Why Do I Need a Temporary Restoration?

Temporary Restoration

When receiving restorative dental care, your dentist may suggest the use of a temporary restoration. Whether you will need to have a temporary restoration placed or not will depend upon the type of restoration you are having placed. This is because there are two different types of restorations that are applied in different ways. 

The first type of dental restorations are known as direct restorations since they can be fabricated entirely inside the mouth and only take one appointment to complete. Two common examples of direct restorations are composite fillings and minor restorative or cosmetic alterations completed with composite bonding. Both restorations are fabricated using composite resin, which can be hardened in place on the surface of the tooth. 

The other type of dental restorations are indirect restorations. Unlike direct restorations, indirect restorations, such as crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and veneers, cannot be fabricated inside the mouth and must instead be fabricated using a dental lab. Because of this, the procedure cannot be completed in a single appointment and usually takes at least two appointments to complete. Therefore, when placing an indirect restoration, your dentist will likely place a temporary restoration that you will wear for the time in between your first and second appointment. 

Although the thought of having to wear a temporary restoration before having your permanent restoration placed might sound less than appealing, there are several important reasons why you need a temporary restoration, such as: 

crown being placed over tooth

For Protection

In order for an indirect restoration to fit properly on the tooth, any decayed or damaged tissue must be removed first. Additionally, some healthy tissue may also need to be removed or reshaped to ensure that the restoration can fit. As a result, the affected tooth may have areas of exposed dentin or extremely thin enamel, which can make it easier for bacteria to enter the tooth and cause a pulp infection. Placing a temporary restoration over the tooth protects these vulnerable areas and decreases the risk of this happening. 

For Eating

Another thing that can happen as a result of exposed dentin or thin enamel is tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can make it hard to eat or drink without significant discomfort. Not only that, but having an uneven or missing tooth creates an uneven bite, which can also make eating difficult. Although they are not as strong as permanent restorations, temporary restorations help you to maintain the same biting and chewing functions until the permanent can be placed. 

To Hold Space

Temporary restorations are also important to reserve the necessary amount of space in the mouth. When a tooth goes missing, the surrounding teeth will slowly begin to shift and fill in the gap left behind. Something similar can also occur even when a single tooth has been modified and has created more space in the mouth. Placing a temporary ensures that the surrounding teeth stay in their correct place so that the permanent restoration will be able to fit into the intended space. Additionally, temporary restorations also maintain the natural gum line and prevent it from changing. Preserving the natural gum line is an important part of making the restoration look natural. 

For Style

veneer shown over oddly shaped tooth

One main perk of having to wear a temporary restoration is that you will get an opportunity to see a preview of your new smile. Modern temporary restorations are meant to be aesthetic, so it will let you experience how the final results will look. You will also be able to experience the way your restoration fits and feels so that any changes can be made on your permanent restoration. 

team photo of Covington Dental

Dr. Mark and Dr. Gina Covington are committed to providing their patients with the highest level of care. Both doctors are members of the Academy of General Dentistry as well as the American Dental Association. Locally, both belong to the Western Piedmont Dental society and the Foothills Dental Continuum. Because dentistry is a dynamic field, continued education is a paramount concern. Both Dr. Mark and Dr. Gina have completed several hundred hours of continued education to become proficient in the science and placement of dental implants. This course of study has allowed them to become Fellows of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

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