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Fabrication of Provisional Crowns and Bridges (AGD 670)

Presenter: Niki Henson, RDA


The days of being “just” a dental assistant are gone. As we continually strive to learn new things and improve our skills, the role of a dental assistant changes. In many states, laws governing dental assistants are changing and the dental assistant is now able to perform more, such as fabricating provisional crowns and bridges. With this growth come new responsibilities. As dentistry changes, so do products, materials, and techniques.

This course is designed to teach dental assistants how to fabricate provisional crowns or bridges using traditional provisional materials. The term provisional also can refer to an interim or temporary restoration. Learning the techniques, materials, and procedures should give the dental assistant a better understanding of what it takes to fabricate a provisional restoration that will make the patient happy.

Laws and regulations governing dental assistant duties vary from state to state. In many states fabricating and seating provisional crowns or bridges could be considered an expanded function and additional state approved education may be required. Always refer to the State Dental Practice Act before performing any of these functions and if you have questions about the functions, please refer to your state board of dentistry or board of dental examiners.


Niki Henson, RDA, was the President of Cornerstone Dental Academy where she authored curriculum and provided continuing education. Ms. Henson is a National and International Speaker, holds a degree in science, and is a Registered Dental Assistant with over 20 years experience in the dental field. Ms. Henson has authored numerous articles, dental assistant books, and is published in many dental journals. Ms. Henson received the “Woman of Distinction” award for her passion, ethics, and commitment to dental education.

The editor thanks Ellen Neuenfeldt of 3M ESPE for her expertise in editing parts of this manuscript.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

• Explain the purposes and importance of a well-fitting provisional.
• Compare the three techniques available for making provisional crowns and bridges.
• Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.
• Identify the procedure and material best suited for the needs of the patient and the practice.
• Describe the appropriate protocol for each procedure.
• Discuss special considerations for fabricating the provisional.
• Compare and contrast problems associated with making provisionals directly and indirectly.
• Show the steps of the vacuum adaptation method.
• Explain the importance of assessing the patient’s needs.
• Recite the post-operative instructions given to the patient.
• Describe the polishing procedure.
• Identify ways to keep the patient comfortable while managing the fabrication of the provisional.
• Consider potential concerns of the patient and how to address them.
• Explain how to facilitate the setting of stone and acrylic.
• Describe the cementation procedure and its importance.
• Understand the materials available for fabrication of provisional crowns.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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