Your Mouth. Your Health. Our Support.

Table of contents

What Does a Temporary Crown Look Like?

Wondering what a temporary crown looks like? Flossy has the answer in our informative article. Learn about the appearance and purpose of temporary dental crowns.

Last updated on

July 19, 2023

Katharine Hall

Find a Dentist near you

And save money with Flossy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
What Does a Temporary Crown Look Like?

Cavities are one of the most common diseases in the entire country, right behind the common cold. And while this doesn’t mean they’re something you want to get, it does mean that there are loads of treatment options at your disposal.

If a cavity becomes severe, you might need to get a root canal followed by a crown. But the process of placing a crown can take some time, and your permanent crown might not be ready for a few days or weeks.

In the meantime, temporary crowns can be used. Here’s everything you need to know about temporary crowns for correcting your teeth.

What Is a Temporary Crown?

Temporary crowns are exactly what they sound like: they are crowns that are used as a temporary fix before your permanent crown can be cemented into place. Crowns themselves are sort of like little caps that go over the top of your tooth to protect the natural tooth underneath.

Temporary crowns are used when you require a permanent crown. This is because the process of making a permanently placed crown can take time. Your dentist will make a mold of your mouth and teeth before sending the information off to a lab. The lab and your dental healthcare team will then work to create a permanent crown that fits perfectly into your mouth.

But after a root canal, they can’t leave the inside of your tooth exposed while you wait for the permanent option to be placed. So, they’ll put a temporary crown in place to protect the tooth in the interim.

Since temporary crowns are not as durable as permanent crowns, take extra care of your teeth when brushing and flossing so that you don’t damage your piece.

Who Needs Dental Crowns?

You might need to get a temporary and permanent dental crown for a wide range of reasons that are all focused on restoring a tooth that’s been damaged. This includes:

  • A weak tooth that needs protection from decay.
  • To cover a filling after a root canal procedure.
  • To fix a tooth that might need to be replaced.
  • To keep a dental bridge in place.
  • Covering teeth that do not have an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Dental crowns are usually a second choice for cavity treatments. In most cases, dentists will try to use a filling before needing to do a root canal procedure because the goal is to secure as much of the natural tooth as possible.

What Do Temporary Crowns Do?

Temporary crowns have a few different purposes that make them important for placement after certain dental procedures. The functions of crowns include:

  • Protecting the natural tooth and gums
  • Limiting tooth and gum sensitivity
  • Allowing you to smile normally without a gap
  • Maintaining proper spacing in your teeth
  • Helping the dentist see how the permanent crown will function
  • Letting you chew and eat

These types of crowns can be used on teeth that have undergone a root canal or a tooth that’s been repaired for a number of reasons. Some dental offices have the equipment available to make a permanent crown on the same day, but in most cases, it will take a few weeks before you can get the permanent piece.

How Long Does a Temporary Crown Stay in Place?

The length of time that you need to have your temporary crown in your mouth is dependent on the extent of the dental work that you need. For instance, if you’re getting a permanent crown from a dental implant, it can take months for the bone to heal before it can be placed. If it’s from a root canal, you need to wait for the permanent crown to be built.

In most cases, you can expect to have the temporary crown on for two to three weeks before a permanent one is placed.

Can a Temporary Crown Fall Out?

Temporary crowns are glued into place with a temporary cement that is super strong, so it should be fully functional, like your normal teeth. This means you should be able to eat, drink, and chew normally without needing to worry. Still, note that the glue isn’t meant to hold the tooth in place permanently; it might be wise to avoid super hard and sticky foods.

Avoid foods like steak or tough meat, chewing gum, hard and crunchy fruits or veggies, popcorn, hard candy, ice, caramel, and corn on the cob. Also, it’s wise to avoid sugary foods because there might be a small gap between your crown and the gum line. If sugars get in there, it can lead to decay.

What If a Crown Comes Loose?

If your temporary crown starts to become dislodged, the best thing to do is call your dentist so they can reglue it. If your crown gets lost, they can replace it as well.

You want to try to do this as soon as possible so that you’re not leaving space in your mouth empty. If the tooth underneath the crown becomes exposed, it can heighten the risk of infections and decay. Plus, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort when it comes to chewing or drinking.

How To Take Care of a Temporary Crown

A temporary crown restores the structure and function of your mouth like a real tooth, but temporary crowns require some extra care compared to permanent crowns.

Since they aren’t secured in place with a permanent cement and have more of a risk of falling out, be careful when you’re brushing and flossing your teeth. Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. When flossing, try sliding the floss in and out rather than using an up-and-down motion (to keep the crown secured).

