Temporary cement vs. permanent cement for dental implants

Updated March 23, 2017

Dental implants involve one or more artificial teeth being inserted into the jaw to fill a gap in the bite. Dental implants can be used to fill spaces where one or two teeth are missing, or to serve as an anchor for crowns, bridges and dentures where many or all of the teeth need to be replaced. Both temporary and permanent cement play a role in dental implants.

Types of Implant

The several forms of dental implants require the use of permanent and temporary cement in different ways. A dental implant may refer to a single prosthetic tooth, which is inserted to fill the gap left by a missing tooth. Dental cement can also be used for caps or veneers, which are added to the natural tooth to augment the size and change the shape or colour of the tooth. Bridges and full dentures are two other types of dental implant, which include multiple teeth and usually require an adhesive for a comfortable and secure fit.

Function of Cement

Both temporary cement and permanent cement are used to adhere external objects, such as dental implant teeth, caps, bridges or dentures, to the natural teeth. For bridges and dentures, an anchor tooth may be chosen for the adhesive so that patients do not need to have all of their teeth cemented. Dental implants are not usually cemented to the natural teeth, and instead are actually drilled into the jawbone to become a permanent part of the jaw.

Time Frame

Dentists and periodontists may elect to use temporary cement to fix dental implants in place for a few days to allow patients to experience use of the new tooth before it is permanently in place. The initial use of temporary cement allows the dentist to make adjustments to the implant itself or to its position before permanently inserting the prosthetic.


Temporary cement can be used to hold dental implants in place for anywhere from a few hours to several weeks if necessary. Permanent cement can be used to fix dental implants, particularly crowns, veneers and bridges, into the mouth. Permanent cement only needs to be put on dental implants once, and the procedure is conducted by a dentist in the office rather than by the patient at home. Permanent cement can sometimes wear down over time, allowing dental implants to loosen or detach and may need to be replaced.


Permanent cement can be used to fashion dental implants or partial implants onto natural teeth that are chipped or broken, making permanent cement a flexible tool for dentists to have at their disposal. Temporary cement is also a handy dental care tool for patients, and can also be used to replace permanent dental implants that have fallen out for any reason, until the patient is able to make an appointment to have the implant replaced professionally.

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About the Author

Lesley Graybeal has been writing articles for internet content since 2006. Her work can be found on a range of hobby and business resource web publications, including and, as well as several academic journals. Lesley earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Georgia, and is currently completing her dissertation in Social Foundations of Education.