Temporary Crown – Dental Treatment

Introduction –Temporary Crown

A crown is a cap placed over a tooth for restoring its shape, size, strength and also for improving its appearance. These crowns totally enclose the visible part of the tooth lying above the gum line.

Indications:

A crown is needed in the following conditions:

  1. For protecting a week tooth from decay, from breaking or for holding parts of a cracked tooth.
  2. For restoring broken or severely worn out tooth.
  3. For supporting and covering a tooth with large filling.
  4. For holding a permanent dental bridge between abutment teeth.
  5. For covering a dental implant.

Structure:

Temporary crowns are made in the dentist’s office itself after taking the impression. They are made with the help of acrylic or stainless steel. It can also be made from a chemical composite or aluminium.

Functions of temporary crown:

  1. A temporary crown covers the tooth to prevent sensitivity. When the dentin of a tooth is exposed, extremes of temperatures, air, and eating sweets can cause toothache. This exposure can damage the tooth permanently if it persists for more than a week. A root canal treatment may be needed in some cases. So covering the tooth is an important function.
  2. The temporary maintains contact with the opposite tooth as well as the teeth on either side and prevents shifting of the tooth till the next appointment. This in turn prevents a misfit of the permanent crown, should the tooth move in any direction.
  3. It keeps the gums healthy between appointments.

Procedure of making:

A temporary crown is made by a cosmetic dentist or a dental assistant.

  1. The cosmetic dentist prepares an impression of the tooth and a plaster mold is made using this impression.
  2. Then, a temporary crown is made from a chemical cure composite using this plaster mold. Some dentists use pre formed aluminium temporary crowns.
  3. After the Temporary crown is made, an easily removable, soft cement is used to cement it onto the tooth.
  4. The patient is asked to bite down on the crown which causes the cement to set up and hold the crown in place.
  5. The extra cement is removed by the dentist.
  6. The crown now covers the tooth completely. This prevents the exposure of open nerve endings of the tooth to air or any other irritant.
  7. The patient is advised not to floss around the temporary crown. Brushing should be gentle and chewing gum and sticky foods be avoided.

Care of the temporary crown:

  1. Avoid biting lips, tongue or cheek when numb. Also avoid hot drinks in this period.
  2. Chewing should be avoided for at least thirty minutes till the cement sets in.
  3. A pain reliever may be required in some cases.
  4. Desensitizing toothpaste can be used if the sensitivity persists.
  5. Soreness of the gums can be taken care by rinsing with warm salt water thrice a day.
  6. Care must be taken while eating toffees, chewing gums and hard foods.
  7. Brushing should be done twice a day with a soft toothbrush. The area of the temporary should be cleaned thoroughly with taking extra care while brushing.
  8. Flossing should be done carefully around this area at least once in a day.
  9. An antibacterial mouth wash should be used once or twice a day.
  10. Smoking should be avoided as it can stain the temporary crown. Curry can also color the crown yellow or orange.

Problems with a temporary crown:

  1. Sensitivity: newly crowned tooth can be sensitive to extreme temperatures immediately after the procedure, as the effect of anesthesia begins to decrease. Too highly placed crown can also cause sensitivity during bite. This can be corrected easily.
  2. Loose crown: Sometimes the crown is loose between the visits. This may cause infection in the underlying tooth. If a crown feels loose, contact the dentist.
  3. Cost of the crown must be weighed against the advantages.

- Link of interest: Twitter Temporary Crown – Dental Treatment.

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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