Category Archives: Crowns & Bridges

What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Crown: Go Back to the Dentist

You finally received your permanent crown. The dentist showed you what the crown looks like inside the mouth and you accepted its color and looks. They then proceeded to check your bite, floss it a couple of times, take an X-ray or two and verified that your crown fits well and finally proceeded to cemented the crown in place. So why would you be having pain if the tooth has a crown on it? Wasn’t the crown supposed to help eliminate any pain? Should you give it some more time to see if the symptoms improve or is it better to go back to the dentist and examine the tooth for any unforeseen problems?

Pros of Going to Back to the Dentist

1. If your bite is off then the crown needs further adjustment by your dentist. A crown needs to be adjusted to fit your bite correctly before it is seated in place. Basically your bite with and without the crown in place should be identical. If you are putting more bite pressure on the new crown it can cause either the crown to break or worse yet cause the tooth to fracture. And despite your dentist’s best attempt to make sure the crown fits perfectly before he or she glues it in, dentists don’t always get it right the first time. Mistakes happen, especially when it is a tougher crown to seat in place.

  • If you are receiving multiple crowns on the same appointment it is likely that one or two crown will require further adjustments
  • Receiving a crown on the furthest back tooth is more complicated and the bite is harder to verify due to its location
  • If you have shorter teeth, which could be due to grinding or other bad habits, then fitting the crown can be more difficult and may take more than one visit to perfect

If you get home after your appointment and realize that you are applying slightly more pressure on the new crown give it a day or two to see if you get used to it. If it still doesn’t improve then go back to your dentist for an additional bite adjustment. The bite adjustment can be done with the crown inside your mouth and is an easy visit which typically doesn’t even require a shot. Be careful that bite adjustments may make your crown rough in texture so you might have to request a polish on it afterwards. Make sure to allow your dentist to correct the bite first as the polish must be performed when everything else has been satisfactorily completed.

2. If you are experiencing severe pain your tooth may require a root canal. It is not unusual to experience some discomfort after receiving your new crown as you are getting used to it. Your tooth may be sensitive, your gums may be tender and your bite might feel slightly off. But once the tooth and gums settle down within a few days, the symptoms will also subside. Minor pain or discomfort upon chewing or slight pain when eating or drinking hot and cold items are common, but if you are experiencing throbbing and lingering pain symptoms then you most likely have nerve damage and will require a root canal to fix the problem.

  • But isn’t a crown supposed to fix any pain? Unfortunately not. A crown is placed to help prevent nerve damage and a root canal from occurring. Should the nerves get damaged during the crown preparation or as a result of the cavity, then a crown will not help and a root canal is what is needed to fix the pain. Your tooth may have been misdiagnosed or it may have been traumatized during the crown preparation appointment.
  • How will getting a root canal after receiving the crown affect your new crown? Sometimes the crown can be removed and replaced after the root canal has been completed. But this rarely happens since crowns are next to impossible to remove once cemented permanently. Often times you will require a brand new crown after the root canal is completed. But sometimes the dentist or root canal specialist, an endodontist, may suggest cutting through the crown to perform the root canal and then sealing off the access hole afterwards without the need for a redo. While this is not ideal treatment, it may work in special circumstances. You should discuss your options with your dentist to see what is going to work best in your case.

Regardless, should the tooth require a root canal there isn’t anything else that can be done aside from getting the root canal done. Medications may help temporarily but once the tooth nerve is damaged a root canal is pretty much inevitable and medications can only postpone treatment for a short while longer.

3. If you’re feeling pain on a tooth which has had a root canal already then you need to see your dentist right away. Feeling pain on a tooth after receiving the crown may be due to the nerves being aggravated from the trauma it has recently endured or the cement used to keep the crown in place or other unpredictable causes. You shouldn’t be experiencing any actual pain in the tooth that has had a root canal previously. Otherwise something may be seriously wrong with the tooth and you may be in danger of losing the tooth. Possibly the root canal has failed, a nerve was undiagnosed and left untreated, the root has fractured or something else is seriously wrong which is often times fatal to the tooth. Go and see your dentist right away to determine why the tooth is causing pain to see if there is any solution before it’s too late.

NEXT >> Wait a Little Bit

What to do if You’re Experiencing Pain After a Crown: How to Decide

What to do if Your Temporary Crown Fails: Try to Replace it Yourself

You finally went to the dentist for that much anticipated crown and all you have to do now is wait a week or two to receive the new crown. Meanwhile you are stuck wearing a temporary crown and are instructed to carefully watch your diet and brushing habits to help keep the temporary crown in its place. The instructions may sound simple enough but what if the temporary crown falls out? Should you go running back to your dentist ASAP or just wait until your upcoming scheduled appointment?

Pros of Replacing the Temporary Crown

1. The temporary crown will keep your tooth covered and protected. There’s no doubt that temporary crowns tend to be far inferior to the permanent ones. They are made swiftly by your dentist or the dental assistant from acrylic or similar material which is often times rough, off-colored and traps food particles. Temporary crowns tend to fall off easily since they are not a precise fit and must rely on temporary glue to keep them in place. But despite all these shortcomings, having your tooth covered with a temporary crown is still better than not having one in place. At least the temporary will cover the gap, protect the tooth and minimize pain and sensitivity until the permanent crown arrives.

