A provisional (or temporary restoration) is used as an interim before fitting the indirect definitive restoration or prosthesis. In essence, a provisional is disposable, but should remain for the intervening period while awaiting the permanent analogue.
Function of Provisionals
Besides acting as a stopgap, provisionals have numerous useful functions for assuring the ultimate success of the permanent restoration, such as:
- Health – of exposed dentine and pulp vitality. In addition, periodontal health requires monitoring, especially if there is prevailing information due to previous defective restorative margins, crown lengthening or implant and surgical augmentation. Healing may be accompanied by gingival recession and may require relocation of the preparation margins, particularly for anterior restorations. In addition, a provisional is useful for tissue sculpturing, either at a pontic site or around implant abutments in order to achieve acceptable ‘pink aesthetics’;
- Function – for planned occlusal changes such as anterior guidance, lateral excursions and vertical dimension alterations. Also, the restorations should be comfortable and not an impediment to phonetics or embouchure;
- Aesthetics – when gross morphological changes are planned, e.g. restitution of worn dentition or for elective cosmetic procedures. Provisionals based on diagnostic wax-ups are minimally invasive, and are ideal for assessing aesthetics and function before carrying out irreversible tooth preparation;
- Tooth preparation – sufficient tooth removal in order to accommodate restorative materials using intra-oral guides for precise and calculated tooth reduction, e.g. for adhesively retained PLVs.
Choice of Materials
The number of materials on the market for provisionals is both impressive and confusing, and the c/>