Before you can get a permanent dental crown placed, it has to be constructed in a dental lab. While you are waiting for your final restoration to be fabricated, your dentist will place a temporary crown. These crowns aren't as sturdy as permanent crowns and are meant to just protect your enamel while you wait for your next appointment and final restoration. Here are a few tips to follow with your temporary crown.
Use Desensitizing Toothpaste
Although your tooth will be protected by a temporary crown, it may be sensitive to pressure and/or hot or cold temperatures for the next few days. Use desensitizing toothpaste during this time since it can help to lessen your sensitivity. Also, avoid very hot or very cold foods that might exacerbate sensitivity.
Gently Brush and Floss
You can brush around your temporary crown as you usually would, but be gentle when you do so. When you floss around the temporary crown, it's very important to pull the floss thread all the way through when you are done. If you try to pop the floss back up as you usually would, you can actually dislodge and pop the temporary crown off too.
Watch Your Diet
Besides avoiding hot and cold foods, it's important to avoid tough foods, like steak or jerky, as well as sticky foods or chewy candies since these can dislodge the temporary crown. Try to eat on the opposite side of your mouth from your crown as much as possible. When you eat, make a conscious effort to chew slowly and gently—especially if you know that you naturally grind your teeth.
Contact Your Office if the Temporary Crown Breaks or Comes off
Even if you are careful, it's possible for the temporary crown to come off or break since it's usually made of acrylic and only held down with a temporary cement.
It's important to go into your dental office right away to have the temporary crown replaced. Temporary crowns protect your enamel from bacteria. If your tooth is exposed to bacteria and develops more decay, your dentist could have to remove it and retake an impression for a new permanent crown.
Also, it's important to have the temporary crown replaced since it prevents the tooth from shifting. This ensures that you have adequate space in your mouth when the permanent crown is ready to be placed.
Don't throw your broken temporary crown away. Bring it into your dental office; they may be able to re-cement that same temporary crown instead of making a new one.
Contact a dentist in your area for more instructions about temporary crowns or permanent crowns.