Dental technician working on a dental crown

Temporary vs. Permanent Crowns: Understanding the Differences

Smile On Dental Salon and Sleep Apnea Center Blog, Restorative Dentistry

Crowns are a common solution for tooth restoration, with many patients requiring both a temporary and permanent crown at different times during their treatment plan. Both types serve different purposes. Explore the complementary roles of temporary and permanent crowns and how they help achieve a healthier smile.

What are Temporary Crowns?

Temporary crowns are short-term solutions for teeth undergoing dental treatment, such as after a root canal or while waiting for a permanent crown. They protect the tooth and help maintain proper spacing in the mouth.

Typically, temporary crowns are made from a composite resin, which is made in the dentist’s office. Once the temporary crown is made, it is adjusted and cemented in the mouth to ensure a comfortable fit.

What are Permanent Crowns?

Permanent crowns are a more durable, long-term solution for damaged or treated teeth. They are most commonly made from porcelain, which closely resembles the natural color and texture of the teeth, providing an aesthetically pleasing solution.

Fitting a permanent crown involves preparing the tooth, taking a dental impression, and sending it to a laboratory where the custom crown is made. Once your permanent crown is ready from the lab, it is carefully adjusted and cemented onto the prepared tooth to ensure perfect fit and bite alignment.

When properly cared for, permanent crowns can last for at least 5 years but often closer to 15-20 years. To maintain longevity, practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. Your dentist will monitor the condition of the crown and the underlying tooth.

Transitioning from a Temporary to a Permanent Crown

After you undergo a dental procedure like a root canal or receive treatment for a cavity or damaged tooth, your dentist will take impressions for your permanent crown. At Smile On Chicago, we use the iTero intra-oral scanner for precise imaging that eliminates the need for messy impressions.

The impressions are then sent to a laboratory to be made according to your unique tooth and mouth shape. Meanwhile, a temporary crown is fabricated in the office and cemented onto your tooth.

Temporary dental crowns typically remain in place for a short period, usually between two to three weeks. This duration can vary based on individual cases and the specific treatment plan. The temporary crown serves as a placeholder until the permanent crown is fabricated and ready to be placed by the dentist.

When the permanent crown arrives from the lab, you’ll return for a follow-up appointment to have it installed.

Care and Maintenance Tips

During the waiting period, you can expect to continue normal dental hygiene but take special care not to disturb the temporary crown. The temporary crown is less secure in the mouth than the permanent crown will be, so you should be careful when eating, flossing, and brushing.

For example, gently slide dental floss out rather than lifting it, which could dislodge the crown. Also, avoid sticky foods like gummy bears, caramels, breakfast bars, and gum, as these can pull at the crown. Chewing on the opposite side of the mouth can help prevent undue pressure on the temporary crown.

Restore Your Smile With Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center

Whether you need a temporary crown, a permanent crown, or both, Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center team is here to guide you through the process. We will ensure your smile is restored to its natural beauty and functionality.

For those near Deerfield, contact our Deerfield office at (224) 282-8939. If you’re closer to Lakeview, our Lakeview office is ready to assist you at (773) 525-5545. Call today to take the first step toward a healthier, happier smile!