What do you know about temporary dental restorations? If you’re like most people, you probably only have a vague idea of what they are. Temporary restorations, also known as provisional restorations, are dental materials that are placed in the mouth for a short period of time to perform specific functions. In this blog post, we will discuss what temporary restorations are and why they are used in dentistry. We will also provide some tips on how to care for them!
What are temporary restorations?
Temporary restorations are used when you are having an indirect restoration placed, such as a crown, bridge, or inlay/onlay. This is because the indirect restoration must be made in a dental laboratory, which takes about 1-2 weeks. In the meantime, a temporary restoration is placed to maintain your smile.
Temporary restorations are made of different materials depending on their intended purpose. They can be made of acrylic, composite resin, or metal. Acrylic is the most commonly used material because it is strong and durable yet easy to remove when necessary. Composite resin and metal are sometimes used for more complex cases where a stronger restoration is needed.
Why Do I Need a Temporary Restoration?
Although temporary restorations are only worn for about 1-2 weeks, they still play a very important role in your treatment plan. There are several reasons why your dentist may recommend a temporary restoration:
To Reserve the Space:
When you have a tooth that is altered in its shape or size, the surrounding teeth will begin to shift towards any empty space that has been made available. This can cause problems with your bite and make it difficult to clean your teeth properly. It can also make prevent the permanent restoration from fitting properly. A temporary restoration helps to keep the space open until your permanent restoration is ready and ensures a proper fit.
To Protect the Tooth:
A tooth that has been altered in any way is also more susceptible to breakage and decay, especially if the dentin has been exposed. A temporary restoration helps to protect the tooth from further damage and decay while you are waiting for your permanent restoration. Temporary restorations also prevent bacteria from entering the tooth and causing pulpitis.
To Allow for Proper Eating and Speaking:
If you have a tooth that is missing or has been altered in shape or size, it can make it difficult to eat and speak properly. A temporary restoration helps to maintain chewing and speech functions until your permanent restoration is ready.
To Maintain the Gum Line:
Another important reason to have a temporary restoration placed is that it helps to maintain the contour of your gums. This is especially important when placing crowns or veneers because it ensures that your gums will cover the base of the restoration so that it has a natural appearance. Not only that, but it is important for the gums to fit over the restoration in order to prevent pockets of bacteria from forming and causing gum disease.
To Provide a Preview:
In some cases, your dentist may use a temporary restoration to give you an idea of how your permanent restoration will look and feel. This is especially useful when placing larger restorations like veneers or crowns because it allows you to make sure that you are happy with the color, shape, and size of the restoration. However, it is important to keep in mind that the permanent restorations will always look better than the temporary ones.
Caring for Your Temporary Restoration
Although temporary restorations are only worn for about 1-2 weeks, they still need to be cared for in order to prevent them from being damaged or lost. In fact, temporary restorations are not as durable as permanent ones, and are much more likely to break or fall out. Here are some tips on how to care for your temporary restoration:
- Avoid eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage or dislodge the restoration.
- Avoid chewing on the same side as the temporary restoration.
- Be careful when flossing not to pull on the floss too hard and accidentally remove the restoration.
- Brush your teeth gently so as not to damage the restoration.
- If you do experience any pain or discomfort, contact your dentist right away. This can be a sign that your temporary restoration is loose.
In this blog post, we have discussed what temporary restorations are, why they are important in dentistry, and how to care for them. We hope that this has helped you to understand the role of temporary restorations in your dental treatment plan. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact your dentist.
Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.