Getting Dental Crowns While on Retainers?

After orthodontic treatment, I am now wearing Essix retainers. I have to get Dental crowns for two of my molars.

I am stressed about not being able to wear my retainer, because the time lapse between preparing the tooth and receiving the permanent crown is around three weeks, during which the shape of my molar is altered.

How can I approach this issue? How can I get dental treatment while wearing retainers?

Doctor Answers 4

Essix retainer and final molar crowns

During the time when the final crowns are made in the lab, patient has the provisional crowns that should be identical to final restorations. The Essix retainer is adjusted if needed to the shape temporary restorations. The 3 week time period is not enough to cause any shifting of the teeth, so you shouldn`t be concerned about relapse. Usually central teeth have higher chances to relapse due to less bony support and that is why anterior sites are handled with more careful approach. Once you will get the final crowns the Essix retainer will be adjusted to their shape. 

It fine to get crowns while using retainers.

This is a very simple thing for your dentist to accomplish.  All he/she has to do is make the temporary, and final crown in the same shape as your existing tooth. Any dentist should be able to do this.  Just make sure to remind him before he starts the crown procedure.


Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Difficult but not impossible

For the retainers to fit, the new crown must be an exact replica of the tooth prior to the crown procedure.  This is very difficult for a dental lab to do, but not impossible.  With a CEREC CAD?CAM crown milling machine, we can make an exact duplicate by having the computer scan the tooth prior to preparation and duplicating it.

Tom Hedge, DDS
Houston Dentist
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

The provisional crowns should fit ok

The temporary crowns will be made to be very similar to the tooth prior to crowning.  Close enough that the retainers should fit fine.  The finals will be a bit more challenging, and it is possible that the retainers can be altered to fit.  If not, new ones will be needed.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.