Dentist: Like to ask you about your experiences with caps.

I Just got one today and would like to know if this is normal. Here’s the timeline of events:

  1. Went to the dentist for my regular cleaning. I was also due for x-rays. Doc says I have cavity, possible root canal. Which is surprising because I have been experiencing NO pain.

  2. Thank god! No root canal, but I needed a cap after he dug out all the mess. Doc put temporary cap in, til the permanent one arrives two weeks later.

  3. Hours later, with my temp cap in place, I have a bite to eat. NOW I’m experiencing heat, and cold sensitivity pain. It’s not bad, but noticeable.
    Is this a reasonable expectation since I just had the work done today?


Yep! The temporary is typically made of something like acrylic, and can also have gaps at the gumline that make for extreme sensitivity. I’ve been told that it’s also completely normal to have heightened sensitivity once the permanent work is done; I’ll be able to tell you myself tomorrow, after I have seven (yep, 7) permanent crowns installed. (A combination of a childhood accident, over-fluoridation, and decades of ‘care’ by a hack dentist pretty much wrecked the teeth.)

As for the lack of pain leading up to a root canal…both of the teeth I needed root canals for had little to no pain; in fact, the one that had started to abscess only exhibited some extreme irritation around the gumline. Apparently that happens sometimes, depending on what is causing the root to die.

Dentist here. I assume the decay was fairly deep since dentist thought may need a root canal. Just the physical act of drilling on the tooth can inflame the nerve and cause sensitivity, drilling deep a lot more so. Sort of like cutting a fingernail too short an finger hurting when touching anything. Usually will settle down in a day or two. YMMV of course. If it was real deep you could still need a root canal down the road but no previous pain with the tooth is a good sign. Temp crowns don’t usually do a great job of insulating the tooth. Anti-inflammatories usually help.

Wow! An actual dentist. This board is great. Thanks for the responses guys.

Careful going, eating and drinking cold stuff. Take your nsaids or pain med. I bet it’ll be alright when it’s done. I am a glass half full girl, so YMMV.

I had a cap put on one tooth many years ago. After a short time getting used to it, it has been free of problems.

Yes, this almost always has happened to me. In fact, my dentist always warns me about it.

Your dentist should have warned you about this side effect, too. Since he didn’t, you should call him and ask about it. Do it right now, at night, when he’s at home. This will serve to remind him that he ought to mention things like this to his patients.

After all, he can’t improve his communication skills unless his patients let him know when he is failing to communicate important information to his patients.

I know it didn’t happen to you, but that’s quite possible. I felt no pain until the endodontist pressed the gum beside the tooth and oh my god the pain! That’s a good sales technique, by the way, as I felt the lack of pain made it “not serious”.

I avoided food for the rest of the day. My cap is causing me no issues, except for the time it got loose and was falling off basically every day.

Possibly the only upside to having a root canal is that you feel nothing during the temporary cap phase. No pain, no cold sensitivity, nothing.