If it’s your first time to learn about dental crowns (or dental caps), you probably have a ton of questions. Let’s talk about what to expect after the procedure.
A dental crown procedure is usually performed by a cosmetic dentist, as in our clinic in Scottsdale AZ. Despite what some may believe, recovering from a dental cap procedure is actually not that long and painful. Adjusting to your crowned tooth typically only takes a few days and there is no special aftercare necessary.
There are two phases you will go through—the first few hours after the procedure and the first week. After this, you can care for your crowned tooth like you would a regular one.
The first few hours: What can you eat after getting a dental crown?
“How soon can I eat?” is one of the most common questions patients ask. The answer is: as soon as the anesthetic wears off.
Your dentist will numb (by applying anesthesia on) the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue before cementing the dental cap on your tooth. Once the cap has been properly cemented, it’s best to wait for the anesthesia to lose its effect before you eat something. This may take one or several hours.
Why? Because you can end up hurting yourself. You can burn your tongue with a hot drink, accidentally bite your cheek, or grind your teeth too hard because you can’t feel your gums that well. If you’re really hungry, your best choice is to drink cold water or eat something soft like ice cream.
Once the anesthesia’s effect is gone, you can eat almost anything you want. Just avoid chewy or sticky food like gum or taffy for 24 hours. This prevents the crown from being accidentally pulled out, and gives the cement ample time to strengthen its grip. You may also want to gradually, instead of abruptly, introduce sticky and hard food, like ice or hard candy.
The first week: How should my dental crown feel?
In the first few days after the dental crown procedure, you may experience some discomfort. The following is completely normal.
- Tenderness in the area where the anesthetic was injected
- Gum sensitivity to the dental cement used
- Strange feeling in your crowned tooth
Some patients may also experience pain, at the onset. But all of these symptoms should gradually go away. You’ll be more used to your new crown in a week, and gum tenderness and sensitivity should be gone.
After the first week: Caring for the crown
If you still have one of these symptoms after a whole week, it may be time to get in touch with your dentist to check if something is wrong.
For example, your bite should feel normal after a week. If there is sensitivity, pain, or any kind of discomfort, your dentist may need to make adjustments to the crown.
A loose or ill-fitting crown can cause problems. It can allow bacteria to creep in the space between your tooth and crown. This, in turn, can cause tooth decay and toothache. If you feel consistent or worsening pain, consult your dentist right away.
Make your crown last longer
A typical dental crown can last you 15 years and care for a crowned tooth is not different from caring for you normal teeth:
- Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss one to two times per week.
- Visit your dentist for regular cleaning and check-up (at least twice a year).
Just like with normal teeth, you should floss carefully around your crowned tooth, take it easy when eating hard food, and avoid clenching or grinding. Crown or no crown, our teeth are prone to damage if we don’t take care of them.
Would you like to learn more about dental crowns and their health and cosmetic benefits? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Rod W. Gore, a cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Gore provides same-day porcelain crowns using computer software and CAD milling technology. Restore your smile and dental health in one visit. Contact the clinic of Rod W. Gore DDS today.