Sometimes during complex restorative dental procedures patients will be given temporary or provisional restorations while they await their permanent prosthetic. This serves several purposes.
Firstly – it allows patients to ‘trial their smile’ in order to see how their restorations will feel. So any adjustments can be made at this point, BEFORE any permanent restorations are made/fitted.
Secondly– They can act as a ‘space-saver’ filling the space while any permanent prosthetic is made. This is important because when a gap is formed, adjacent natural teeth will start to gravitate towards the gap and shift in the mouth. Ultimately this can lead to bite misalignment and a whole host of other problems.
Thirdly – Provisional restorations can also act as a protector for teeth that are already prepped for natural restoration. A typical example of this would be a crown. A temporary crown would stop any tooth sensitivity or pain when biting/chewing.
Finally – A provisional restoration prevents problems with everyday functions such as speech and eating.
Typically what type of treatments make use of temporary restorations?
This could be anything from cosmetic processes such as veneers, preventative treatments such as root canal therapy, and restorative treatments such as dental bridges, dental implants, and dentures.
How are provisionals made?
Temporary restorations are usually made in a dental lab. Highly-skilled technicians will make the construction from wax molds, casts, or digital imagery taken of the patient. They take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to make, depending upon the complexity of the restoration and the treatment. In the meantime Dr Akinwande will look to prepare the area ready for the temporary teeth. Once the temporaries are back from the lab, they’re attached, and normally remain in the mouth until the permanent restorations are ready.
How long does a patient need to wear their restorations?
Ultimately this depends upon the treatment. It could be just a few days in the case of a simple crown, 1-2 months in the case of veneers, or 4-9 months in the case of dental implants.
Patients should never worry about having to wear provisional restorations. Nowadays, and on the whole, they’re just as lifelike and comfortable as a permanent restoration. The only difference being that they’re made from materials such as composite, acrylic, or aluminum, all of which can be made to fit the tooth/teeth fast. In addition provisionals are normally held in place with temporary bonding rather than with permanent cement.
If you’d like to find out more about provisional restorations and what they entail, or you’d like to book a consultation with Dr Akinwande and the team, contact us on (314) 469 6429