Getting a dental crown is often necessary when a tooth needs a root canal, and a root canal is often needed when a tooth has a great deal of decay on it. If you are preparing to get a root canal and have a dental crown put on one of your teeth, part of the procedure will involve getting a temporary crown. A temporary crown is needed for several reasons, and you will have to care for it properly while you have it.
Why A Temporary Crown Is Needed
A temporary crown is something a dentist places on a tooth after making impressions for a dental crown. A dental crown is a permanent covering for a tooth, and your dentist must custom-make the crown to fit exactly over your tooth. Most dental clinics do not make permanent dental crowns in their offices. Instead, the dentist takes the measurements, molds, and impressions and sends this information to a lab. The lab then creates the crown, and this often takes several weeks.
Your dentist will cover your tooth with a temporary crown during the time between when he or she takes the impressions to the time the permanent crown is ready. Here are the two main reasons this is necessary:
- To protect the tooth – For a tooth to get a crown, the dentist must shave it down. This is done simply because the crown would not fit over the tooth if the tooth was whole. This is also done to remove all the decay from the tooth. Because a portion of the tooth must be removed, the tooth may be weak and exposed after the dentist prepares it. The temporary crown will protect and strengthen it during this time.
- To keep the tooth's exact shape – The other key purpose of a temporary crown is to hold the tooth's shape. If the tooth changes in shape at all during this period of time, the permanent crown will not fit exactly as it should.
The temporary crown might be made of a plastic material, and the dentist will attach it to your tooth with temporary cement. Temporary cement is durable enough to hold it in place for several weeks, but it is weak enough to allow the dentist to remove the temporary crown without extreme effort.
How To Care For Your Temporary Crown
After the dentist puts your temporary crown on the tooth, you will need to care for it properly until the time comes for the dentist to replace it with the permanent crown, and this is often a period of at least two weeks. Your dental office will usually schedule the appointment to put the permanent crown on while you are there getting the temporary one installed. Here are some tips to help you care for this temporary crown:
- Avoid chewing with it – While eating soft foods may be fine, you should not chew with the temporary crown when eating foods that are sticky, hard, or crunchy.
- Brush the tooth lightly – When you brush your teeth, you can brush the crown, but you should avoid using too much force.
- Floss around the crown, but do not pull the floss up – Instead, push the floss into the gaps next to the temporary crown and slide it through your teeth to remove it.
If the temporary crown comes loose or falls out, visit your dental clinic as soon as you can.
Getting a crown can save you from losing a tooth, and having a temporary crown is an important step in the process. If you have questions about this, contact a dental clinic in your city, or check out websites like http://www.mysunshinedentistry.com/.