Discomfort After a Dental Crown Has Been Fitted: What Could It Mean?

Dental crowns occupy a vital place in cosmetic dentistry. They're practical when a tooth has decayed to the point that surface restoration work -- such as dental bonding -- will be deemed unlikely to succeed, but before a tooth has degraded to the extent that extraction and replacement -- such as with a dental implant -- becomes necessary. The crown itself is slipped over the tooth, creating a pristine outward appearance, and giving the tooth the necessary strength to remain intact. What if you're suspicious that all might not be well beneath that pristine surface?

Mild Discomfort

Having a dental crown fitted can be mildly uncomfortable, but this is definitely not the same as being painful. Arguably the most unpleasant step of the process is when your dentist shaves a miniscule amount of dental enamel off the tooth in order to create an appropriately smooth base for the dental crown, which is necessary for it to permanently bond to its tooth. If you're particularly sensitive to such a procedure, your dentist could even utilise anaesthetic. There's unlikely to be increased sensitivity once the crown has been fitted, as it has been designed to match the precise dimensions of its underlying tooth. What if you begin to experience pain in the weeks and months after the crown has been fitted?

Pulpitis Beneath the Crown

A root canal -- the removal of the nerve inside the tooth -- is not mandatory prior to receiving a dental crown, and if it's thought that the nerve is still healthy then it will be left as it is. The nerve might have other ideas, however. It's possible for a nerve to develop pulpitis, becoming infected, and essentially beginning to die even when a crown has been fitted. The death of a dental nerve is extremely uncomfortable for the host -- which is you -- and can result in additional complications as the infection spreads. How would you know if this is happening?

Signs and Treatment

Discomfort and pain are the main signs of pulpitis under a dental crown. This is generally localised to the site of the crown, and might be triggered by pressure flaring up when you eat. It's crucial to note that this is not normal for a dental crown, and you must see your dentist as soon as possible. The crown will need to be removed, and the root canal will be performed before the crown can be replaced.

Discomfort after a dental crown has been fitted is not something that should be tolerated. The crown does not require time to settle or anything of that nature, and discomfort may be a sign that you will require more treatment than was first thought to be necessary.