2. The tooth looks nicer with a temporary crown covering it. You really don’t want to see what the tooth looks likes underneath the crown because it can be a little frightening! To make you a well-fitting and long-lasting permanent crown the dentist needs to shave off nearly half of your original tooth structure above the gumline, so the tooth ends up looking more or less like a little stub. And especially if this is a front tooth receiving the crown you want to be very careful for it not to fall out.

  • Avoid flossing on temporary crown
  • Brush gently in the region
  • Avoid eating hard and sticky food items like chewing gum or biting into a whole apple
  • Do not play with the temporary crown

3. The temporary crown will prevent your teeth from driftingThe technical reason for a temporary crown is actually not for look purposes but rather to maintain the space. Without a temporary crown in place the adjacent and the opposing teeth will slowly start drifting into this gap created from having shaven down the tooth in preparation of the crown. This may be microscopic movements but it can be enough to create a problem with receiving the permanent crown. Going without a temporary for a day or two is usually acceptable but once you get closer to a week or more then odds are you will run into issues receiving your permanent crown to the point where the permanent crown may not even fit any longer.

NEXT >> What to do if Your Temporary Crown Fails: Leave it Alone

What to do if Your Temporary Crown Fails: How to Decide

Replacing a Missing Tooth: Dental Bridge

If you already have a missing tooth or about to have a tooth removed then you are faced with the dilemma of how to replace this tooth. You will have four options after removing a tooth.

  • You can leave the space alone and do nothing. Of course this may mean your teeth may shift and become crooked especially if you are younger, so consider if this is something that will work for you.
  • You can make a removable tooth, a partial denture. Since these can come in and out, they are the considered the least desirable solutions.
  • Place dental bridge which involves shaving down the two teeth next to the gap and connecting them together via the dental bridge, essentially several attached crowns,  supported by the neighboring teeth.
  • Place a dental implant which involves inserting an implant into the jaw bone in place of the missing tooth and once healed adding a connector and crown on top of the implant to replace the original missing tooth.

If you want to have a fixed replacement, the best solution, then you have to go with either a dental bridge or a dental implant. So what are the advantages of each one? And which option makes more sense for you?

Pros of a Getting Dental Bridge

1. Getting a bridge is easier for you and probably easier for your dentist too. A dental bridge is nothing more than several crowns connected together to close the gap created by the missing tooth. Preparing a crown or a bridge is an easy task for most dentists as it is the bread-and-butter of dentistry and most dentists have generally performed hundreds or thousands of these throughout their careers.

On the other hand many dentists are not as comfortable placing or restoring dental implants. Many will refer you out to an oral surgeon or a specialist and this will delay their profits or risk them losing you as a patient altogether. You might find your dentist not offering you a dental implant as an option or trying to discourage you from getting one for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t let the determining factor in making a decision which will affect the health of your teeth be whether or not your dentist performs a certain procedure. A good dentist should always present a dental implant as an option when eligible and allow you to make a well informed decision based on what’s best for you.

2. Bridges are a quicker fix with better temporary optionsA dental bridge connects to your adjacent teeth. This means there is no healing period required. It also means it is pretty easy to make a similar temporary bridge as you wait for your permanent one. A dental bridge holds the upper hand over the dental implant here.

  • To receive a dental bridge you only need a few visits and it is usually completed within a month or so. The dental implant will require substantial healing times and you have to allow it to heal between 4 to 6 months before a crown can be placed on top of the implant.
  • There is no need for a surgery, CT scan or any other major planning in preparation for a dental bridge as opposed to an implant.
  • Making a temporary tooth for a dental bridge is much easier and with typically nicer results. And of course you only need to wear the temporary for a few weeks rather than months.

If you are missing a front tooth your dentist can usually make you a very nice temporary fixed bridge to close the gap as you wait for your permanent bridge to arrive, so you can have a reasonable temporary tooth in place the entire time.

Making a temporary tooth for a dental implant can be much trickier. Sometimes the dentist can can place a temporary tooth on top of the implant right away (known as immediate load) but the majority of times this is not an option as the implant is not strong enough to support the tooth just yet. You may have to wear a removable false tooth, known as a denture/ flipper, for the next few months as the implant continues to heal. Alternatively you may leave it alone and go toothless for a short while but if you are missing a front tooth this may not be a very fun choice!

helpful hint – If you already have or require multiple crowns on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth it may just be easier to simply do a dental bridge over a dental implant. For instance you may have lost a tooth in an accident and also broken a few adjacent teeth. By placing a bridge you can fix the broken teeth as well as close the gap while saving thousands on the implants and not needing an additional surgery. After all the main advantage of a dental implant is that it spares the neighboring teeth from being shaven down, but if these teeth are already slated to receive crowns then it might just be worth it to just consider doing a dental bridge after all and saving the extra headaches and bucks.

3. Bridges cost less. Most dentists charge a lot more for a dental implant over a dental bridge mainly because dental implants are more costly and much more time consuming to complete. Dental implants consist of three components that you have to pay for.

  • The implant screw
  • The connector (implant post)
  • The crown

And most dental implants typically require a bone graft, soft tissue membrane placement, sinus lift or some other additional surgical procedure to yield successful results which further adds to the price of the dental implant. As a result the dental implant will typically cost you about 50 to 100% more than a dental bridge would.

NEXT >> Replacing a Missing Tooth: Dental Implant

Replacing a Missing Tooth: How to Decide