Tooth Sensitivity for over 5 Months on New Crown

I had a crown put on a tooth in July. The dentist said bite was fine but adjusted it just in case. two months later I developed tooth sensitity on the outside surface of the tooth w/ cold sensitivity. Went back to dentist and he did xray, tapping, ice tests, and said the tooth looks fine and thought it was from grinding teeth . Sensodyne toothpaste took discomfort away for a while but its still here. I can chew fine its just soft touche/pressure that irritate tooth. Any ideas?

Doctor Answers 6

Sensitive crown

I would think that the crown is most likely fine. Sometimes the edge of the crown at the gum covers most of the tooth but there may be some root structure that is exposed. This is why you feel sensitivity to cold on the outside of the tooth and the sensodyne tooth paste helped some. This can happen to any tooth where the root is exposed whether crowned or not. I have found that MI paste (only found at a dentist's office) helps more than sensodyne. If the cold sensitivity only lasts for a few seconds, then there is a chance the tooth will heal on its own. If it lasts for minutes with throbbing then a root canal may be indicated to relieve your sensitivity. Try the conservative method first with the MI paste. Hope this helps.

Tooth Sensitivity after crown

Hi there,

Some sensitivity is normal after a crown. I would schedule a consult with an endodontist to make sure there is no nerve involvement. 

Dr. Day 

Aleksandr Dayanayev, DDS
Long Island City Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

5 Month Sensitivity

KSC,  Sensitivity is not uncommon after a crown is placed. But five months is getting a bit long for sensitivity and may indicate other concerns.  It is very possible that you may be grinding your teeth.  This can greatly increase the time it takes for a tooth to settle down.  If you do you should consider a guard to protect your teeth when you sleep.  One consideration is the quality of your discomfort.  Do you have cold sensitivity?  How long does it last after something cold touches it?  If it is a matter of seconds you probably do not need a root canal treatment, though this is not for sure.  If the discomfort is increasing it is more likely a root canal treatment is needed.  I suggest you go back to the dentist and discuss your options.  He can guide you to make a good decision.  Sometimes no treatment is the best.  Good luck to you.  

Thomas Roberts, DDS
Seattle Dentist

Sensitivity After New Crown

It is common to have some sensitivity following the placement of a new crown.  It sounds as though it is somewhat improving, but not completely gone yet.  I would say that you should give it more time.  Your dentist is correct in stating that you could be grinding and the  minor differences in your bite from the new crown could be causing the tooth to stay bruised.  I would consider an occlusal guard that you would wear at night to see if the remaining discomfort subsides.  If it does not,  then perhaps seeing an endodontist for the potential need for a root canal would be a good idea.  Good luck. 

Scott Young, DDS
Houston Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Tooth Sensitivity for over 5 Months on New Crown?

Some sensitivity after a new crown can be normal. I tell my patients that on average it goes away in about a week. In some circumstances if the tooth needed extensive, deep work, then it could take a few weeks for it to settle in.

Since the crown was fine to start with, I'm suspecting that the sensitivity is coming from one of two routes.

One, after all of the treatment was done, you may have had a small amount of gum recession at the edge of the crown. This exposes the edge of the root. 

Two, it's possible that some of the cement could have not cured well or have washed out of the edge (margin) of the crown. I think this is less likely to happen.

For either of these scenarios, I would keep working with the Sensodyne. It can lessen the sensitivity over time. In my office we also use a lot of prescription strength Fluorides-like Fluoridex. It can also have a profound desensitizing effect. 

It IS possible that it is related to your bite. It could also come from some extremely small discrepancy in your bite. Your cosmetic dentist may need to look at it again.

Any tooth that has had a crown has had a significant amount of disease before that. Any time the tooth has been through that much there is a small chance (6%) that the nerve can be affected and actually die. You can have an abscess (which slowly becomes a toothache or a swelling), or a "quite" abscess, where it never hurts a lot. 

If the crown or tooth keeps acting suspiciously, then you may need another X-ray or the bite looked at again.


Post-op Sensitivity on a Crown

If your dentist feels it is due to bruxism, maybe he could adjust the bite on the crown enough to where you do not touch it for a short while to see if that is in fact the cause.  If so, a nightguard would be in order especially if you have any wear patterns in your teeth.  If any tooth structure is showing between the margin of the crown and the gumline, it is possible this is the source of the sensitivity and could be coated with a desensitizing agent to seal it better.  The other possibility is the nerve did not survive the procedure and will need to have a root canal done.  The nerve in teeth have a poor healing ability and the dental work it has had done over the years can add up to where the nerve cannot tolerate the procedure and problems develop later.

Donald L. Wilcox, DDS
Glendale Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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.