Dental Crowns and Sensitivity

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on June 24, 2020

Teeth that are weak, broken, or decayed require dental crowns to restore health, function, and aesthetics. Following dental crown placement, patients may experience some degree of sensitivity. This is a normal side effect of the procedure and is typically not a cause for concern. However, there are a few things patients can do to reduce sensitivity and enjoy a quick recovery.

Here, Dr. Rafael Mercado discusses the topic of dental crowns and sensitivity and explains what our Castle Hills, TX, patients can do to address this issue.

What Causes Sensitivity after Dental Crown Placement?

Following a dental crown procedure, patients may feel sensitivity to pressure, heat, or cold. Generally, sensitivity should improve on its own. If pain worsens, it could be indicative of another problem, such as:

  • A high bite: Once a dental crown is in place, your dentist will adjust your bite so that you do not place too much pressure on your new restoration. If the crown sits too high, it can interfere with the bite and result in discomfort.
  • Condition of the underlying tooth structure: Before a crown is bonded into place, the underlying tooth is reshaped. This involves some removal of enamel. The more enamel that is removed, the higher the risk for sensitivity, particularly if the new crown is close to the nerve.
  • Root exposure: Often, sensitivity develops as a result of existing gum recession.
  • Referred pain: Sometimes a patient might feel pain or sensitivity from an adjacent tooth, even though it may feel like it is coming from the treated tooth. This is called referred pain.

How Long Does Sensitivity Last?

Because every patient is unique, the degree and duration of sensitivity after dental crown placement can vary. In most cases, however, tenderness or sensitivity only lasts for about one to two weeks. If you have experienced sensitivity for longer, call our Castle Hills practice for more information.

How to Alleviate Dental Crown Sensitivity

Though sensitivity is extremely common after dental crown placement, there are several things patients can do to reduce or alleviate the problem. Here are just a few recommendations:

  • If you suffer from bruxism, consider purchasing a custom oral appliance. Chronic teeth grinding or clenching can exacerbate sensitivity following dental crown placement.
  • Keep the treatment area clean. Even though you will feel tenderness following your procedure, proper brushing and flossing is imperative. Be sure you choose a nonabrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. This will soothe the oral soft tissues and keep the treatment area clean.
  • Apply cold compresses to the external jaw to alleviate any pain or discomfort. Leave on for 20 minutes, then remove. Repeat this process as often as necessary for the first two to three days.
  • Take ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen to reduce pain and sensitivity associated with dental crown placement. Be sure to follow the dosage recommendations provided by Dr. Mercado.

Contact Castle Hills Family Dental for More Information

If you are having sensitivity following a dental crown procedure, our Castle Hills team can help. To learn more or to schedule an appointment at our practice, contact us online or give us a call at (210) 405-1257.