Getting crowned - How much pain?

In a few hours I will be toddling off to the dentist to start the process of having a tooth crowned.

Last week I chomped on a candy cane and approximately 1/4 of a molar cracked off. It’s been driving me bonkers since.

They’ll be drilling (EEK!) out the current filling and putting in a temporary crown.

I’ve had teeth pulled under anesthesia, braces tightened/pulled off, and a few fillings - never anything major. I figure I will be novacained to the gills, but after it wears off…?

Will I have to put my recipe for marinated pork chops away for a few days? Is pudding and soup in my immediate future?

  • it could be felt, but it wasn’t too bad.

The procedure itself was painless but slightly uncomfortable - Novocaine is good, but it felt like they had an entire road crew working in there at once. My jaw felt very sore for a day or so - nothing that OTC painkillers couldn’t tackle, but I certainly didn’t feel like tackling anything chewy. Not due to the tooth, but just the general feeling of being worked over.

The fun bit was watching the dentist made the crown on the spot with a small CAD/CAM setup - no temporary crown needed!

It probably depends on the dentist. I will say that I didn’t have any pain when I got a crown (on a molar, for the same reason that you are getting one.)

The procedure consists of a root canal and the removal of enamel and some of the dentin so that the tooth becomes a perch for the crown. The dentists takes measurements, which they send off to a lab which builds the crown. Finally, they put a temporary crown on the tooth. this may be either an awkward feeling temporary crown or something built up out of epoxy.

This inititial procedure is done with novocaine. Mine wasn’t painful; the discomfort was in line with a regular root canal, and I didn’t really hurt afterwards. Then again, I may be different in that I don’t like being loaded up with a ton of novocaine. The “putty mouth” is less comfortable to me than a little pain. In any case, it was less of a hassle than the cleaning under full novocaine that I had done with my previous dentist.

Once the lab has built your crown and the dentist has been paid for the entire procedure (Don’t blame them; over half of the expense can be for materials), there is an appointment for the final fitting. The crown is fitted and removed several times as the dentist grinds off any high points or places that might press against the other teeth.

For the final fitting, the dentist will probably give you a minimal amount of novocaine, possibly none. They need you to tell them if you feel any high points. It doesn’t hurt though.

Luckily, no root canal for me. The tooth broke above the base. I’ve never had a root canal, so I have no clue what discomfort coincides with one. I think the drilling out of the filling is what’s scaring me most. The sound of the drill shudder

I have not had much luck finding a decent dentist in the past few years. One had major halitosis (URP!), two I could not understand, and the last office I went to had “interesting” billing procedures. I went to this new office last week for a cleaning and consult for the crown and the dentist seems very nice. We talked for a while before he started poking around - and he seemed to actually listen to me. I won’t mention the HIPAA error the front desk lady made. I figure the other patient with my last name is a cousin.

I’m usually not such a weenie. I know people who just “deal” with broken teeth, but I can’t.

I was thinking you were getting whacked on the head, and asking how much it should hurt. :smack:

I’ve had 4 crowns so far and there was no special eating restriction afterward (so you don’t have to live on pudding). Yeah, they encourage you to avoid really chewy stuff - so no taffy etc. until you get the permanent crown done. The post-crown pain was minimal to nonexistent. The pain during was OK for me since I had lots of novocaine and also (history of being impossible to numb) nitrous and halcion. Most people will have a lot less trouble than I did.

Unlike some people, I do need novocaine during the placement step. I think I needed 3-4 shots most recently. Again, I’m tougher to numb and also have a very very high level of anxiety over dental procedures. I’d recommend getting the tooth numbed for that part also.

Not nearly as bad as getting your braces tightened/removed.

What you should be careful to avoid when you have your *temporary *crown on is not just the obvious taffy and caramel kind of stuff, but bread and cookies and crackers - that doughy carby stuff, according to my friend the dental assistant, is what yanks off more temporaries than candy. (And, indeed, it was a chocolate chip cookie that yanked off my temporary.)

Once your permanent crown is on, you probably won’t have any diet restrictions. I specifically asked my dentist about it, and he said not to worry about it. But go ahead and ask yours, just in case he’s using a different cement or something.

I had a gold crown put on a couple years ago, for a cracked tooth.

I don’t remember it, other than “oh, yeah, I remember that I went to the dentist and he fixed my tooth”.

