Crowns are remarkably versatile dental restorations. They do a perfect job of eliminating embarrassing cosmetic concerns, repairing cracked and chipped teeth, restoring full function, and protecting your tooth after a root canal.
Crowns typically need two office visits. At the first, you get a temporary crown. To be sure your permanent crown fits perfectly and blends in with the rest of your teeth, James M. Maragos, DDS, in La Grange, Illinois, prepares your tooth and takes impressions on the first visit.
The impressions go to a specialized lab that makes your permanent crown, which takes about two weeks. Until then, you wear a temporary crown that needs special care.
Your transitional crown is attached to the underlying tooth with a weaker glue than the dental cement used for your permanent crown. While you can eat as usual for the most part, a temporary crown won’t stand up to biting and chewing crunchy, hard, or sticky foods.
You can carefully chew on the other side of your mouth, but avoid sticky candy, raw vegetables, nuts, popcorn, and thick bread, chips, or pretzels until you get your permanent crown.
Hot or cold foods may affect the glue holding your temporary crown in place. The tooth underneath the crown is also more sensitive and can cause pain if the temporary crown is exposed to extreme temperatures.
Using a desensitizing toothpaste may help, but don’t hesitate to call us if the sensitivity persists or your discomfort becomes too much.
A temporary crown blends with the rest of your teeth, but it doesn’t have the tight fit of a permanent crown. That means sugar can get into the gaps and cause problems. Plaque develops quickly after eating sugar and only takes a few days to harden into tartar.
Brushing and flossing your temporary crown are essential, but you may need to make a few adjustments. As you brush your teeth, slow down and be gentle when moving your brush over the crown.
If you use an electric toothbrush, we may recommend temporarily switching to a manual brush so you don’t place excessive pressure on the crown.
Avoid vigorous up-and-down flossing because the floss may get caught on the crown. Instead, gently slide the floss in and out between the temporary crown and its adjacent teeth.
Temporary crowns protect the underlying tooth. Leaving the space empty if the crown falls off makes the tooth and its surrounding gums vulnerable to damage.
What to do if your crown cracks, loosens, or falls off? Call us immediately! We can cement it back into place or replace it if needed.
If your crown falls off and you can’t get to the office until the next day, you may be able to reattach the crown using a denture adhesive or temporary dental cement purchased at your local pharmacy. Clean the inside of the crown before putting it back on.
If you have any questions about dental crowns or need help with a temporary crown that’s loose or damaged, call Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, or request an appointment online.