There is more than one reason why your Houston dentist encourages you to visit every six months. When we see your smile routinely, we have a better chance of identifying issues before they become truly problematic. Decay is a progressive infection that is more easily treated when caught early. We prefer to repair minor tooth damage with a filling than to alter a tooth so that it can be fitted with a dental crown. However, we also recognize the long-term value of dental crowns when more extensive repair is necessary.
Dental Crown Pain: Is It Normal?
As successful as dental crowns are at preventing further damage in most cases, some factors need to be discussed. A dental crown may exhibit pain at some point. The question that needs to be answered up front is: when is dental crown pain normal, if ever?
Fortunately, we can say that there is a bit of normalcy to dental crown pain, but only during an initial window of time after treatment. Here’s why. The tooth that needs a dental crown has to be reduced. A dental drill is usually used to alter the tooth so the crown can fit. This causes slight inflammation because the drill sends vibrations through the tooth and its nerves. As a result of these vibrations, the nerves of the tooth may be more reactive for a time.
If pain continues after several days or develops after a crown has been in place for some time, it is necessary to visit your dentist.
Pain may indicate nerve sensitivity.
A dental crown is typically installed when a tooth has either suffered severe damage or when an existing filling has outlived its initial use. Amalgam fillings are known to crack or fracture enamel over time due to the way that metal expands inside the tooth. The initial restorative procedure required drilling to remove damage. Additional drilling to prepare for the crown creates more inflammation in the tooth’s nerve. Sometimes, this inflammation persists and can only be resolved with root canal therapy.
Pain may indicate decay.
A crown covers the majority of the tooth, but there is still a margin in which plaque may accumulate. This is why it is necessary to practice mindful oral care around dental crowns that includes flossing. Routine dental exams and cleanings are also essential for the long-term integrity of dental crowns around their margins. If plaque builds up around a crown, a cavity can develop close to the root and nerves, leading to pain. Decay beneath or around a crown may require root canal therapy.
Tooth pain may occur for several reasons, from decay to grinding and clenching. Your dentist can help you resolve pain with appropriate treatment. To schedule a visit in our Houston office, call (713) 660-6500.