Also, avoid chewing on hard substances and foods to keep the crown in place. If there’s ever a time when your crown feels like it is falling out of place, contact your dentist as soon as you can.

What Does a Temporary Crown Look Like?

A temporary crown will look similar to your natural teeth, both in shape and color. However, it won’t look as great as your permanent crown. Temporary crowns might not be color-matched as well, and they might not look exactly like the original tooth because these are not meant to be in place as long-term solutions.

Your permanent crown, on the other hand, is made with computer imaging technology, scans of your mouth, and other metrics. The permanent crown is shaded to match the color of your current teeth, and the end result will look more like your natural teeth in comparison to your temporary crown.

Permanent crowns are made of a slew of different materials based on your preferences, but temporary crowns are made of inexpensive materials since they’re only meant to be used for a temporary period. These are usually made of an acrylic material that gets as close to matching your real teeth as possible.

Do Permanent Crowns Need To Be Replaced?

Don’t let the word permanent fool you. Although permanent crowns are a lot more durable and long-lasting than temporary crowns, they usually don’t last forever. Luckily, they do have the ability to last a very long time, depending on how well you’re able to take care of them.

Permanent crowns need to be replaced about once every five to ten years after being installed. The rate at which you need to get a replacement is dependent on the material as well as your upkeep. Crowns made of metals like stainless steel or gold last a bit longer than ceramic and porcelain, though they don’t resemble your natural teeth as well.

Even so, if you take care of your crown properly, it might be able to last for the rest of your life without needing to be replaced.

The Cost of Dental Crowns

Getting crowns placed is a common dental procedure, but many people don’t have access to this necessary treatment simply due to the cost. The cost of a permanent dental crown is anywhere from $1,100 to $1,300 per tooth, and this price varies dramatically depending on the type of material your crown is made of.

The good news is that crowns are considered a preventative and restorative dental treatment by most insurance companies, so insurance typically covers some or all of the cost associated. But considering over 30% of Americans are without dental insurance coverage, this means that millions of people are stuck paying out of pocket for important care.

Don’t let price be a barrier to care. Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that only charges you for the services you receive, and since we can save you up to 50% on the out-of-pocket costs associated, you might be saving even more than the costs of insurance premiums and monthly dues.

Membership is free, and the price you see is the price you pay. No monthly payments, no annual caps — only top-rated dentists bringing you some of the lowest prices out-of-pocket dental care on the market.

And just because the prices are low doesn’t mean the quality matches. Our dentists are vetted against a set of rigorous criteria, like degrees from accredited institutions, excellent patient reviews, and the use of modern techniques and technology.

No insurance? Perfect. Find a dentist near you and get a root canal, crown, and more for up to 50% off the average out-of-pocket price.

Temporary Crowns vs. Veneers

Both temporary crowns and veneers are used to cover a tooth as their permanent counterpart is created. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Veneers are bonded to the front surface of a tooth to help make the tooth appear more aesthetically pleasing. Veneers are mostly a cosmetic procedure and don’t serve to prevent or correct disease.

Crowns, on the other hand, go over the top of a tooth and are meant to prevent further decay on the tooth’s surface. They’re also thicker than veneers and, once the permanent crown is placed, are considered more durable than veneers overall.

While crowns can go on the front teeth, veneers are usually placed on the front teeth, while crowns usually go on the back teeth or molars. But if you’re not sure which of these options is right for you, speak with your dentist to see which one might make the most sense.

In Conclusion

Temporary crowns are placed on a tooth to protect it from further damage, while a permanent crown is created. Temporary crowns are secured with a temporary cement, so while they are strong and durable, they are not as long-lasting as a permanent crown. You can still eat and talk with temporary crowns, though you’ll likely need to avoid sticky and hard foods just to be safe.

Temporary crowns should be taken care of just like regular teeth, though you might need to be a bit more gentle with the brushing and the flossing. Once a permanent crown is placed, these shouldn’t need to be replaced for about five to fifteen years (or more), depending on how well you take care of them.

Crowns can be expensive if you don’t have insurance coverage, but with Flossy, you can save up to 50%. No annual payments and no monthly premiums – the price you see is the price you pay.

Schedule an appointment with a dentist near you and get started towards a healthier smile (and happier bank account) today.


Cavities/tooth decay - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

What is a Root Canal? | American Association of Endodontists

Regional Variation in Private Dental Coverage and Care Among Dentate Adults Aged 18–64 in the United States, 2014–2017 | CDC

What Are Dental Veneers? Cost, Procedure & Advantages | Cleveland Clinic

As Featured In

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.