Temporary crowns are used to protect the tooth after being prepared for a permanent crown while the patient is waiting for the permanent crown to be made for them. The temporary crown also helps to prevent the prepared tooth from shifting in it position; when teeth are not contacting other teeth next to them, they can drift. The same is true if they are not in full occlusion, or biting position. It can sometimes be several weeks before a permanent crown is put it, and without a temporary crown, the tooth can move, which presents problems in placing the permanent crown, which may not fit in position.
It is important to follow instructions given to you by your dentist about your temporary crown. I tell my patients to wait 30 minutes after the appointment before eating or drinking; to avoid sticky foods or chewing gum while they have the temporary in place; to brush the tooth, but be careful when flossing it so as not to loosen the temporary, and if at any time the temporary becomes uncomfortable or loose or comes off, they should call us right away so that it can be put back in place. Even if you are not experiencing any pain, it is important that the temporary crown stays on the tooth until the time that the permanent crown is ready for you.