Understanding Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Crowns

December 8, 2023

Dental crowns are a common and effective solution for restoring damaged or decayed teeth. While these restorations offer durability and functionality, some individuals may experience tooth sensitivity after the placement of dental crowns.

In this comprehensive blog, we'll discuss the factors that can lead to tooth sensitivity after dental crown placement and explore potential solutions to address this common concern.

Dental Crown Basics

Purpose of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns, also called caps, are prosthetic restorations designed to encase a damaged or weakened tooth. They provide structural support, enhance aesthetics, and protect the tooth from further deterioration. Crowns are often recommended for teeth with deep dental decay, tooth fractures, or after root canal therapy.

Materials Used

Dental crowns can be crafted from ceramic, porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of these. Which material is used depends on factors such as where the tooth is located in the mouth, functional requirements, and aesthetic preferences.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Crowns

Nerve Irritation

One of the common causes of tooth sensitivity after getting a dental crown is irritation to the tooth's nerve. The process of preparing the tooth for the crown, which involves removing some enamel, can sometimes lead to temporary sensitivity. This sensitivity usually subsides as the tooth adjusts to the crown.

Inadequate Tooth Preparation

If the tooth is not adequately prepared before placing the crown, it can result in uneven pressure distribution or improper fit, leading to sensitivity. Ensuring precise and thorough tooth preparation is crucial to minimize the risk of post-crown placement sensitivity.

Dental Decay or Infection

Tooth sensitivity may persist if there is underlying dental decay or infection that wasn't fully addressed before the crown placement. In such cases, it's essential to investigate and treat any remaining issues to alleviate sensitivity.

Gum Recession

Gum recession, a gradual exposure of the tooth's root surface, can occur due to factors such as age, aggressive tooth brushing, or gum disease. If a dental crown is placed on a tooth with exposed roots, it may lead to heightened sensitivity.

Incorrect Bite Alignment

A misaligned bite, where the crown makes premature contact or bears excessive force during chewing, can result in sensitivity. Ensuring proper bite alignment through adjustments is crucial for resolving this issue.

Immediate Post-Crown Placement Sensitivity

Temporary Sensitivity

It's not uncommon to experience sensitivity immediately after the placement of a dental crown. This is often temporary and can be attributed to the recent dental work. The tooth may need some time to adjust to the new crown, and sensitivity typically lasts no longer than a couple of weeks and sometimes as little as a few days.

Overcoming Immediate Sensitivity

Patients can try over-the-counter desensitizing toothpaste or gels for relief from immediate post-crown placement sensitivity. These products contain ingredients like potassium nitrate or fluoride, which help reduce sensitivity by blocking nerve signals.

Managing Long-Term Sensitivity

  • Identifying the Underlying Cause

If tooth sensitivity persists beyond the initial post-placement period, it's crucial to identify the underlying cause. A thorough examination by our dentist, including X-rays and assessments of the crown's fit and your bite, can help pinpoint the issue.

  • Proper Oral Hygiene

Patients can prevent complications by maintaining proper oral hygiene practices. Regular brushing, flossing, and attending dental check-ups are vital components of post-crown placement care.

  • Addressing Gum Recession

If gum recession is contributing to sensitivity, our dentist may recommend interventions such as gum grafting to cover exposed roots and alleviate discomfort.

  • Bite Adjustment

Bite-related sensitivity can often be resolved through bite adjustment. Your dentist will carefully analyze your bite and make necessary modifications to ensure even pressure distribution during chewing.

  • Fluoride Treatments

Professional fluoride treatments provided by our dentist can strengthen the enamel and reduce sensitivity. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with thin enamel or those prone to dental sensitivity.

When to Consult A Dentist

Persistent Sensitivity

If tooth sensitivity persists or worsens over time, it's crucial to consult our dentist promptly. Persistent sensitivity may indicate an unresolved issue that requires attention.

Severe Pain or Discomfort

If you experience severe pain or discomfort that is not alleviated by over-the-counter desensitizing products, it's a red flag to seek immediate dental attention. This could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as nerve irritation or infection.

Call Us For Tooth Sensitivity Treatment

Tooth sensitivity after getting dental crowns is a common concern, but it's essential to recognize that, in many cases, it's a temporary and manageable issue. Open communication with our dentist, adherence to post-crown placement care instructions, and timely intervention for persistent sensitivity are key factors in ensuring a successful and comfortable outcome.

Our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalized care and addressing any concerns you may have during your dental crown journey. Remember, a beautiful smile should not come at the cost of discomfort, and we are here to guide you every step of the way toward achieving optimal oral health and a confident, pain-free smile.

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