In this article
A temporary dental crown is a cap placed over your tooth while you wait for a permanent crown. Conventional dental crowns take a few weeks to manufacture in a lab. Your dentist will install a temporary version to protect your tooth during that time.
Because you only wear them briefly, temporary crowns aren’t as high-quality as their permanent counterparts. They may not look like a natural part of your smile.
The good news is that temporary crowns are just that: temporary. You’ll only have to wear them for 2 to 3 weeks before you get your permanent crown. Permanent dental crowns are custom-made to fit your tooth and look like a natural part of your mouth.
If you hate the way your temporary crown looks, call your dentist. However, fixing a temporary crown usually involves additional steps and significantly higher costs.
Here are some tips for what to do if you don’t like your temporary crown:
During your initial consultation, talk to your dentist about a diagnostic wax-up. A diagnostic wax-up lets you see a preview of what your permanent crown will look like in a wax form.
The procedure involves your dentist sending an initial mold to the lab. They’ll send back a mock-up of your crown’s appearance so you can make adjustments. It can also help your dentist decide how much tooth reduction you’ll need.4
When you order the wax-up, you can also ask for temporary crowns to be made by the laboratory. Remember that the diagnostic wax-up and lab-fabricated temporary crowns will increase your wait time and cost.
The way your temporary crown looks may make you nervous. If you’re concerned about your permanent crown's appearance, speak to your dentist.
Your permanent crown will typically be of much higher quality than the temporary crown. It’s custom-made to fit you and match your natural shade.
Discuss possible results with your dentist if you're concerned about what to expect.
The good news is that temporary crowns will only be in place for a few weeks. Even if your temporary crown looks horrible, it won’t last forever. Your permanent crown will look much better.
If you don’t want to add extra time and money to your crown process, wait until it’s time to replace the temporary crowns.
Temporary crowns look like the tooth they are replacing. They may be digitally fabricated, or your dentist or the dental assistant may make a temporary crown chairside in their office.1
Most temporary crowns consist of materials like acrylic, plastic, or resin. They are weaker than permanent crowns, so properly caring for them is essential.
Yes, a temporary crown should look natural. They are made with a tooth-colored material to mimic your natural teeth.
However, not all temporary crowns are custom-made, so the color may not match your natural shade exactly. The fit may be flawed, too. Your dentist will likely know this, but your permanent crown should look more natural.
Even though they might not look exactly like your surrounding teeth, temporary crowns shouldn’t be too noticeable. Unless someone looks at your teeth up close, they likely won’t be able to spot a temporary crown.
You will need a temporary crown if you are having your permanent crown made by a laboratory.
Part of getting a crown involves removing or reshaping your tooth. A temporary crown protects the exposed tooth from damage until your dentist installs the permanent one.
Though temporary crowns are a placeholder for permanent crowns, the two aren’t exactly alike.
You should only wear temporary crowns for a few weeks, whereas permanent crowns can last an average of 6 years or more.
While temporary crowns are made of a weaker material, permanent crowns are more durable. The material your dentist chooses depends on which tooth it’s replacing.2 They’re usually made of:
Permanent dental crowns are custom-made in a lab to match your teeth. Studies show around 90% of dental crowns last for at least 6 years.3
A temporary crown is a placeholder while waiting for your permanent crown. Your dentist may fabricate temporary crowns in their office or have them on hand.
Because it isn’t a custom shade, a temporary crown may not completely match your natural teeth. However, it should still look similar in size and shape to your other teeth.
You may not like how your temporary crown looks. However, you’ll only wear it for a few weeks before you get your permanent one. You can talk to your dentist about getting a diagnostic wax-up of your crowns, though it will take longer and cost more.
In this article