Temporary crowns are placed on your tooth after it is contoured for a crown, or cap. The temporary crown is meant to cover the tooth so it isn’t sensitive and doesn’t shift position during the time when our lab is making your new crown.
Temporary crowns are made of a tooth colored material that is not meant to last for more than a few weeks. It is a relative flexible material that is cemented with temporary cement so it can be removed easily when it is time to place your new crown.
If you are careful to avoid the temporary, it will be stable for a few weeks. It is best to not chew hard or sticky foods in the area of your temporary. It is OK to floss around the temporary, but only floss towards the gums and pull the floss out to the side. If you pull the floss back towards the chewing surface, it will likely make your temporary crown loose.
If your temporary crown comes off, please call our office to have it re-cemented. You can put the temporary crown back on yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so, until you are able to come in for a visit. The crown only fits on one direction. Don’t force it on. You can place Vaseline on the inside of the temporary. This will help the crown adhere to the tooth.
Even if the tooth isn’t sensitive, it is very important to keep the temporary crown on the tooth to prevent the tooth and the adjacent teeth from shifting. This can complicate the placement of your new crown.
With proper care, temporary crowns should be stable and functional for the short period of time while your new crown is being fabricated.
Crowns, or caps, can sometimes become loose and come off of your tooth. If this occurs, it commonly isn’t an emergency.
Once you recover from the initial shock of your crown falling off, make sure to remove the crown and put it somewhere safe. The crown can sometimes be re-cemented if the tooth and crown are stable. The tooth base may be temperature sensitive and feel odd to your tongue. If you avoid the area with eating and drinking, you should be fine until you are able to come to the office to have the tooth and crown evaluated. Gentle brushing to keep the area clean is important.
It is not uncommon to have some temperature or pressure sensitivity after a new filling or crown is placed. This irritation should vanish in a few days. If you are having any sensitivity, or if your bite feels odd, after a week passes, please call our office for a brief appointment. The most common source of lingering discomfort on a recently filled or crowned tooth is the bite being slightly off. Being numb and having your mouth open during the filling or crown appointment can make it very difficult for you to tell how the bite feels. A quick adjustment will resolve the sensitivity a majority of the time.
You may have the unfortunate experience of a tooth or filling breaking.
When this happens, you will probably experience some initial pain and sensitivity. Most of the time, the broken piece will come off of the tooth. If the tooth breaks deep into the gums, the piece may not come out. The loose piece typically pinches your gums each time you chew on the tooth. While this is rather shocking and may worry you, if you avoid the area, you will likely not have ongoing pain or sensitivity.
Give us a call so we can examine the area and determine best way to stabilize the tooth.
Limit any snacks and non-water drinks throughout the day, including limiting lemon water, carbonated water, and sports drinks. Less frequency and shorter duration, less than 20 minutes, means fewer cavities. Unfortunately, any food, no matter how healthy, can potentially increase your cavity risk.
After a snack or meal, brush your teeth. If you are unable to brush, swish with tap water vigorously for 30 seconds, or chew sugarless chewing gum for a few minutes. All of these will disrupt the activation of the cavity causing bacteria and should result in fewer cavities.
We can discuss the use of a prescription fluoride toothpaste, like Clinpro 5000, to replace your regular toothpaste. Higher strength toothpaste will make your teeth more resistant to the acids produced by the cavity causing bacteria.
Sugarless gum is great at reducing cavity risk, but Xylitol may be even better. Any 100% Xylitol gum or breath mints used after each meal or 5 -10 times a day, for at least five minutes will help to control the cavity causing bacteria.
And of course, daily flossing and brushing is vital to your oral health. Manual tooth brushing is a good start, but an electric tooth brush like the Sonicare, can be a big improvement in making your teeth and gums healthier.