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Our line of temporisation products are easy to use and provide aesthetic and functional provisional restorations. 3M ESPE provisional materials include prefabricated crowns in many styles and sizes, bis-acrylic temporary materials, and accessories.

For more information on temporisation indications, technique guides and temporisation procedures, click on link below: Espertise link
Espertise: Provisional Materials and Techniques

Protemp 4 Temporization material Protemp™ 4 Temporisation Material

A bis-acrylic material that offers unparalleled strength, easy handling – and an easier procedure for you!

Dental Crown Pliers Scissors Crown Accessories Crown Pliers
Crown Scissors

For trimming, contouring or crimping stainless steel and temporary crowns.

3M™ ESPE™ Stainless Steel Crowns 3M™ ESPE™ Stainless Steel Crowns

Consistent, reliable performance for over 40 years

3M™ ESPE™ Polycarbonate Crowns 3M™ ESPE™ Polycarbonate Crowns

Temporary Crowns for Anteriors and Bicuspids

Provisional and Temporization Procedure


Rationale for Temporization

Rationale for Temporization

Provisional restorations stabilize and protect tooth structure during the time span from final impression through the cementation of a final laboratory-fabricated prosthesis. "Temporary" and "provisional" are terms that are synonymous in dentistry. Crown and bridge procedures tend to put a high degree of stress on tooth structure due to the removal of enamel and the exposure of dentinal tubules. A provisional restoration must protect traumatized tooth structure from the rigors of the oral environment until a more permanent restoration is placed without harming the gingiva.

Provisional restorations must provide adequate pulp protection, thermal insulation, marginal integrity, soft tissue compatibility, patient function, space maintenance and adequate esthetics. Generally, a provisional crown or bridge is fabricated by a dentist or dental auxiliary and cemented in place using a temporary crown and bridge cement.

Features of a Sound Provisional Restoration

Proximal Contacts

Figure 1. Proximal contacts of natural tooth structure.Figure 1. Proximal contacts of natural tooth structure.

A provisional crown or bridge should exhibit good contact with adjacent tooth structure. This will help prevent tooth migration, maintain interproximal tissue health, and keep the proper space maintenance for a final laboratory fabricated crown or bridge (see figure 1).

Occlusal Contacts

Figure 2. Occlusal contacts of natural tooth structure.Figure 2. Occlusal contacts of natural tooth structure.

A provisional restoration must maintain good occlusion and occlusal contact with the opposing dentition. Providing proper occlusal contact keeps opposing teeth from supra-erupting (see figure 2).

Smooth Polish

Provisional restorations need a smooth surface finish in order to promote good gingival health. The final surface of a temporary crown or bridge should be resistant to plaque build-up and non-irritating to gingival tissue.

Proper Emergence Profile

Figure 3. Proper emergence profile.Figure 3. Proper emergence profile.

The natural shape of tooth structure has many advantages. The proper emergence profile of a tooth deflects food away from the gingival tissue so that natural soft tissues are not harmed by mastication (see figure 3). A provisional restoration must provide adequate function for its duration in a patient's mouth.

Adequate Marginal Seal

Figure 4. Poor marginal contour.Figure 4. Poor marginal contour.

A sound margin between natural tooth structure and any type of restoration is important for many reasons. Eliminating microleakage, minimal plaque retention and promotion of gingival healing are a few of the most important benefits of a good marginal fit. Provisional restorations that are over-contoured (A), or overhang the finish line of the preparation (B), can lead to plaque build-up and consequently, gingival recession. (see figure 4).

Selecting a Provisional Restoration Type

Provisional materials are generally classified into two distinct categories. They are prefabricated and chemically-cured materials. Prefabricated materials have become popular over the years because of ease-of-use and time savings. Chemical systems are used widely due to versatility, custom fit and esthetics.

Prefabricated Crowns

Proximal Contacts

Prefabricated crowns are available in many forms for a variety of single-unit applications. Since 1975, 3M ESPE has been the market leader in prefabricated crowns. Their use has a broad application base from short-term to long-term coverage. Prefabricated temporary crowns are manufactured for the following uses: 3M™ ESPE™ Iso-Form crowns or 3M™ ESPE™ gold anodized crowns for adult molar coverage, and 3M™ ESPE™ polycarbonate crowns for adult anterior use.

3M ESPE offers a full line of prefabricated stainless steel crowns that meet both adult and pediatric patient needs. They are a viable method of single-unit temporization for both short- and long-term coverage.

Chemically-Cured Materials

Chemically-cured systems are generally classified into two distinct categories including acrylics and resins. Within each of these groups there is a further distinction between self-cured, dual-cured and light-cured materials.

Self-Cured Temporization Resin Materials

These systems are generally considered as improvements over traditional acrylic materials in the areas of reduced volumetric shrinkage, heat generation, taste and odor.

Low odor
Minimal heat generation
Very good esthetics
Some systems use auto-mix delivery
Can be repaired using composite

Preformed Composite Crowns

A preformed, malleable crown for single posterior units, especially suited for long-term temporization and indications such as implant temporization, digital workflows, and temporaries when no matrix is available.


Acrylic materials have been used for provisional restorations since the late 1930's for both single- and multiple-unit temporary restorations. The appeal of acrylic materials has been their low cost, esthetics and versatility.

Acrylic materials, although versatile and inexpensive, have several undesirable characteristics. Acrylic materials are prepared by mixing a polymeric powder and liquid (monomer) until a honey-like consistency is reached. This takes approximately 30-45 seconds. Acrylics exhibit a strong and objectionable odor to both patients and dental staff. Acrylic materials also give off significant heat during their exothermic setting reaction which could cause pulpal damage if not carefully controlled. In addition, acrylic undergoes significant shrinkage.

Two basic types of acrylic materials with minor variations are sold in today's market. They are polymethyl methacrylate and poly-R' methacrylates. The R' represents either an ethyl, vinyl or an isobutyl functional methacrylate system.


Following is the recommendation for the cementation of 3M™ ESPE™ Prefabricated Crowns:

Product Recommended Cements Other cements
3M™ ESPE™ Stainless Steel Crowns
3M™ ESPE™ Unitek™ Stainless Steel Crowns
RelyX™ Luting 2 and Ketac-Cem™ Cement (releases fluoride and is easy-to-use). Temporary Cement Polycarboxylate Zinc phosphate
3M™ ESPE™ Polycarbonate Crowns Temporary Cements
3M™ ESPE™ Iso-Form™ Crowns RelyX™ Temp NE Temporary cement

Protemp™ Crown Temporization Material

If a eugenol containing temporary cement is used, clean the preparation with alcohol prior to cementation.

Technique Guides and Clinical Cases

More Provisional and Temporisation products from 3M ESPE:

  • Protemp™ II Temporisation Material