Updated: Apr 28
Temporary crowns can last around 4 weeks depending on the type of temporary material that it is made out of. The two most common types of temporary crown material are bisacryl composite and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). They each have their own pros and cons but as their names imply, they're not meant to be permanent because they're a temporary material.
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Which temporary crown material lasts longer?
The temporary crowns made out of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) have a tendency to be sturdier and also last much longer than the bisacryl composites. The material is harder and stiffer than the bisacryl.
The manufacturing instructions for one of the brands of PMMA (Jet Acrylic) specifically says that the intended purpose is to remain in the mouth for less than 30 days.
Due to the strength of the PMMA, most dentists will use it for multi-unit dental crown cases but will opt for the bisacryl if it is a single or two unit crown. The reason why we use the stronger temporary for more crowns is because the strength is needed.
The single or two unit cases don't require as much strength so we opt to use the less resilient bisacryl. The preference is for the bisacryl whenever possible because it looks better cosmetically. This specific brand of material is by Luxatemp, which is very popular with dentists and also one which we personally use. They really do look great!
Can the temporary crowns last longer than 4 weeks?
Despite the manufacturer's instructions stating that the material should only be in the mouth for 30 days, we have seen the PMMA material last much longer than that. For the multi-unit full mouth reconstruction cases where you literally replace every single tooth, the temporary material of choice is PMMA. These temps can sometimes be in the mouth for as long as a few months.
The bisacryl temporary material would never be used for a full mouth reconstruction case because it doesn't quite have the strength for it. This material will last probably as long as the manufacturer states, the 4 weeks max.
There isn't one temporary crown material that is "better" than the other but rather they both have their own uses. That is why most dental offices keep both of them in stock at all times. Depending on how long we need the temporary crown to last will determine which material we pick.
With that being said, each dentist will have their own preference for what they like to use as well. If you ever wanted to know, you can always ask your own dentist!
Last but not least, don't forget that you HAVE to return to your dentist to get the permanent crown. Some people never return for whatever reason...
Author: Written by Dr David Chen DDS, a restorative dentist in long island city.