If you've ever had a crown placed in your mouth, you know the typical steps: one appointment to prepare the tooth and another to fit and deliver the final crown. In between, you were given a temporary crown as a placeholder to protect the tooth. Many patients love the look and feel of their temporary crowns and are curious as to why they can't be used as a permanent solution.
There are a few important reasons why we don't use temporary crowns as final restorations. First, they are made of a weaker material. The composites used to make temporary crowns are designed to be easy to cast and manipulate while remaining durable enough for short term use. They are not designed to stand up to years of biting, chewing and grinding. Only a permanent crown made from high strength metal, zirconia or composite can handle this task. Secondly, there is no was to adapt a temporary crown to a tooth as exacting as a lab made permanent restoration. The crown margin (where the crown meets the tooth) needs to be adapted to the tooth on the micron scale to seal out bacteria and prevent tooth decay. This level of precision can only be reached with the tools and techniques of an experienced dental lab.
You may have heard of "same day" crowns that skip the temporary crown step. While this option may sound attractive, our office feels that this technology still needs further improvement before it matches the quality of work we get from our dental labs. We only offer new procedures if we are absolutely sure they are the best options for our patients! If you would like to know more about crown procedures, temporary crowns or any other dental topics, please give our office a call.