Getting a dental crown can be incredibly relieving when you’ve been living with a persistent toothache. Dental crowns are commonly used in our office to restore injured teeth and also to replace old fillings that are no longer providing protective value. In many ways, this method of care has improved over time. Patients who prefer the most natural appearance can choose restorations that do not contain metal. The advances in materials and techniques that have occurred in recent years certainly improve patient outcomes. Still, it is not unheard of for a dental crown to hurt.
Dental crown pain can be alarming because there is a perception that a covered tooth cannot sustain further damage. It can, but tooth decay at the margin of the crown is only one of a few reasons for discomfort after restorative treatment. Here, we discuss what those are.
This Pain is Normal
Rarely do we talk about dental pain as a regular occurrence, except in the case of post-operative sensation. When a tooth needs a crown, its nerve may have already become agitated as a result of initial trauma. Even a fracture or collision with a popcorn kernel is perceived as trauma to the delicate nerve of a tooth. Then, when we prepare the tooth for its crown, we must remove a portion of its structure using the dental drill. This technique is efficient and allows us a great deal of control, but it does send waves of vibration through the tooth to its nerve, potentially worsening reactivity.
Because the nerve is disrupted by the initial injury as well as the vibration from the dental drill, there is a chance that the tooth will feel sensitive for a few days after dental crown treatment. This is the only instance in which further treatment might not be necessary.
This Pain is Not Normal
Pain that occurs when you chew could mean that the crown needs to be reshaped. We can perform a bite analysis to see where the new crown is hitting the opposing tooth and refine the restoration as necessary to perfect its fit.
Pain that persists after restorative treatment might indicate that the nerve has no plans to settle down. This sometimes happens as a result of repeated work, or just because some nerves simply do not recover from the disruption they have experienced. Root canal therapy may be necessary to prevent ongoing discomfort and nerve death.
Your Milwaukee dentist can help you address dental crown pain. Call 414-377-5711 to schedule a visit with us.