How Much Pain is Normal After Getting a CEREC Crown?

I’ve only ever had regular crowns done, but two weeks ago I let my dentist do a CEREC crown for me. It was a little tender before the procedure, and he said that the cavity was big, so I don’t question whether I needed it or not. The problem is, I’ve been hurting ever since. It’s kind of a dull, continual ache, but it gets worse when I bite down. I’m not sure if teeth recover differently when it’s a CEREC crown or if this means something has gone wrong. Do I need to get it checked out or should I keep nursing it along for a couple more weeks to see if it gets better on its own?



Dear Pat,

The “recovery time” for a CEREC crown, versus a traditional lab-made one, is no different. Generally speaking, there shouldn’t be a need for recovery time, though.

In some cases, regardless of what kind of restoration is placed, the nerve of the tooth becomes irritated or inflamed. It’s more common when a large portion of the tooth has decay, and it can be exacerbated by the whirring of the dentist’s handpiece. Imagine that you’ve sprained your ankle, and then went and sat on the back of a bumpy school bus for an hour. Your ankle would scream by the end of it, but the soreness would eventually fade and your ankle would heal if you took care of it. Your tooth is kind of like that. It might just need more time and an anti-inflammatory medication until it settles down.

With that said, it’s not wise to try a wait-and-see approach on this one. If the shape of the CEREC crown is off, even just a little, your other teeth may continually hammer on it, which will make the pain worse. It’s like riding the school bus with a sprained ankle, and then stomping it on the floor every couple minutes. Ouch! If that’s the case, it won’t get better on its own, and you can damage the nerve (or even kill it) if you don’t have the restoration adjusted.

Give your dental office a call and have them check it out again. If you’re biting on it wrong, they’ll be able to tell with some quick tests and can have you feeling better in no time. If it’s something more, the dentist can figure out what it is and advise you from there.

This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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