Temporary Crowns: Why You Need Them, How to Care for Them, and More

If one or more of your teeth needs a dental crown, you might wonder why your dentist has fitted you with a temporary crown. Dental crowns are custom and often take two or more weeks to be completed at an outside lab before they can become permanent additions to your mouth. Here’s why you need a temporary crown and how to care for them until your permanent dental crown arrives!

Protect Your Damaged Tooth

Since it can take a couple weeks for your dental crown to be ready for your smile, your temporary crown serves an important function—it helps to protect your damaged tooth from pain and discomfort. Your temporary crown will help stop food from entering the cavity of your tooth and protect it from chewing, food temperature, and further injury.

Without a temporary crown, your tooth will be open and could be painful. Food debris and bacteria could further harm the tooth without some type of protection there. With a temporary dental crown, you can keep the space protected and prepare it for the restoration when the time comes.

Prepare Your Mouth for the Permanent Crown

A temporary crown helps hold the space for your permanent dental crown. Your gum tissue will adjust to the shape of your crown and create a more comfortable, healed space for your permanent crown. Since teeth are also susceptible to shifting, the temporary crown helps keep everything in place until the permanent crown is ready.

Your temporary crown will also help you adjust to the look and feel of your crown. Your final restoration will look very similar to your temporary crown and will help you see what your smile will look and feel like when the restoration is done. Your mouth should be comfortable and healed with your temporary dental crown by the time your new, permanent crown arrives.

Brush and Floss

Fortunately, your temporary dental crown will be relatively easy to care for. You’ll need to brush your teeth as normal, but pay special attention to the area near the gumline in order to keep the space between your crown and your gums clean and free of debris.

You can and should continue flossing your teeth. Again, pay close attention to the gumline where your temporary crown meets your gum tissue. You’ll want to floss this area carefully, and floss out rather than down toward the crown of your tooth. You want to keep the crown intact while also removing plaque and food particles.

Beware of Sticky Foods

During the time your temporary dental crown is in place, you’ll want to be wary of any sticky foods, especially foods that are both sticky and hard. They can attach to your temporary crown and threaten to pull it loose! These foods include:

 Caramel
 Candy
 Chewing Gum
 Popcorn
 Nuts
 Peanut Butter

Don’t worry, you don’t have to avoid these foods forever —just until your new permanent crown is set in place! When your dentist fits you with a temporary dental crown, this is an excellent opportunity to adjust to your new smile. Allow your gums to adapt to the new addition. Take care of your crown by continuing to brush and floss, but try to keep sticky foods out of the picture. Your new crown will be in place before you know it!