When a tooth has suffered significant decay or trauma, it is at risk for more serious complications, including infection and tooth loss. To prevent dental complications and restore the structure of the tooth so that oral functions can be performed comfortably, patients can have a dental crown placed. Dental crowns replace lost tooth structure and protect what’s left of the natural tooth and its roots system.
After dental crown treatment with Dr. Bruno Lemay, our Cathedral City, CA, patients may experience sensitivity. Here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding sensitivity after dental crown treatment.
What Causes Sensitivity?
There are different reasons why a person may experience sensitivity following dental crown treatment. If the gums are sensitive, it may be because the dental cement that is used to bond a dental crown in place came in contact with the gums and caused some minor irritation. When a dental crown is new, it can also take some time for the gums to adjust to it. If the crown presses against the gums, some sensitivity may develop.
When the tooth feels sensitive after dental crown treatment, it probably means that a significant amount of tooth structure was removed. The more material that is removed, the closer we get to revealing the pulp at the center of the tooth, which consists of sensitive nerves and tissues. The dental crown will protect the pulp of the tooth so that sensitivity is not a long-term concern, but minor sensitivity is still common immediately following treatment.
Do I Need to Report Sensitivity to My Dentist?
Most cases of sensitivity are completely normal and do not need to be reported to the dentist. However, if our Cathedral City patients are experiencing sensitivity that is significant enough to cause severe pain, or if sensitivity gets worse instead of better, it is a good idea to let the dentist know. Dr. Lemay may want to schedule a follow-up appointment so that we can rule out potential complications or make any necessary adjustments to the crown.
How Long Will Sensitivity Last?
Sensitivity is usually not a long-lasting side effect of dental crown treatment. In most cases, sensitivity only lasts for a few days, or up to a week. If sensitivity persists for longer than a week after treatment, it may be a sign of another issue.
What Can I Do to Minimize Sensitivity?
There are many steps that our Cathedral City patients can take to minimize sensitivity until it subsides. Some practices that are especially effective include:
- Using over-the-counter pain medication
- Using a topical anesthetic gel
- Switching to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
- Avoiding hot and cold foods
- Refraining from biting down on hard foods or non-food objects
- Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush
Dental crowns repair moderate to severe dental damage to restore oral functions and alleviate oral pain. If you have questions about dental crown treatment or the recovery process, contact us at your earliest convenience. You can also call (760) 324-4450 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruno Lemay.