Why Does My Tooth Still Hurt After a Dental Crown
We received the following question from a reader:
It has been 6 weeks now since I had my crown put on. For the 1st 2 weeks it was sensitive but after 1 month it still was hurting when i chew. I went back to my dentist 2 weeks ago and she ground down to adjust the crown and tested it the cold really hurts. Now its 6 weeks and I still can’t chew down on it. My dentist says she can’t take the crown off.
What can I do?
These are literally the classic signs that your crown is “too high”. And yes, the dentist can take it off, actually it is her responsibility to take it off and re-fabricate, if need be, a crown that fits your tooth properly.
Sensitivity after Dental Crown
Slight cold sensitivity or a minor toothache after having a crown done is quite normal. The process of preparing your tooth for the crown typically generates a moderate amount of heat and friction on the tooth and usually requires a few days for everything to return to normal. However, if the pain lasts well past a week, this usually indicates something else could be going on.
A Dentist Must Reproduce your Tooth as Best as Possible
Your teeth come together when you bite in a very specific, particular way. All the grooves, valleys, and cusps on your teeth fit the opposing tooth EXACTLY, to create a perfect bite and chewing surface. Believe it or not, there is a complete study of how your teeth come together, labeled occlusion, and dentists study this subject matter intensively in dental school, and continuing education.
When dentists place a crown, they take an imprint of your mouth, called impression, usually with you biting, in order to capture the detailed anatomy around the tooth. This is then sent to a lab, or fabricated in office, to create a crown that is perfect for the space.
Signs that a Filling or Crown are Too High
Sometimes a crown doesn’t fit your bite exactly. Actually this is more common than you think. If the anatomy of a crown is off by even a miniscule amount, YOU WILL NOTICE, and your body will notice.
If a crown or filling is too high, it aggravates the ligament, known as the periodontal ligament, which holds the tooth in the socket (Notice picture on right). When this ligament is aggravated, you could experience some of the following symptoms.
- Sensitivity to cold
- Pain on biting
- General sensitivity
Know Your Rights as a Dental Patient
When this occurs, a patient generally returns to the dental office to have the crown adjusted. The dentist will have you bite on paper, called articulation paper, to see which areas need to be adjusted. Usually after a couple of adjustments, everything should return to normal.
However, if after having a few adjustments the pain still exists, then the crown needs to be removed, and the dentist should place you in a temporary crown in order to observe the symptoms for a week or so. When you’re symptoms resolve, the dentist should then fabricate a new crown and place it permanently.
DO NOT let a dentist tell you this cannot be done. It is the dentist’s responsibility and role to create a good fitting and comfortable crown. Know your rights and demand to be treated fairly.
Save My Smile Team
Do you have a dental question of your own? Feel free to submit it here to our dentist-on-call.