The provisional works as a prototype of the final restoration. It is advised, especially in larger cases, to allow the patient several days of wearing the provisional to ensure that they will be satisfied with the final results. When the final restorations have been seated, the doctor and the patient will already have a clear idea of what the final restorations will look like and how they will function.
When a provisional is not provided, the outcome will be a guess and may result in an unsatisfied patient with the possibility of having to make corrections or remakes. This is notably true in cases where changes in the vertical dimension are part of the treatment plan. These types of changes must be tested to determine how the patient will tolerate them. Through wearing a prototype of the final restorations, the vertical dimension, occlusion, and mandibular position can be tested to ensure the patient will be comfortable with the final prosthesis.
Determining the case design begins with understanding the esthetic concerns and desires of the patient. This step is best gained through not only listening to the patient but also through having the patient view smile design photos and perhaps having them look for other pictures of smiles that they find appealing. There are computer imaging services available that can provide a digital mock-up of proposed smile designs as well as other products that offer chairside quick smile mock-ups that get the uncovering process going.