You’re at the dentist’s office and your appointment is wrapping up; you’ll be picking out a new toothbrush and heading out the door any moment now! But before you go, your dentist informs you that you’re going to need a dental crown. You’ve heard of crowns but your unfamiliarity with the process makes you feel a little uneasy, and the first thought that comes to mind is: “Is this going to hurt?” Here’s what you need to know about dental crowns and why you don’t need to worry.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a special protective cap that covers your whole tooth. It’s sort of like a shell or helmet, and the tooth is completely sealed inside. The crown encapsulates the remaining enamel and protects the tooth all the way down to the gumline.
Dental crowns have many uses, but a few of the common ones include:
- Protecting a decayed or damaged tooth
- Covering a discolored or misshapen tooth
- Securing a dental bridge
- Protecting a tooth that’s undergone root canal therapy
Is Getting a Dental Crown Painful?
If you’re concerned about how painful getting a dental crown is, you don’t need to worry; the tooth and affected area is completely numbed prior to treatment. You won’t feel a thing while the crown is being placed, and the anesthetic usually wears off after a couple of hours. Dentists can also apply a jelly that numbs and desensitizes the skin around the anesthetic injection site.
After receiving your crown, you might experience some slight tenderness and minor pain in the affected area. This usually only lasts for the following week and is your body’s response to the adjustment that’s been made inside of your mouth. Most of this soreness stems from the site of the anesthetic injection rather than the crown itself. Over-the-counter painkillers can typically provide relief.
However, if your crown actually hurts or is throbbing for more than a day or two, there might be a serious problem that needs to be addressed; let your dentist know as soon as possible. Once the crown is in, painful problems can occur if you fail to take care of it. brushing twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and using fluoride toothpaste will also help to keep things in check—just be careful around the tender area.
Receiving a dental crown might seem a little intimidating, but the overall experience isn’t painful thanks to the efforts made by your dentist. The crown isn’t meant to cause you pain, but rather save you from it in the future!
About the Author
A native Pennsylvanian, Dr. Chris Devlin received his dental doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. He is associated with the Dawson Academy, the Pankey Institute, and The Society of Dental Anesthesiology. His practice offers a wide range of services to patients in the State College area, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. If you have any questions about dental crowns, Dr. Devlin can be contacted through his website or by phone: (814) 238-3553.