Temporary crowns are important because they protect the work that the dentist has done while the patient awaits the permanent piece to be made by the laboratory. They also protect the very soft and vulnerable dentin of the tooth from exposure as well as stop further decay that could be caused by food becoming lodged in between the other teeth and the affected area.
Temporary crowns are placed for the approximate one to two weeks that it will take the laboratory to sculpt the permanent replacement. While they are affixed so that they will withstand wear for the duration, it is not uncommon for the impermanent device to come off. Should this happen, the patient should not panic but call the dentist to schedule an appointment to have it put back on. If this happens, the patient should take extreme care until the appointment time.
Temporary crowns also protect the other teeth from moving about which would be bad because then the permanent piece may not fit correctly and have to be sent back to be resized. This would be additional time that the temporary crowns would have to be left on and would make it more likely that the affected tooth or teeth would be in danger.
While waiting for the permanent pieces to be made and sent to the dentist, the patient should avoid eating anything on the affected side of the mouth. This is just a proactive and preventative approach to making sure that nothing happens to the tooth before the permanent piece can be cemented in. It is also recommended by the dental professionals that the patient avoid foods that are sticky or chewy and brush with a toothbrush that has soft bristles when performing oral hygiene.