Provisional Restorations

By Craig Herre, DDS and Hal Stewart, D.D.S.

Provisional Crown and Bridge restorations can be very difficult and time-consuming. This is particularly true if they are made exquisitely well and satisfy the intended criterion. In fact,  the process to fabricate and cement a provisional, as mundane and simple as it may seem, can take longer and be more challenging than all other parts of the procedure.

Ideally, the doctor should adjust the margins of the temporary as no one knows better than he/she the location of the margins.  If this is not feasible, then it can be given to a well-trained, experienced auxiliary. However, the doctor must always verify the fit, marginal adaptation, and occlusion before the temporary is cemented.

Fabricating the provisional in the mouth, removing it, and cleaning up the flash may be delegated to an experienced assistant. Also polishing, trying in, and minor adjustments of the contacts and occlusion (out of the mouth) can easily be completed by the assistant.

The provisional restoration is so important to the success of the final case that it is imperative the doctor oversees the process and makes sure the final result is optimal. Open contacts, poor occlusion, lost temporaries, and bleeding tissue are unacceptable and are a recipe for disaster and unpredictability on cementation day.