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.