Temporary Crown, or risk the dentist?
March 19, 2020 6:25 AM   Subscribe

I've got a temporary crown right now (far back molar). Is it worth risking a dentist appointment to get the permanent in?

I've got a temporary crown right now (far back molar) that's been in about a week now. Obviously, I'm not keen to go into the dentist and risk coronavirus. I'm getting a little pain from the temporary crown, but nothing insane. Is it better to try and ride out the plague with the temporary crown in, or go into the dentist office and get the permanent crown put in? I'm currently scheduled for Monday.

If it does fall out and I can't pop it back in, they're holding emergency dentist appointments on Tuesdays, moving forward.

I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. We've got about 70 cases confirmed state-wide, most of which are in Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill.
posted by Vhanudux to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
Yes, do it. Dentists are good at sterilizing everything and a temporary crown is not meant to be worn for the weeks and months this will last.
posted by rikschell at 6:31 AM on March 19 [6 favorites]

I would go in and get it replaced.

- temporary crowns are hard to clean around, meaning more food/gunk/bacteria is sitting in your mouth, potentially leading to more infection
- temporary crowns are uncomfortable
- when my temporary crown was removed (at the dentist, for just a few minutes), I had intense and sudden discomfort from the air hitting that tooth, to the point where I needed novocain for it - and generally that is not needed. I would not want that to happen at home.
- what rikschell said
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:33 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

What guidance have you gotten from your dentist? Mine emailed all patients making clear what appointments/procedures they were keeping, and which they were cancelling, in response to the virus.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:38 AM on March 19 [3 favorites]

I would lean towards no, and pick up some dental cement at local CVS/Walgreens/etc to stick it back in if it falls out.
posted by jordemort at 7:02 AM on March 19

Yes, I would lean towards getting it fixed. The dentist has PPE and, like, rikschell said, knows how to sterilize stuff. And you don't want to get something caught up under it that might cause an abscess.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:06 AM on March 19

Yes, the surrounding events will get worse, as will your temporary crown. The crown is more temporary than corona seems to be.
posted by Gotanda at 7:14 AM on March 19

Temporary crowns can fall out. If it falls out and you swallow it or chomp down on it and break it, you'll have to do something. I say get the permanent crown.
posted by H21 at 7:48 AM on March 19

Your dentist will only perform procedures they deem necessary in times of coronavirus, so if they say yes, I'd go for it.
posted by erattacorrige at 8:02 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

I mean, I know people who have left their temporary crowns in for years. A temporary crown can definitely last weeks or months, even though it’s not intended to. I would call the dentist, tell them about the pain you’re experiencing from the temporary crown, and go from there. I don’t think getting a permanent crown is a slam-dunk, definitely do it kind of thing in these circumstances.
posted by mskyle at 8:31 AM on March 19

My mom's dentist just canceled an appointment for the same procedure. Call your dentist.
posted by pinochiette at 8:42 AM on March 19

I have a crown. This is gross, but when they pulled off the temporary to install the permanent, the stench of Satan’s dysenteric sewers rose up out of my mouth. I brush and floss and maintain good oral hygiene, and this was shockingly nasty. I gather the material that temps are made of is permeable to bacteria, so they get in and thrive underneath the temporary crown. I would very much not want that hotbed of trench mouth festering in there for any longer than necessary. But, consult your dentist.
posted by mumkin at 10:08 AM on March 19

New guidance was issued today:
Dental procedures use PPE [personal protective equipment like masks] and have one of the highest risks of transmission due to the close proximity of the healthcare provider to the patient. To reduce the risk of spread and to preserve PPE, we are recommending that all non-essential dental exams and procedures be postponed until further notice.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:51 AM on March 19

Ask your dentist. Also, because they're *always* sticking their faces/fingers into people's mouths, dentists, even more than other medical professionals, usually have a very high level of sanitary practices.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:37 PM on March 19

I had an appointment tomorrow to make a mold for a permanent crown for a temp that was put in three weeks ago. I'm in the San Francisco Bay area, and the dentist called earlier this week to cancel. Due to the lockdown, she's open for "true emergencies only" and apparently this didn't qualify. The tooth aches a tiny bit, which is making me nervous, but it might be psychosomatic.
posted by kjnet at 1:21 PM on March 19

Nthing that this is a question to ask your dentist and not random internet strangers, as well-intentioned as they may be. My understanding is that temporary crowns aren't for long term use, but if you are careful with them they'll last longer than the typical 2-3 weeks they're meant for, if that's what you need to do.
posted by Aleyn at 3:47 PM on March 19

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