Dental crowns are an excellent solution for seriously damaged teeth. They can even be used to cap dental implants for individual replacement of missing teeth. Using the latest techniques and materials, Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky has been able to restore the smiles of countless patients throughout Downtown Edmonton, Alberta.
As effective as dental crowns are, tooth sensitivity and some discomfort are common side effects of treatment. Let’s offer insight into why this happens and what patients can do about it.
To understand why tooth sensitivity occurs, let’s go over the placement of a dental crown.
First, a damaged tooth must be prepped. This involves removing the compromised tooth structure that is still in place until there is only healthy tooth material remaining. An impression is then taken of the prepped tooth. A dental crown is created using this impression, with a focus on how the crown fits the prepped tooth, complements the adjacent teeth, and functions when a patient bites down.
Since the capped tooth has some enamel removed as part of the process, patients will experience some sensitivity until they grow accustomed to the crown.
Tooth sensitivity with a new dental crown can last two weeks and sometimes more, though patients will experience noticeable improvements in discomfort in the first few days after the new crown is placed.
In order to avoid serious soreness with a new crown and to make the recovery process more tolerable, there are a few things that patients can do.
Firstly, the team at our Downtown Edmonton dental centre instructs patients with new crowns to predominantly eat soft foods for the first several days. Avoid anything crunchy, crispy, or tough. Also avoid sticky or chewy candies as these can potentially dislodge the crown.
If possible, eat foods and drink beverages that are room temperature rather than hot or cold. Extremes in temperature can lead to sharp bouts of tooth sensitivity.
In addition to temporarily altering your diet, we also recommend that patients try to chew on the opposite side of the mouth, away from the new dental crown. This helps reduce the pressure exerted directly onto the new crown, which will make eating easier and less painful.
While cold food items and drinks are to be avoided, a cold compress against the cheek can help reduce soreness. Be sure to leave the cold compress on for about 20 minutes tops, leaving it off 20 minutes before repeating the use of the cold compress as necessary.
Brushing and flossing regularly is important when you have a new crown in place. To make regular oral hygiene easier, consider using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Brush at least twice a day, though you should ideally brush and floss after every meal.
If you need to, over-the-counter pain medication can help reduce soreness and sensitivity associated with a new crown. Never exceed the recommended dosage. Relying on the other advice above may be sufficient pain management for some patients.
If your tooth sensitivity does not improve, be sure to contact our dental practice right away. This could be the sign of a problem that requires professional attention and care.
For more information about dental crowns and other restorations to treat tooth decay and damage, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Podilsky can be reached by phone in Downtown Edmonton at (780) 428-6846. We look forward to hearing from you.