For A Limited Time Only: Why Resin Dental Crowns Are Not For Long-Term Use

A ceramic dental crown is intended for ongoing use. Wear and tear means it may need to be replaced at some point in the distant future, but it can be thought of as a permanent crown. So why does a dentist sometimes need to give a patient a temporary crown? And wouldn't it be more convenient to just keep wearing your temporary crown?

Standard Ceramic Crowns

Permanent ceramic dental crowns can often be made while you wait. Your dentist uses a small handheld device (an intra-oral scanner) to make a digital model of the tooth. Using these dimensions, a small machine mills the crown that will be fitted over the damaged tooth. More complicated cases may use an offsite dental laboratory to make the crown. In such a case, your dentist will fit a temporary dental crown until its permanent replacement is ready. The temporary crown feels comfortable, gives you a functional tooth once again, and looks fine. Why can't it be your permanent crown?

Temporary Nature

The temporary nature of a crown is determined by its material. It may look acceptable after it has been fitted, but please remember that it's made of resin (plastic). This means it has less physical density and resulting strength than a ceramic crown, leading to sharply accelerated wear and tear. This wear and tear is most pronounced with the color of the restoration. It will discolor, particularly in response to heavily pigmented foods and beverages. This staining can also lead to a dark line where the resin restoration meets the natural tooth structure.

Your Bite Pattern

Staining aside, a resin dental crown will eventually begin to degrade under your bite pattern (the physical pressure exerted on it from its opposing tooth). Natural dental enamel (the outer layer of your teeth) and ceramic dental crowns are more durable and therefore have long-term compatibility with your other teeth. A resin dental crown may begin to chip, meaning a failure of the restoration is imminent. The restoration is essentially plastic, and its ability to mimic the appearance and function of natural dental enamel is for a limited time only. 

In an attempt to be financially sensible, you may be considering skipping the final stage of your dental crown procedure—which is the manufacturing and fitting of a permanent ceramic crown. This final step cannot be avoided. You may be satisfied with your temporary ceramic crown, but this satisfaction won't last. 

For more info about dental crowns, contact a local company.