary crowns play a crucial role in the dental restoration process, acting as placeholders until permanent crowns are ready. This article explores everything you need to know about temporary crown, from their purpose and benefits to the procedure and aftercare.


What is a Temporary Crown?

A temporary crown is a provisional dental crown that is placed over a tooth to protect it until a permanent crown can be manufactured and fitted. Temporary crowns are typically made from less durable materials such as acrylic, composite resin, or stainless steel. They are used in a variety of dental situations, including after root canals, tooth extractions, or when a tooth has been significantly damaged or decayed.


Purpose of Temporary Crowns

Temporary crowns serve several important functions:

  • Protection
  • Aesthetics
  • Functionality
  • Positioning



They protect the prepared tooth from damage and sensitivity.


They provide an interim cosmetic solution, maintaining the appearance of the tooth while the permanent dental crown is being made.


They enable the patient to maintain normal eating and speaking functions.


They help ensure the gums and surrounding teeth do not shift, which can affect the fit of the permanent crown.


The Procedure for Temporary Crowns

The process of getting a temporary crown involves several steps:

  1. Preparation
  2. Impression
  3. Fabrication
  4. Placement



The dentist first prepares the tooth by removing any decay and shaping it to fit the crown. This may involve trimming down the tooth to create enough space for the crown.


An impression of the prepared tooth is taken using a dental putty or digital scanning technology. This impression is used to create both the temporary crown and the permanent crown.


While the permanent crown is being made in a dental laboratory, the dentist fabricates the temporary crown in the office. This can be done using pre-formed crowns or by shaping a custom crown using acrylic or composite resin.


The temporary crown is fitted over the prepared tooth using a temporary adhesive. This adhesive is strong enough to hold the crown in place but allows for easy removal when the permanent crown is ready.


Materials Used in Temporary Crowns

Temporary crowns can be made from various materials, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

  • Acrylic Resin
  • Composite Resin
  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum Shells


Acrylic Resin

This is a popular choice for temporary crowns because it is easy to shape and adjust. Acrylic resin crowns can be colored to match the surrounding teeth, providing a more natural appearance.

Composite Resin

Similar to acrylic, composite resin is also used for its aesthetic properties. It offers good strength and can be customized to blend in with the natural teeth.

Stainless Steel

Often used for temporary crowns in the posterior region (back teeth), stainless steel crowns are very durable and can withstand the forces of chewing and grinding.

Aluminum Shells

These are prefabricated crowns that are often used as a quick and inexpensive option. They are not as aesthetically pleasing but provide adequate protection for a short period.


Advantages of Temporary Crown

  • Protection
  • Aesthetics
  • Functionality
  • Stability



They safeguard the tooth from further damage and sensitivity.


They maintain the appearance of the tooth, especially important for front teeth.


They allow the patient to continue eating and speaking normally.


They prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth and gum tissue, ensuring the permanent crown will fit properly.


Disadvantages of Temporary Crown

  • Durability
  • Appearance
  • Comfort



Temporary crowns are made from less durable materials and can break or become dislodged more easily than permanent crowns.


While they can be made to look natural, they are often not as aesthetically pleasing as permanent crowns.


Temporary crowns may not fit as perfectly as permanent ones, potentially causing some discomfort.


Caring for a Temporary Crown

Proper care of a temporary crown is essential to ensure it lasts until the permanent crown can be placed. Here are some tips for maintaining a temporary crown:

  • Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods
  • Chew on the Opposite Side
  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
  • Use a Mild Mouthwash
  • Avoid Grinding or Clenching


Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods

Sticky foods can pull the crown off, while hard foods can break it. Stick to softer foods and avoid chewing gum, caramel, or hard candies.

Chew on the Opposite Side

Whenever possible, chew on the side of your mouth opposite to the temporary crown to reduce stress on the crown.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Continue brushing and flossing, but be gentle around the temporary crown. When flossing, slide the floss out rather than lifting it out to avoid dislodging the crown.

Use a Mild Mouthwash

A non-alcoholic mouthwash can help maintain oral hygiene without irritating the sensitive area around the temporary crown.

Avoid Grinding or Clenching

If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, consider using a nightguard to protect the temporary crown.


Common Issues with Temporary Crowns

Despite their temporary nature, problems can arise with temporary crowns. Here are some common issues and how to address them:

  • Dislodgement
  • Sensitivity
  • Cracking or Breaking



If your temporary crown comes off, contact your dentist immediately. In the meantime, you can place the crown back over the tooth using a temporary dental adhesive available at pharmacies.


It’s normal to experience some sensitivity to temperature or pressure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help, but if the sensitivity persists, consult your dentist.

Cracking or Breaking

If the temporary crown cracks or breaks, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Avoid using the affected tooth until you can see your dentist.


Transitioning to a Permanent Crown

Once your permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one. This process involves:

  1. Removal of the Temporary Crown
  2. Fitting the Permanent Crown
  3. Cementation
  4. Final Adjustments


Removal of the Temporary Crown

The dentist will gently remove the temporary crown and clean any remaining adhesive from the tooth.

Fitting the Permanent Crown

The permanent crown is then placed over the prepared tooth to check the fit and bite. Adjustments may be made to ensure a perfect fit.


Once the fit is confirmed, the permanent crown is cemented in place using a strong dental adhesive.

Final Adjustments

The dentist will make any final adjustments to ensure the crown fits comfortably and functions properly.



Temporary crowns are an essential part of many dental treatments, providing necessary protection and functionality while the permanent crown is being made. Understanding the purpose, procedure, and care involved with temporary crowns can help patients feel more comfortable and informed during their dental restoration journey. By following proper care instructions and addressing any issues promptly, patients can ensure a smooth transition from temporary to permanent crowns, leading to a healthy and aesthetically pleasing smile.

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