If you crack your old ceramic crown in half and swallow one of the pieces, you may expect your dentist to make a new replacement crown right away. However, replacing a damaged tooth crown isn't as simple as you may think. A dental provider needs to spend some time fabricating your replacement crown so that it doesn't crack or damage in the future. Until you receive the new crown, a dentist will cover your tooth with a temporary crown, or provisional crown. Here's why you need a temporary crown.
What Does a Temporary Crown Do?
Cosmetic dental crowns protect your natural tooth from bacteria and decay. When a crown breaks or falls off, your tooth loses this protection. A dentist must remove the damaged crown and replace it with a temporary cap. A temporary crown also protects your original dental work, such as a root canal, from secondary infection. Although root canal treatments rebuild teeth from the inside out, the tooth's natural enamel may still be too weak to withstand direct pressure when you chew food.
The temporary cap must have the strength and durability to withstand chewing foods with different textures, such as meat and vegetables. To ensure that the provisional crown stays on, your dentist uses a white dental cement to secure it over the tooth.
To meet the needs mentioned above, a dentist or their dental assistant makes the temporary restoration out of acrylic, metal or polyvinyl siloxane. All three materials have the ability to bond to the surfaces of the natural tooth in order to seal out food particles and germs.
What Happens When a Dentist Receives Your Replacement Crown?
Once a dental laboratory transfers your replacement crown to the office, a dentist will remove the temporary crown. A dentist will gently need to use special solutions that dissolve dental cement to remove the temporary cap safely. If you feel some discomfort during this step, a dentist can apply anesthetic to your gums to make the pain go away. After the temporary cap comes off, a dentist will clean and smooth out your tooth's enamel, then apply the new crown.
You may need to bite down on a thick piece of paper to secure the crown in place. However, it may take some time for the new crown to sit securely over your natural tooth. The new crown may last for 5-15 years, depending on how well you care for it and protect it from injury.
For more information, contact a dental clinic like Alaska Dental Arts.