In mid-July my dentist prepared my cracked lower left molar for a crown. The temporary crown did not fit well. It hurt and was sensitive to cold. My dentist placed the permanent crown in mid-August, but it hurt from the first day. I returned to the office for my dentist to look at the crown. He did temperature and pressure tests on the teeth and later said that a new crown can be sensitive for three months. My tooth still hurts and is sensitive to heat and cold. I think it is infected. I am scheduled to return to my dentist in two weeks, but since he is so carefree about my discomfort, should I see an endodontist instead? ~ Thank you. Carolyn T. from Arlington, VA
Thank you for your question.
We recommend scheduling an appointment with an endodontist without delay.
Should a New Crown Continue to Hurt?
It is not normal for a new crown to have lingering sensitivity to pressure, heat, and cold.
- Cracked tooth – A crack can affect tooth pulp, eventually lead to infection, and then the tooth dies.
- Cold sensitivity – Faulty temporary crown sealing can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Also, tooth irritation during crown preparation can create sensitivity. Some dentists coat the tooth with a desensitizing product.
- Permanent crown placement – When a dentist places a final crown on a painful tooth, sensitivity and pain are likely to increase. The result is irreversible pulp inflammation requiring root canal treatment. Irreversible pulp inflammation means that the living tissue inside the tooth is infected and will eventually die. Root canal treatment removes the pulp and prevents the infection from spreading.
An endodontist can examine and x-ray your tooth to determine if root canal treatment can save the tooth. In some cases, a specialist may recommend tooth removal and a dental implant.
Cosmetic dentist Mohamed Imam, DDS of San Antonio, sponsors this post.