The temporary crown

A temporary crown is a provisional placeholder until the permanent crown has been created and cemented. A temporary crown serves as a short-term temporary for a few days to weeks and as a long-term temporary for up to several months. Functionality is always important: chewing function must be guaranteed in the non-visible molar region, while aesthetics play a particularly important role in the visible anterior region. In both cases, structural strength must be ensured. The following always applies: in restorative dentistry, a temporary crown is not designed to be permanent.

Why a crown at all?

Dental crowns become necessary when it is no longer possible to restore the damaged tooth with a filling, for example due to caries, accidental damage, root canal treatment or tooth loss.

Filling ↔ permanent crown

A filling is firmly anchored in the tooth, whereas a crown covers the entire part of the tooth which extends into the oral cavity and gives it back its original shape, stability and largely natural appearance.

There are permanent post crowns with a special anchoring of the crown in the root canal - often the last resort after root canal treatment. Telescopic or double crowns are used to anchor removable or fixed dentures - the so-called telescopic prosthesis - to replace several missing teeth with maximum functionality and appearance. An artificial tooth root - an implant with a crown - replaces a completely missing tooth without grinding down the neighboring teeth.

The temporary crown comes before the permanent crown

If the tooth is damaged and requires a permanent crown, the intermediate step of a temporary crown - i.e. a provisional - is usually necessary. Recommended waiting times are: 

  • after a direct capping of the tooth nerve, approximately six months,

  • approximately three to six months after root canal treatment for pathological processes of the nerve or tooth root, including regular X-ray checks,

  • approximately three to six months for implants (artificial tooth roots).

Source of waiting times: Technikerkrankenkasse

Temporary crown, made directly on the dentist's chair

If only one tooth is involved in a temporary restoration, the dentists make a dental impression before grinding the remaining tooth. After the tooth has been ground, the impression is made with a liquid, biocompatible composite and fixed to the ground tooth. After a few minutes of curing, the temporary crown is ready for short-term use with just a few adjustments.

Temporary crown and dentures, made in the laboratory

When it comes to a fixed crown on an implant or telescopic crowns for telescopic dentures to replace several missing teeth, the dental laboratory is in demand. Here, dental technicians use a plaster model to fabricate one or more temporary crowns made of biocompatible acrylic composite, for example. The dentists then fix the temporary crown to the ground tooth or tooth stump or to the artificial tooth root (implant) using temporary cement.

In the anterior region - if several teeth are completely missing - the dental laboratory creates a customized temporary clasp prosthesis (partial framework or RPD) which, in addition to the temporary artificial anterior teeth, also includes a dummy gum to close the gap.


A temporary crown is used for the rapid restoration of dentures and is intended to offer patients an everyday life without major restrictions. Another task of the temporary crown is to prepare the gums for the final crown. However, a temporary crown is always a transitory restoration, fixed with provisional cement. Therefore, a temporary crown is not as robust as a permanent, fixed crown made of metal-ceramic or zirconia. Caution is advised:

  • when using dental floss and toothbrushes: careful oral hygiene and plaque removal to avoid possible inflammation are mandatory. This is because bacteria can easily accumulate under the temporary restoration, which could lead to pulpitis, i.e. inflammation of the nerves.

  • when eating hard and sticky foods. Keyword: adapt your eating habits during the temporary restoration! When eating, exert little pressure on the temporary crown; it is better to chew on the opposite side. 

  • Is the temporary crown still coming loose? No problem! The dentists will quickly put the temporary restoration back in place with the help of cement.