My dentist placed a final crown on my lower left first molar, although the temporary crown was never comfortable. My dentist replaced the first temporary crown, but the second one did not fit well either. I told my dentist that my tooth was sensitive whenever I ate or drank something cold. Now that I have the final crown, my tooth has not stopped hurting. I think the tooth is worse because it is now sensitive to heat and cold. Doesn’t this mean that the tooth is infected? How can I trust a dentist who didn’t care enough to figure out what was wrong with the tooth before placing the final crown? I should not have trusted him when he told me that the final crown would be comfortable even though the temporary one was a mess. Thanks for your help. Thomas – Rhode Island
Thank you for your question. We are sorry to hear about your experience with a faulty dental crown.
We recommend getting a second opinion from an endodontist (root canal specialist) instead of returning to your dentist.
How Long Should Dental Crown Sensitivity Last?
Lingering sensitivity in a dental crown is abnormal. Although tooth preparation for the crown can cause sensitivity, it should decrease within a few days—not weeks.
What may cause lingering sensitivity?
- Cracked tooth – Your cracked tooth may have an infection. Untreated disease causes the pulp and tooth to die.
- Aggressive tooth preparation – You may experience prolonged sensitivity for a few weeks if a dentist aggressively prepares a tooth for a crown.
- Cold sensitivity – Irritation and sensitivity can result if a dentist does not seal your temporary crown correctly. Some dentists coat a prepared tooth with a desensitizing product to minimize symptoms.
- Permanent crown placement – If a tooth is already sensitive and painful, the symptoms will increase if a dentist covers the tooth with a crown and does not address the cause of your discomfort. Irreversible pulp inflammation requires root canal treatment.
An endodontist will examine and x-ray your tooth to determine its condition and whether root canal therapy can save it. Otherwise, the endodontist may recommend tooth removal and a dental implant.
Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.