The discomfort that follows placement of dental crowns should subside after a few weeks. At that point, a dental crown should cause no pain at all. It should feel and function like a natural, healthy tooth.
Our teeth are designed to withstand intense stress, but they can crack, chip, decay, and become internally infected. When this damage occurs, a dentist usually suggests dental crowns to restore structural integrity, appearance, and comfortable function.
Your Mouth, an Extreme Environment
The human mouth is subjected to between 6 million and 20 million bacteria, spanning 500 to 650 varieties. Add to this the extreme temperature fluctuations of foods and beverages we consume, as well as the crushing 70+ pounds of pressure per square inch teeth endure when we chew. Human tooth enamel is the strongest substance the human body creates; it’s harder than steel, iron, and nickel.
However, enamel is not impenetrable. When teeth incur damage, the restorative material used to rebuild them must be extremely durable. Dental crowns can be made from:
- Porcelain fused to metal
How Dental Crowns Work
Lab technicians craft custom dental crowns to fit snugly over prepared teeth. A crown will restore shape, color, overall appearance, structural integrity, and/or a tooth treated with a root canal or a tooth with a failed filling. Crowns also top implant posts to replace single teeth.
To place a crown, the dentist removes all bacteria and dead tissue. The remaining natural tooth is reshaped to accommodate a dental crown. Ultimately, the maximum amount of healthy, living tooth structure will remain beneath the crown.
Why Dental Crowns Hurt
After the first few weeks, dental crowns should no longer hurt. They should feel and function like your natural, healthy teeth. However, like natural teeth, dental crowns can be damaged. The following issues should be addressed by your Dallas dentist at Lakewood Dental Group:
New crown sensitivity
Expect some discomfort for a few days following the placement of new dental crowns. The cement used to secure a crown can cause temporary discomfort or sensitivity to very hot or cold temperatures. A tooth’s nerve may experience trauma that takes time to resolve. However, within a few days, all discomfort should subside. If pain continues, call your dentist. The crown may be improperly seated and need an adjustment.
Crown doesn’t fit properly
If pain in dental crowns persists for longer than a few weeks, the restoration may need adjustment. Releasing cured dental cement is not easy, but other adjustments can restore comfortable function.
Cavity beneath crown
While a crown itself will not decay, the natural tooth beneath a crown can develop a cavity. In some cases, all bacteria isn’t removed before a crown is placed. With this scenario, the remaining bacteria eat tooth structure beneath the crown, causing a cavity. Cavities may also form at the margin of a crown, and as the decay grows, the seal between the crown and natural tooth fails. Either way, the resulting cavity beneath the crown requires professional dental care.
Internal tooth infection
Decay beneath a cavity can extend to the tooth’s core, compromising the lifesource of your crowned tooth. Internal tooth infection kills a tooth’s nerve and thus its blood supply, so the tooth dies. In this case, root canal therapy or extraction are the patient’s only options for restoring good oral health and comfortable function.
When an internal tooth infection causes a pocket of pus to form at the end of a tooth’s root, the pocket of infection is called a periapical abscess. It requires treatment or else the infection can enter the patient’s bloodstream and spread to the jaw, neighboring teeth, and elsewhere in the body. To treat the abscess, the dentist may suggest: draining the abscess through the gum tissue, root canal therapy, extraction, and/or antibiotics.
Sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure may stem from gum recession. If gum tissue recedes at the base of a crown, it could indicate gum disease or brushing teeth too vigorously. Treatment often involves placing a new crown that extends to the altered gumline and treating any gum disease.
In some cases, dental crowns dislodge entirely or they crack. If the crown remains whole, use a bit of dental cement or toothpaste to re-secure it until you can get to our Dallas dental office. Call us for an emergency dentistry appointment, and we’ll secure a temporary crown until your new one is fabricated.
Toothaches Indicate Trouble!
If you develop a toothache on one or more dental crowns, call Lakewood Dental Group in Dallas today at 214-827-1885. Dr. Patel or Sigurdson will see you as soon as possible to get you out of pain and restore good oral health.