One dramatic improvement in modern dental implant procedures is the ability to place a provisional dental crown on top of the implant on the same day as the implant. This provisional crown looks good and it seems functional, but it’s not designed for long-term use.
You might be tempted to leave the provisional restoration in place because it looks good, but you shouldn’t. If you don’t replace the provisional crown, you can experience many problems.
Provisional restorations aren’t intended to stay in place for a lifetime. They’re secured so they will usually stay in place during the healing period, but after that, they become uncertain. You are likely to experience the loss of the provisional crown if you leave it in too long. It might be rebonded, but it won’t give you the longevity that your permanent crown will.
Your final crown is designed using an advanced ceramic that resists stains even better than your natural teeth. A provisional crown, though, doesn’t. It’s likely to become stained if you leave it in for more than the few weeks to few months it takes for the implant to heal.
Provisional dental crowns aren’t made with the same advanced ceramics as your final crown would be. This means that they aren’t able to withstand the same level of force. If you bite down on something hard or experience trauma to the provisional crown, it’s likely to break off.
Final crowns are designed using the best materials available, and they can sometimes last as long as the dental implant–decades.
Provisional crowns are designed to look like your natural teeth, and they’re designed to mostly function like a replacement tooth. However, they’re not quite the same.
In the past, we didn’t place crowns on new implants because of the fear that too much force too soon could lead to implant failure. Provisional crowns avoid this problem by creating what we describe as “light occlusion,” they get pressure from opposing teeth, but not too much. This is ideal during the healing period. A little pressure helps stimulate the bone, but there’s not so much that it can dislodge the healing implant.
But once healing is complete, your implant wants more pressure to help it develop strong bone that holds the implant for a lifetime. Since the provisional crown only has light occlusion, the implant may never develop the stronger bone and may be more susceptible to failure.
Always Replace the Provisional Crown
The provisional dental crown on your implant might look good. It might even seem like it can function like a natural tooth. However, the provisional crown is not designed or placed to be a long-term restoration. Leaving it in place for a long period of time can cause many problems, from annoying failures to unattractive results, to a broken restoration and even implant failure. And that’s something you don’t want to risk.
If you started your dental implant procedure but never finished, we can help. Even if a different dentist performed the first part of your procedure, we can help you get a fully functional and durable final dental crown.