Tooth crown pain is real — and it can be every bit as mind bogglingly painful as a toothache. You might think a crown should spare you from any dental pain, but like any other dental procedure, things can go wrong. If your tooth crown hurts, whether you’ve just a new crown or one you’ve had for a while, we’re here to help. We care about our patients. Let’s find you some relief.
If the tooth under the crown did not have a root canal, it still has nerves in it. If the tooth gets infected, these nerves can become inflamed and painful. Perhaps previous dental fillings have had leakages that have infected the nerve root with bacteria.
It’s also possible you are having problems with a cavity. Just because your tooth is covered with a crown doesn’t mean it’s free from cavities. The tooth underneath the crown is still alive, and new cavities can form at the border where the tooth meets in the crown. If the cavity hits the nerve, your tooth could die, which can lead to a painful infection that you’ll feel as tooth crown pain.
If you grind your teeth at night — a habit known as bruxism — you may develop tight and painful jaw muscles that can lead to pain in your tooth crown. You might find relief by wearing a generic mouth guard at night. You might also try meditation and other relaxation techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety before bed.
If you continue to feel tooth crown pain, call our office in Tucson right away. Any kind of toothache is no fun. The sooner we can get you a diagnosis, the sooner we can begin treating the tooth and the better you’ll feel.
First, we’ll have you bite onto articulating paper to determine if there are any uneven spots there affecting your occlusion. If this is the case, we can file these areas down so you have a smoother bite to relieve the pain.
We’ll also do x-rays to determine if there is an infection in the tooth. If there is, we may need to do a root canal. We may be able to do this by drilling a hole into the crown to complete the root canal. This can be a complex process but is considerably cheaper than removing the crown. If we remove the crown, we often can’t save it. You’ll need a new crown.
In the meantime, we will prescribe you antibiotics to kill the infection and pain medication to provide you immediate relief.
If we do need to replace the crown, you’ll have the option of choosing between a crown and a veneer as a replacement. Both are effective methods to repair the function and appearance of a damaged tooth. The difference is a veneer covers only the front of the tooth, while a crown covers the entire tooth.
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain — about 1 millimeter (mm) in thickness — that’s bonded to the front of your existing tooth. A veneer is strictly a cosmetic dentistry procedure. It does little to the function of the tooth. The restoration is very thin, about as thick as a fingernail.
A crown is about 2 mm in thickness and covers the entire tooth. Crowns can be porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM), or an all-metal alloy. Unlike a veneer, a crown is more than just a cosmetic dentistry procedure. It’s done to truly restore the tooth. Crowns are also thicker than veneers, so we’ll have to shave down more of the tooth to ensure a proper fit.
If you’re considering crowns vs veneers, the choice ultimately comes down to how damaged the tooth is. If your tooth has a large filling, a root canal, or is worn and cracked, a crown is probably ideal. But if your tooth is mostly intact and you only want to restore it cosmetically, a veneer is a more affordable option than a crown.
If you have to lose a tooth, we might need to give you an implant crown. This is a false tooth that is surgically implanted into your jawbone. The advantage of an implant crown is it functions and looks just as natural as your original tooth. If implanted correctly and well taken care of, a dental implant crown can also last a lifetime.