No biggie, IOW. Same as a filling. [shrug] If you have issues with fillings, then I guess you’ll have issues with your crown, but otherwise? Meh.

ETA: after the novocaine wore off, it actually stopped hurting, because the reason I needed the crown was that the molar was cracked, and hurt to chew. So “after the crown” was actually better, and I went on with my life as though nothing had happened, except that I now had shiny gold in the back of my mouth. So the crown itself isn’t intrinsically painful, it isn’t expected to add to your pain load. It’s just a “topper” for the tooth, and is supposed to conform to your tooth’s contours, and you shouldn’t even know it’s there.

And I actually don’t even remember whether I had a temporary crown or not. I suppose I must have, because it takes time to get the permanent crown made, but that’s how lightly the whole thing impacted on me. Really, you’ll be fine. It’s nothing compared to having your braces tightened.

The crown I got was a piece of cake. The root canal, not so much. The post? That was two hours of special hell. Half way through, he laughed and said “You have a really high tolerance for pain. I forgot to give you novacain.”

WHAT?!? That was an option?!?

Mine did not involve a root canal, so it probably depends on the dentist and on the tooth.

I have two crowns, one with root canal and one without. For the one without root canal, the temporary crown for a week was a week of pure hell. It hurt so bad for a week that I wish I had gotten some serious painkillers. The one with the root canal, I wasn’t supposed to feel anything because the nerves were supposed to be removed, but they didn’t get all of them because I still have feeling in that tooth. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the one without root canal, though.

Getting the crown without root canal was not too bad; like a fairly long filling procedure. I had novocaine for both the original work and the placement. I had sedation dentistry for the one with root canal (I’m very hard to freeze).

Oh, the best thing I read about your temporary crown is treat it like a fragile tooth - just baby it like crazy, even so far as doing all your chewing on the other side. It really is just a stopgap measure. And you will probably need bite adjustments after both the temporary placement and the permanent adjustment. I’ve had bite adjustments for all of my work so far, and I’m going in for another bite adjustment tomorrow.

Just 2 cents worth here from someone who was uninformed: I had a temporary crown and it hurt like the dickens. When I finally broke down and went back to the dentist, all they had to do was reshape it a little with a drill and there was no pain. It was an extremely tiny adjustment of where the temporary crown was hitting my other teath. Apparently I didn’t bite down hard enough during the fitting and I didn’t notice the discomfort until the novacaine wore off. So, if you experience pain, don’t think it’s normal. Go back right away. :slight_smile:

I’m home, novacaine wearing off. The drilling didn’t bother me, but the mold making was hellacious - I have a bad gag reflex.

The temporary crown is doable. He had to shape it multiple times as it was “off”. Why yes, I do want to be able to close my mouth completely, why do you ask? And it’s a bit large.

My jaw is starting to ache and a headache is blooming.

I have to have this thing in my mouth for 2 weeks, then I get the permanent crown. I already called the dentist (now that I can use my tongue and feel around my teeth) that it’s too big. He stated he will have a few made for the final “fitting”.

Yeah, that’s probably the worst of it. I had that a few weeks ago, and it was unpleasant in the extreme. When I was a kid, I threw up on my orthodontist.

I had my whole upper set done in one day. Well, two days actually. I had to wear temporary crowns for awhile. A couple of times during the work, the anesthesia started to wear off and it was becoming uncomfortable. I waved my hand at my dentist and he gave me another dose of that wonderful pain killing stuff.

By the end, he had it rougher than I. Only one patient for the whole day.

I don’t have a bad gag reflex, and I found the mould-making bad for that. C’est la vie, I guess.

By the way, ibuprofen is your friend for dental pain, unless it’s too much for ibuprofen to touch, in which case talk to your dentist again. I wish I had done that with my first crown; I know now that they aren’t supposed to hurt that much.

Out of curiosity (I haven’t yet needed one) - what does a crown cost?

Out of my pocket, $324. My dental insurance is paying the other $712.

My dental insurance is through AFSCME (union) and is included in my dues.

The only actually painful part of getting the one I have, which is on a non-root-canalled tooth, was the fitting. But I’m more scared of needles than I was of that pain, and it wasn’t horrible, it just hurt right when he shoved it up there. Afterwards it settled down nicely.

My tooth was seriously sensitive for the first few months, but now I don’t even remember it’s there unless I think about it. My teeth tend to be sensitive anyway so I just had to be a bit extra-careful with it.

Best dentist I’ve ever had. I miss him.