Did you know that certain types of dental restorations cannot be immediately placed and require something known as a temporary restoration? Indirect restorations, including crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and veneers, all require the use of temporary restorations. This is because unlike direct restorations that can be completed entirely within the mouth such as composite fillings, indirect restorations must be fabricated using a dental laboratory.
Although the use of a dental laboratory has many advantages, one of the main disadvantages is that there is a brief waiting period to having a permanent restoration placed since two appointments are generally needed. During the first appointment, your dentist will remove any decayed tissue from the tooth before reshaping it to accommodate the specific type of restoration. Once the tooth has been prepared, your dentist will then take an oral scan or dental impression of your mouth and send this information to the dental lab.
Since it takes time for the dental lab to custom fabricate the restoration based upon the information sent by your dentist, a second appointment will be needed once the permanent restoration is completed. However, since your natural tooth structure has already been modified to accommodate a particular type of restoration, a temporary restoration will be used for the following reasons:
To Eat & Speak
Nobody likes being told that they need to restrict their diets, however it can be tough to eat when one or more of your teeth has been altered in preparation for a dental restoration. By placing a temporary restoration, the affected tooth will be able to function properly and allow you to maintain a normal diet. Keep in mind, however, that your temporary restoration is not intended to withstand eating foods that are extremely hard or chewy. Temporary restorations also allow you to speak properly by maintaining the normal airflow that occurs when speaking.
To Save Space
When you have a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth will eventually shift in position to fill in that space. Tiny changes in position can also occur when space is created from altering the size or shape of a tooth. However, this can prevent the permanent restoration from fitting properly. For this reason, a temporary restoration is used to save the necessary amount of space to ensure the best fit.
To Give a Natural Appearance
One main concern when getting a dental restoration is how it will look once it’s done and many people desire a natural appearance. A large part of having your permanent restoration look natural has to with the position of the gums. Since your restoration is made to fit with your natural gum line, it is important that this does not change. Placing a temporary restoration helps to maintain your natural gum line so that the permanent restoration will have a natural appearance.
Having a temporary restoration placed will also protect the teeth from sensitivity or pulp infections. This is because temporary restorations cover areas of exposed dentin or thin enamel to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth.
Temporary restorations also act as a preview of your final results. Having a temporary restoration placed allows you to get accustomed to the look, feel, and fit of your restoration before the permanent one is placed. When it comes to the final restoration, however, the aesthetics and durability will be greatly improved when compared to the temporary.
Dr. Martin is a highly skilled dentist of 16 years, and a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. During this time, he has placed over 500 implants and maintains his skills by taking more CE courses than required by the State Board each year.