Temporary Crown: Benefits, Care Tips & What to Expect

Having a broken tooth can cause eating and speaking difficulties. Also, It can be embarrassing to smile when you have a broken front tooth. Dental crowns can restore the appearance and function of damaged teeth. However, you have to wait a week or two to get a permanent crown. A temporary crown is a quick way to cover a broken tooth while waiting for your permanent crown to finish. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits, uses, and how to care for a temporary crown.

What is a Temporary Crown?

A temporary crown is a tooth-shaped cap used for a few weeks until you get a permanent one. It restores the function and appearance of your broken tooth and protects it from damage. Temporary crowns can be made at the dental office or laboratory from materials like:

A dental crown for a broken tooth may take a week or two, even with an emergency appointment. Meanwhile, you may need to eat, speak, and smile without any problems. So, temporary crowns may be a good solution for you until the dental treatment is over.

A prepared tooth with an acrylic temporary crown
Temporary crowns are usually made of acrylic resin or composite materials.

Uses & Benefits of Temporary Crowns

When dentists prepare a tooth to receive a crown, they prepare the tooth and decrease its size. Sometimes, the neighboring teeth may tilt, and the opposite tooth may over-erupt while waiting for the permanent crown. Therefore, the permanent dental crown won’t fit over the prepared tooth.

A temporary crown can prevent the movement of teeth surrounding the prepared tooth. Also, it covers the exposed vital tooth, reducing sensitivity to temperature and pressure.

Here are some of the benefits you may get:

  • Protect the tooth structure from further damage while waiting for a permanent restoration.
  • Provides a cosmetic, temporary restoration, especially for front teeth, until the permanent crown is placed.
  • Prevent pain or tooth sensitivity. If the prepared tooth is vital, tooth preparation may cause tooth sensitivity to sugary foods or pain with hot and cold food or drinks (sensitivity to temperature)
  • Restore the chewing function, which gives you the ability to eat normally.
  • Hold the prepared tooth in its place and prevent its movement.
  • Prevent the tilting of neighboring natural teeth.
  • Prevent the over-eruption of the opposing natural tooth.
  • Cover a dental implant.

How is the Dental Crown Procedure Performed?

When you go to the dentist because of a broken or decayed tooth, they will examine your teeth and take X-rays. First, they will treat existing dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist may recommend a dental crown if you have a severely damaged or misshapen tooth, or if a root canal treatment has been performed, to restore the tooth’s strength, function, and appearance.

During the appointment for crown treatment, the dentist will numb the area around the affected tooth with local anesthesia. They will then perform tooth preparation by removing some of its outer structure to ensure the crown will fit properly. After that, they will take dental impressions of the prepared tooth and adjacent teeth, and send them to the dental laboratory for the fabrication of a dental crown, for example, porcelain crowns.

While the permanent crown is being fabricated, the dentist will place a temporary (short-term) crown over the prepared tooth. You may get a custom-formed provisional crown from acrylic resin or composite crown. These crowns protect teeth from damage and maintain their function and appearance until the permanent crown is ready. Your dentist will then cement the crown with temporary cement, also known as provisional cement.

Once the permanent crown is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary acrylic or composite crown, and then cement the porcelain crown onto the prepared tooth with a dental cement.

After cementing the crown in position, the dentist will remove excess cement and make final adjustments to ensure comfort and proper occlusion.

Can I Use the Temporary Crown as Normally as a Permanent Crown?

While a temporary crown is designed to function and protect your tooth during the interim period before your permanent crown is placed, it is not as durable or strong.

Temporary (short-term) crown may break or discolor over time. Also, it does not fit perfectly on the prepared tooth like the permanent one, which may cause inflammation of gum tissue and further damage to the tooth when used for a long time.

It’s advisable to avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods because these can potentially dislodge or damage the temporary crown, compromising its effectiveness in protecting your tooth.

When a temporary crown is chipped, contact your dentist promptly to schedule an appointment for repair or replacement.

How Long Do Temporary Crowns Last?

It is difficult to predict the lifespan of a temporary crown. Also, it depends on many factors such as your oral hygiene habits, the type of material used for the cover, the thickness of it, and the force on the crown.

The temporary crown is usually used for 4 – 6 weeks to protect the prepared tooth.

How to Care for Your Temporary Crown?

Taking care of your oral health and temporary crown is crucial to ensure the success of your dental treatment. Here are some dental care tips:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Also, incorporate normal brushing of the crown with toothpaste into your oral care routine to prevent the accumulation of food particles around the crown.
  • Avoid biting sticky, chewy, tough, hard, or crunchy foods: Hard foods such as popcorn, nuts, raw baby carrots, hard candy, etc., should be avoided until you get a permanent crown. Biting these foods can crack or break the temporary crown.
  • Avoid chewing on the temporary crown: Eat soft foods and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Take extra care with hot or cold foods or drinks: The temporary crown doesn’t perfectly fit like the permanent one, which may lead to sensitivity to temperature and sweet foods.
  • Don’t postpone your next dental appointment: Temporary crowns may break or dislodge with long-term use.


Temporary crowns play a vital role during the interim period between tooth preparation and permanent crown placement. Custome-made from composite or acrylic materials, they provide essential protection for the prepared tooth, and restore their shape and function while waiting for permanent restoration.

However, temporary crowns are not designed for long-term usage. They may break or dislodge if you bite chewy, crunchy, tough, hard, or sticky foods. So, take extra care of your temporary crown until you get the permanent one.

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