Duration: 58 minutes, 20 seconds

Author: Dr. George Perri

The Use of Provisionals in Restorative Implant Dentistry


Restorative implant dentistry involves the use of dental implants to replace missing teeth and restore the function and aesthetics of the patient’s smile. One crucial aspect of this process is the use of provisionals, also known as temporary restorations or temporaries. In this article, we will explore the importance of provisionals in patient management during the healing process and discuss the different options available.

The Benefits of Provisionals

1. Promoting Healing: Provisionals play a vital role in promoting proper healing after implant placement. They provide protection to the implant site, preventing any trauma or irritation during the initial stages of osseointegration – the process by which the implant fuses with the jawbone.

2. Maintaining Normal Life: Provisionals allow patients to maintain their normal daily activities, such as eating, speaking, and smiling, while their permanent restorations are being fabricated. This is especially important for patients who have undergone extensive implant procedures and need time for their implants to integrate properly.

Types of Provisionals

1. Removable Partial Dentures: These are temporary dentures that can be easily removed by the patient. They are often used when multiple teeth are being replaced and can provide a functional and aesthetic solution during the healing phase.

2. Temporaries: These are custom-made provisional restorations that are fabricated based on the patient’s existing teeth or a diagnostic wax-up. They are usually made from acrylic materials and are designed to resemble the final restorations.

3. Maryland Bridges: Also known as resin-bonded bridges, Maryland bridges are fixed provisional restorations that are bonded to the adjacent teeth using resin cement. They are a conservative and aesthetic option for patients who do not want to wear removable dentures.

4. Temporary Bridges: Temporary bridges are similar to Maryland bridges but are designed to replace multiple missing teeth. They are usually made from acrylic materials and can be easily removed by the dentist when necessary.

5. Orthodontic Brackets: In some cases where orthodontic treatment is needed prior to implant placement, provisionals can be made by attaching brackets to the teeth and using orthodontic wires to create temporary bridges. This allows the teeth to be moved into the desired position while maintaining aesthetics and function.

6. Transitional Mini Implants: These are small diameter implants that can be used as temporary supports for the provisional restorations before the placement of the final implants. They provide stability and function during the healing process.

7. Fixed Implant-Supported Provisionals: These are provisional restorations that are fixed onto the implants using screws or cement. They provide excellent stability and aesthetics and are often used for immediate loading protocols where the final restorations can be placed immediately after implant surgery.

Cost and Value of Provisionals

The cost of provisionals should not be overlooked by patients seeking restorative implant dentistry. While they may seem like temporary solutions, provisionals are an essential part of the overall treatment plan. They ensure that the patient can maintain their oral function and appearance during the healing phase, which is crucial for their overall well-being. Patients should be educated about the value of provisionals and understand that investing in quality temporary restorations leads to better long-term outcomes.


Provisionals play a significant role in restorative implant dentistry, allowing patients to maintain their normal life during the healing process and promoting proper healing. The various options available, including removable partial dentures, temporaries, Maryland Bridges, temporary Bridges, orthodontic brackets, transitional mini implants, and fixed implant-supported provisionals, cater to different patient needs. It is important for patients to recognize the value of provisionals and understand their cost implications. By prioritizing the use of provisionals, dentists can ensure successful patient management and optimal treatment outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How long do provisionals need to be worn?
    The duration of wearing provisionals can vary depending on individual cases. It is typically recommended to wear them until the permanent restorations are fabricated and ready for placement.
  2. Can provisionals be customized to look like natural teeth?
    Yes, provisionals can be customized to closely resemble the shape, color, and texture of natural teeth, providing patients with a natural-looking smile during the healing process.
  3. Do provisionals require special care?
    Provisionals should be cared for just like natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and maintaining good oral hygiene practices are essential to ensure their longevity and prevent any complications.
  4. Are provisionals covered by dental insurance?
    Dental insurance coverage for provisionals can vary depending on the individual insurance plan. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to understand the coverage details.
  5. Can provisionals be repaired if damaged?
    In case of any damage to provisionals, it is important to contact your dentist for evaluation. Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs or replacement may be necessary to ensure proper function and aesthetics.

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