Dr. Stephen A. Price


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Why Would My Tooth Hurt after a Dental Crown?

By: | Monday, July 30th, 2018 | Dental Crown

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Dental Crown  BURKE, VAOne of the common questions that appears on internet searches is “why does my tooth hurt after a crown?” To experience pain after restorative treatment can be alarming and frustrating. The whole point of getting a crown is to stop the pain that may have resulted from an injury or bad cavity. If a dental crown was installed for a problem that was not painful to begin with, pain after a dental crown could be especially concerning. Here, we discuss why this may happen.

Tooth Structure 101

Beneath the hard layer of enamel and a softer layer of dentin is a chamber of very soft tissue that is made up of blood vessels and nerves. This is called dental pulp. Because pulp is innervated, it will react to stimulation of all types. Sometimes that stimulation comes from the temperature of food, sometimes from infection, and sometimes the nerves of a tooth are stimulated by dental work.

The reason that most people need a dental crown is that a tooth has suffered trauma, infection or otherwise. When a tooth is prepared for a dental crown, the nerve may perceive additional injury. This is a double-whammy for a nerve that has become increasingly reactive to stimuli. As a result of preparation for tooth repair, the tissues at the center of the tooth may become inflamed and may stay that way for some time.

In many cases, the tooth just needs some time to calm down. If pain develops shortly after getting a dental crown, give it a few days to see if it resolves on its own. Comfort should improve with over-the-counter medication. If pain worsens or does not go away after several days, you need to see your dentist. You may need:

A crown adjustment

After a crown has been affixed, we do a bite assessment to check the height and seating of the new restoration. In many cases, this is done after the nerves have been numbed with local anesthetic. Therefore, it is possible that pain from a dental crown is related to its situation in the mouth. Maybe one point of the dental crown is hitting the opposing tooth too strongly. We can check the height of the crown when you are not numbed to confirm whether or not your pain has to do with a structural problem.

A root canal

Sometimes, the inflammation that occurs in a tooth nerve after dental crown treatment doesn’t go away. This is impossible to predict, but it is treatable. If pain persists after getting a dental crown, or it gets worse, it could be an indication that the nerve is not going to calm down and that it will eventually die. Root canal therapy can be performed in this instance to remove the inflamed tissue and resolve pain. If this type of dental crown pain is not treated, the tooth may be lost, or infection may develop in the form of an abscess.

Are you experiencing dental pain? We can help. Call (703)-935-2879 to schedule your visit with us.



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