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Duration: 48 minutes, 30 seconds

Author: Dr. Stefan Paul

Provisional Restoration: The Overlooked Link to Aesthetic and Functional Perfection


Provisional restorations may often be overshadowed by their permanent counterparts, but they play a crucial role in achieving both aesthetic and functional perfection in dental treatments. These temporary restorations serve as a crucial link between the initial preparation phase and the final placement of permanent restorations. In this article, we will explore the importance of provisional restorations and their different types, materials, and techniques.

The Types of Indirect Provisional Restorations

Eggshell Type Restorations

Eggshell type restorations are a popular choice for provisional restorations. They are thin and delicate, resembling the shell of an egg, but still provide sufficient temporary coverage and protection to the prepared tooth. These restorations can be easily fabricated using materials like composite resins or acrylics.

Cost Metal and Fiber Reinforcement Frameworks

In certain cases where extra strength and stability are required, provisional restorations with cost metal and fiber reinforcement frameworks are the go-to option. These frameworks provide added support to the temporary restoration, ensuring durability and prolonged function during the provisional phase.

The Direct Provisional Restorations

Direct provisional restorations are created chairside and can be made using pre-formed crowns that come in various sizes. These crowns provide a quick and efficient way to fabricate temporary restorations without the need for intricate moldings or laboratory involvement. Dentists can easily select a suitable crown size, customize it if needed, and cement it temporarily onto the prepared tooth.

Materials Used for Chairside Provisionals

DMA (Dimethacrylate) Provisional Materials

When it comes to chairside provisionals, two commonly used materials are DMA (dimethacrylate) and PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate). DMA is primarily preferred for direct techniques due to its excellent aesthetic properties and ease of use. It can be easily shaped and polished, making it an ideal choice for anterior provisional restorations that require high-quality aesthetics.

PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate) Provisional Materials

On the other hand, PMMA is primarily used for indirect techniques, where temporary restorations are fabricated in a dental laboratory. PMMA offers better mechanical properties and durability compared to DMA, making it suitable for posterior or full-arch provisional restorations that require extra strength and longevity.

Elastic DMAs for Temporizing Inlay Preparations

For temporizing inlay preparations, elastic DMAs are an excellent choice. These materials provide a flexible and adaptable temporary restoration that can be easily removed and reinserted during the provisional phase. Elastic DMAs ensure a snug fit and proper sealing, preventing any moisture or bacteria from affecting the prepared tooth.

Choosing the Right Temporary Cement

The choice of temporary cement is crucial for proper temporization. Non-zinc oxy eugenol and ox zinc eugenol are two common options. Non-zinc oxy eugenol cements provide reliable retention and easy retrieval without any damage to the prepared tooth. Ox zinc eugenol cements offer excellent antimicrobial properties, reducing the risk of secondary infections during the provisional phase.


Provisional restorations serve as a vital stepping stone towards achieving aesthetic and functional perfection in dental treatments. Whether it’s the delicate eggshell type restorations or the sturdy cost metal and fiber reinforcement frameworks, selecting the right type of provisional restoration greatly impacts the overall treatment outcome. Utilizing chairside provisionals made from DMA or PMMA materials ensures a smooth and efficient temporary phase. Additionally, the use of elastic DMAs and appropriate temporary cement further enhances the effectiveness of provisional restorations. By paying attention to the often overlooked provisional phase, dental professionals can ensure better patient experiences and successful long-term restorative treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are provisional restorations necessary?

Provisional restorations act as temporary placeholders between the initial tooth preparation and the final placement of permanent restorations. They provide protection, aesthetics, and functionality during the provisional phase.

2. Can I eat normally with provisional restorations?

Provisional restorations are designed to withstand eating and chewing, but it is advisable to avoid excessively hard or sticky foods to prevent any damage or dislodgment. Follow your dentist’s instructions for optimal care.

3. How long do provisional restorations typically last?

The longevity of provisional restorations depends on factors such as the materials used, the patient’s oral hygiene, and the overall treatment timeline. Generally, they can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

4. Are provisional restorations as aesthetically pleasing as permanent restorations?

While provisional restorations may not match the exact aesthetics of permanent restorations, they are designed to provide acceptable temporary aesthetics. Their primary focus is on functionality and protecting the prepared tooth until the permanent restoration is in place.

5. Can provisional restorations be repaired if they get damaged?

In case of minor damage, provisional restorations can sometimes be repaired chairside by the dentist. However, if the damage is extensive, a replacement may be necessary. Consult with your dentist for the best course of action.

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