How effective are OTC pain relievers after a dental crown procedure?

 What might cause the discomfort or pain? How often do dentists prescribe narcotics to deal with the pain?

Doctor Answers 12

OTC pain relievers after a dental crown procedure

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Most often, pain relievers are not needed after a crown procedure.   Some patients feel some soreness after the procedure, but this is usually the result of having the mouth held open or the cheek and tongue retracted for an extended time.  If desired, an OTC product such as Advil, Tylenol or Aleve can be taken before the anesthetic effect disappears.

Springfield Dentist

How Much Pain After A Dental Crown Procedure?

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I find that many practitioners (medical and dental) chronically underestimate what patients go through after procedures. I am a realist. I find many patients do very well and have minimal symptoms afterward, but I always make a plan to keep my patients as comfortable as possible.

I always suggest that patients take Ibuprofen (or Tylenol) one hour before their appointment and then again afterward for the next 24 hours. 

Some teeth that need crowns have had extensive damage, some patients realistically do need stronger medications. In that case a Narcotic prescription is given.

I find that good communication before hand about what to expect, then for me to know my patient-i.e., are they going back to a 12 hour workday tomorrow, will they be on the phone and in meetings constantly the next day...? If so, it's better to plan for the worst, and engineer the results so that the tooth is as little irritated as possible.

Most people do very well with the crown process and like every other dental procedure, discuss your thoughts and questions with your dentist. DO it before you start so that you can plan properly. With a great plan, you will be comfortable and have no surprises afterward.

Is there pain involved with dental crown procedures?

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The rule of thumb is that the deeper the fracture or decay,   the closer the problem lesion is to the nerve, the more pain or discomfort involved. So there can be absolutely no pain involved, or severe pain if the nerve has been exposed or irritated simply due to the proximity of the problem area to the nerve.

Most of the time if you are experiencing enough pain that you need perscription meds to make it go away, it means sooner or later you'll need a root canal treatment. in those cases most dentist will warn you about the situation.  

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

OTC pain reliever is normally adequate.

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A single tooth crown procedure generally may cause a day or two of mild discomfort in the form of a dull ache or temperature sensitivity (especially cold) which is alleviated with over the counter anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) or Aspirin.  In certain situations, such as if there is a large filling in the tooth or the tooth is badly damaged, the discomfort may be stronger in intensity and/or duration, in which case a stronger pain reliever may be needed.

Michael Firouzian, DDS
Columbus Dentist

Pain after crown procedures

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You can have some mild sensitivity after preparation procedures for crown, but it should not be very severe. OTC pain reliever should take care of that. Strong pain could be caused by few factors. It can be that during the preparation for the crown significant amount of tooth structure was removed and there is very thin layer of the dentin covering the nerve, or nerve was exposed. Nerve exposure would cause a severe pain and in that case dentist would prescribe very strong (narcotic) painkiller, until you could be helped by endodontist. If your pain symptom do not go away in a day or two you should be reevaluated for possible root canal treatment. Take care.

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

Pain after veneers or crowns.

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In an ideal situation there should be no pain post treatment with crown preps or veneers. Ideally meaning  the tooth is in the correct alignment with the opposing arch and adjacent teeth, there is not any large filling material to replace and there is no current inflammation on the current tooth before prepping. There are certain situations where the tooth to be prepared for a crown has been rotated or drifted. This change in alignment changes the position as well as the normal long axis of the tooth. Once the tooth is prepared, due to the reduction of the tooth structure an inflammatory response can occur.  In this situation anti-inflammatory medication should be prescribed to decrease the affects of the insult on the nerve. This inflammation usually subsides . If no relief is achieved a few days after treatment contact a dentist for further diagnoses and treatment.

Roderick Cooper, DDS
Atlanta Dentist

Anti-inflammatory medication for dental pain

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A procedure such as a crown for a tooth will usually elicit minimal to no discomfort.  Any mild to moderate discomfort can be effectively relieved with the use of over the counter ibuprofen (Advil) which is good for inflammation. Two to three tablets (400-600mg) every 4 to 6 hours is adequate. It is important to note that any persistent pain will need to be evaluated by the dentist.  Any moderate to severe pain requires immediate attention.

Michael Dorociak, DDS
Sarasota Dentist

Pain after a crown

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OTC pain relievers work well before and after a dental procedure.  A crown procedure generlly does not cause pain but slight discomfort the 24 hours is fine.  If pain continues or is more intese, call the dentist office.

Pain following dental crown procedure

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There shouldn’t be any pain following a crown procedure.  However some mild gum discomfort may occur.  I have my patients rinse with warm salt water at night following the procedure.   Usually people report that by the next day there was no discomfort.  I’ve never needed to prescribe narcotics to someone coming for a single crown procedure.   In a rare event that severe pain occurs following the procedure.  It's usually the result of nerve damage and a root canal should be performed.  Your dentist should discuss with you prior to the procedure how close the decay is to the nerve and the chances for a root canal.  Good Luck!

Peter Mann, DDS
Manhattan Dentist

OTC pain relievers work quite well after a crown procedure.

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Usually there is no need to prescribe narcotics for crown procedures. 

If some pain relief is needed, ibuprofen (Advil) usually works best.  The work on the tooth and the trauma to the surrounding tissue elicit an inflammatory response by the body, and this is why a anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) works so well.

Dr. Alper

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.