Did you know that there are two different types of dental restorations known as direct and indirect restorations? Direct restorations are those that can be entirely completed inside the mouth, such as composite fillings. Indirect restorations, on the other hand, must be fabricated in a dental lab before being placed inside the mouth. Some examples of indirect restorations include crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and veneers.
Indirect restorations are generally placed over the course of two dental appointments. During the first dental appointment, your dentist will need to prepare the tooth. This usually involves removing any damaged or decayed tissue and then reshaping the remaining enamel to accommodate a particular type of restoration. After the tooth has been properly prepared, your dentist will then obtain the necessary information used to fabricate the restoration by taking a dental impression or oral scan.
The second dental appointment is used to check the fit of the permanent restoration and to cement it in place. However since your restoration will not be placed until the second appointment, your dentist will place a temporary restoration at the end of your first appointment. Temporary restorations serve many important functions, such as:
When one or more teeth are modified in terms of size and shape, the surrounding teeth may shift slightly to fill in space that may have been created. Teeth also shift to fill in spaces left by missing teeth. Unfortunately, if the surrounding teeth shift even slightly, this can affect the fit of the permanent restoration. A temporary restoration is made to mimic the size of the permanent restoration as a way of preserving the space.
Contouring the Gum line
Having a temporary restoration placed also preserves the natural contour of your gums. Just as your teeth can shift in response to changes, the contour of the gum line can also be affected. However, discrepancies in the gum line can make your restoration stand out. To prevent this, a temporary restoration is placed, which maintains the natural gum line.
Maintaining Eating and Speaking Abilities
Temporary restorations also allow you to maintain your eating and speaking abilities until your permanent restoration is placed. Without a temporary, it is harder to eat and speak properly since your tooth will be a different size and shape. In some cases, having a temporary placed can also protect against tooth sensitivity while eating or drinking.
Protecting the Tooth
Indirect restorations require the removal of varying amounts of enamel in order to fit properly. Depending on the type of restoration, this can mean that there are areas of thin enamel or even exposed dentin. Without enough protection, the tooth can become sensitive and more susceptible to a pulp infection. Therefore, a temporary restoration is placed over the affected tooth to act as the protective barrier.
Allowing You to Preview Results
Temporary restorations also allow you to get an idea of what the final results will look, feel, and fit like. Even though the permanent restoration will ultimately look better, the temporary restoration will still offer a preview of the results.