In recent years, dental cosmetics have come a long way. Patients are able to use crowns to restore teeth that are broken, decayed or stained. This type of restoration looks natural and can completely transform a person's smile. When a tooth is prepared for a crown, a temporary one is often cemented in place so that a permanent one can be fabricated in a dental laboratory. Patients may wonder if there is a difference between these two types of crowns and if it is important to have a permanent restoration placed.
Temporary crowns do not have a custom fit, so they may not look as polished as permanent ones. These restorations are also made of a material that is only meant to last for a short time, so these are not a permanent fix. It is important that patients understand the necessity of the custom-fabricated crown being placed after the initial crown prep procedure.
A custom crown is made from a mold of a patient's teeth. This mold is sent to a lab where a crown is cast to fit the person's tooth exactly. Permanent crowns usually have better retention because they fit on the tooth better than a temporary one. This can help prevent a new cavity starting around the margins of the restoration because the seal will be tight. If a patient wears a temporary crown for too long, the risk of tooth damage is greater.
Temporary crowns are typically made of stainless steel or acrylic material. While these materials will hold up for a while, they are not meant to last forever. The patient is only meant to wear the temporary materials while the new crowns are being made; this typically takes a few weeks. Permanent crowns can be made of porcelain and stronger metals that offer a stronger structure with which to bite. Teeth take a lot of wear and tear, so it is important that the materials used in dental cosmetics are able to withstand this.
Temporary crowns are not always made with aesthetics in mind; therefore, a permanent crown will often look more natural. The dental lab can create a crown that matches the patient's other teeth so that the new tooth will not stand out. The better materials used will often look more aesthetically pleasing as well; for example, porcelain often reflects light better than acrylic.
Deciding to invest in dental cosmetics can be a life-changing experience for many patients. A new smile can increase confidence and help a patient feel comfortable smiling. With the advancements in modern dentistry, creating a beautiful smile is easier than ever before. For patients interested in this procedure, a thorough consultation is recommended. Patients must understand that temporary restorations are just the starting point, and the permanent crowns must be placed in the end.
Request an appointment or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at 602-547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.