Just got a tooth crown? Congrats! But don't get too excited just yet; it is important that you follow some simple post-operation rules to keep that pearly white crown in tip-top shape.
Don’t worry. You don’t even need to break a sweat to ensure your dental crowns last for the next ten to fifteen years.
Read along to get the best advice from dental experts.
What to expect after a dental crown procedure.
Tooth sensitivity and pain are common after a dental crown procedure. You may also expect a numbing effect around the treated area several hours after your dental appointment.
However, it is essential to note that these sensations should not last more than two weeks and should improve with each passing day.
If tooth crown pain, tooth sensitivity, and numbing persist, it may be due to certain issues that need immediate attention.
Here are the possible reasons:
An infection in a dental crown typically develops when bacteria seep under the crown and infects the tooth. This case can happen due to poor oral hygiene, a cracked or chipped crown, or a crown not fitting correctly. The infection may also arise if the tooth with the crown has decayed or gum disease.
Cavities, also known as tooth decay, can develop in any part of a tooth, including in areas covered by a dental cap. The most common places where cavities build up in crowns are at the margins near the gum line or the edge where the crown meets the natural tooth structure.
Cavity development occurs because the margins of a crown can be more challenging to clean and can trap bacteria, leading to plaque and acid formation that can erode the tooth structure.
Dental crown cavities can cause tooth pain in a few ways. The decay can start eroding the tooth structure, leading to pain or discomfort when biting or chewing. As the decay progresses, it can also cause sensitivity. If the decay reaches the tooth’s nerve, it can lead to severe pain and may call for a root canal treatment.
Fractured tooth or crown
Trauma, grinding or clenching of teeth, and biting hard food may result in a fractured tooth cap.
Its symptoms may involve pain when biting or chewing, tooth sensitivity, and visible cracks or chips in the tooth or crown. A cracked crown exposes the teeth to bacteria that can cause infection. If it happens, expect pain, swelling, and eventually tooth loss if not treated early.
Teeth grinding (Bruxism)
Have you been awakened by a weird gnashing sound in the night? Chances are you have a family member with bruxism or unconscious teeth grinding.
It is often connected to stress and anxiety, sleeping disorder, or due to some medicine. Bruxism puts a lot of pressure on the teeth and can lead to dental problems.
Crowns don’t fit properly.
Crowns that don’t fit properly signify that the dental procedure failed. This scenario can happen if the tooth was not prepared correctly or the crown was not made or placed properly.
Best Tooth Crown Aftercare Practices
The majority of dental crown procedures have a 97 % success rate. While problems such as tooth sensitivity, pain, and infection do exist in crown patients, these issues are 100 % avoidable.
Here are some easy tips to keep that new crown looking shiny, secure, and pain-free.
Stick to a soft diet
A soft diet after a tooth crown procedure is easy to chew and swallow and does not put unnecessary pressure on the newly crowned tooth. This diet is recommended in the first few days after the procedure to minimize discomfort and allow the tooth to heal properly.
The main idea of a soft diet is to avoid any food that may pressure the newly crowned tooth or cause pain or discomfort. Your dentist may give you more specific instructions depending on your case.
Examples of soft foods that can be consumed on a soft diet include:
- Cooked vegetables and fruits, such as mashed potatoes, applesauce, or pureed fruits
- Cooked grains, such as rice, pasta, or oatmeal
- Puddings, custards, and yogurts
- Soups, broths, and stews
- Eggs, fish, and poultry
- Soft cheeses
Avoid biting or chewing on the treated tooth for at least 24 hours
Temporary crowns are typically held in place by a temporary cement. This temporary cement is not as strong as permanent cement. Biting or chewing on the treated tooth hours after the procedure may cause the temporary cement to break or turn loose prematurely.
Avoiding biting or chewing on the treated tooth gives the temporary cement time to set in place properly, ensuring the crown’s stability, thus reducing the risk of complications.
Maintain a good oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene, if not a necessity, is a lifelong commitment. And it is more than expected if you have undergone a dental procedure such as a tooth crown.
The following tips may be a bare minimum for ensuring optimal oral health, but doing them might keep you out of possible tooth-crown-related issues.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to gently brush your teeth, paying special attention to the area around the tooth crown.
- Floss your teeth: Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from the area between your teeth, including the area around the tooth crown. Just remember to be extra gentle when flossing the area around the tooth crown to avoid dislodging it.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash: Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash can help kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks: Foods or drinks high in sugar and acidity can cause tooth decay and erosion. These can weaken the tooth under the crown and also damage the crown itself.
Don’t skip your follow-up appointment with your dentist
Why skip your follow-up appointment with your dentist after a tooth crown procedure? It's like skipping the most important part of the movie!
Following your dental crown procedure with regular visits to your dentist gives you peace of mind that everything looks fine.
It's like securing a stamp of approval for one of your best life investments. Aside from checking for signs of decay or infection, your dentist might make minor adjustments to the crown if needed, just like a tailor making the final adjustments on a new suit.
Looking for a Dentist in Culver City?
By following the aftercare tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to keep your tooth crown in tip-top shape and maintain your oral health. Remember, a tooth crown is a long-term investment, and a little care goes a long way in keeping your smile shining.
Keep up the good oral hygiene, avoid hard foods and schedule your follow-up appointments with your dentist, and you’ll be showing off that tooth crown for years to come.
If you haven’t had a tooth crown placed in your mouth but have plans to do so soon, consult Culver City Dentist United Dental Care.
Whether you need a quick consultation or simply a dental clinic you can rely on, you have our top-notch dental experts in Culver City to accompany you.
Got quick Questions? Our line is open: (310) 390-6000.