Incidence of Tooth Sensitivity After a Tooth Filling or Crown

Incidence of Tooth Sensitivity After a Tooth Filling or Crown

An estimated 2.3 billion adults around the world suffer from caries. One might assume that a quarter of those adults seek immediate treatment. They then receive dental treatment and return slightly confused as to why they have tooth sensitivity.

What causes tooth sensitivity or pain after a tooth filling or placement of a crown? The answer is actually quite interesting. Those symptoms come directly from inside the teeth in the form of a reaction of the pulp.

There are a few ways to solve tooth pain or sensitivity, but it's a mix of preventative measures and post-treatment intervention. If you're curious about how all this works and what you can expect from a visit to your dentist, take a look at some guidance and information from the Vancouver Dental Specialty Clinic.

Tooth Sensitivity After Dental Treatment

When you get a tooth filling, crown, or similar type of dental treatment, you might feel a slight sting or numb pain shortly after. This is common, but can vary in severity. Many confuse work done on the enamel or dentine - the hard outer layers of a tooth - as the source of sensitivity. In reality, all pain or sensitivity comes from external stimuli that affect the pulp.

The dental pulp is a grouping of connective tissue, nerves, vascular structures, and a variety of cells that all sit at the center of a tooth. Sensitivity and pain, in a vast majority of cases, start here. A variety of external factors can stimulate and irritate the pulp, producing the symptoms of discomfort you can expect from visiting your dentist.

Here are a few factors that can directly impact pulp in a tooth:

  • Microbial
  • Thermal
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Electrical

Dental work, on its own, primarily impacts the pulp via mechanical and chemical factors. The pulp's reactions are then exacerbated by the reduction of the dentinal wall that's common in most interventions or preparations for caries, wearing down a tooth for a dental crown, or implementing a tooth filling.

Pulp Inflammation

Pulp inflammation, also known as pulpitis, is sometimes expected within a few months after preparation for crowns or a tooth filling. But, this grouping of tissues is sensitive to a variety of other factors. Caries, gum disease and inflammation, and dental trauma, can also affect the pulp.

The pain can vary greatly, from numb and chronic to acute and localized. Patients can recover in a few cases, but without proper care they'll usually need a root canal.

Preventing Tooth Sensitivity and Pain

There are a few methods that practitioners can use in an attempt to reduce the likelihood that patients suffer from tooth sensitivity after dental treatment. Some include maintaining a comprehensive dental history, accurate diagnostics, consideration for alternative and less invasive treatment options, paying close attention to symptoms throughout the treatment process, and evaluating and adjusting occlusion as necessary.

It sounds complicated, but make sure to ask your dentist about these methods. It might save you from a lot of dental sensitivity or pain. If you have any symptoms right now, make sure to get in touch with a professional right away. Slight discomfort can turn into complications that require extensive intervention very quickly.

Schedule an appointment online or call us at 604-336-0958 if you're looking for a Vancouver prosthodontist that can assist with your symptoms. We have the latest available technology to provide the best dental treatment for our patients.


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Vancouver, BC, V6R 2B3


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