Teeth are essential for eating and speaking, and taking care of them is important for long-term health. Our diet and lifestyle choices can directly affect dental health, in some cases leading to tooth decay, periodontitis, and chipped or broken teeth. Problems with tooth loss affect 120 million people in the United States, and 36 million have no teeth at all.
There are several ways to treat problem teeth, including fillings, bondings, root canals, veneers, and crowns. Temporary crowns are useful to preserve or restore teeth, but once you get them, how do you take care of them? What can you do to avoid more tooth damage? To explore these questions, let’s look at when temporary crowns are necessary, how you manage them, and how long they last.
If you are looking for ways to care for damaged teeth or other dental needs in Midtown East, Manhattan, you can find help from Kenn Kakosian, DDS, PhD, at DentAlign NYC.
When do you need temporary crowns?
There are many reasons you may need a temporary crown, including:
- Protecting decaying or weak teeth in danger of cracking or breaking
- Repairing broken or worn-out teeth
- Stabilizing other dental appliances, like a dental bridge
- Covering a dental implant
- Covering discolored teeth
- Covering a tooth that’s undergone a root canal
These crowns are often made of metallic or acrylic materials that are fitted with temporary dental cement. They are not customized, as they are only used for a short time, so any adjustments needed are done with filling.
How do you manage them?
Since the materials used in temporary crowns are not designed for long-term use, caring for them requires some patience and work to avoid damaging them or doing more damage to your teeth.
Here are some steps to caring for crowns properly:
Right after the procedure
Once the crowns are in place, you should avoid food and drink for at least half an hour to let the cement set in. Also be careful eating very hot or cold foods, as your crown is going to be more sensitive.
Foods to avoid
You’ll need to avoid specific types of foods as well. Sticky, crunchy, chewy, tough, and hard foods will be much harder on your crown, and can potentially do more damage to it and your tooth. This means avoiding large amounts of sugary foods, hard candies, chewing ice, nuts, caramel, and other foods that pose a danger to your temporary crown.
Be sure to brush it gently with a soft-bristled brush and floss daily using an in-and-out motion to avoid pulling the crown out. Brush twice daily and floss very carefully. If the crown does come out, you’ll need to get some denture adhesive to affix it back on your tooth until you can get back to your dentist to have it taken care of.
How long do they last?
Temporary crowns are only in place until permanent crowns or other dental appliances are placed to fix a dental problem for the long term. This generally means only wearing these crowns for about two to three weeks while waiting for customized dental appliances to be made. Permanent crowns are designed to last for years with routine checkups to make sure everything is working properly.
So if you’re dealing with tooth problems and you need temporary crowns, taking care of them will be important to protect your teeth while you wait for a more permanent solution. If you’re ready to get temporary crowns fitted, make an appointment at DentAlign NYC.