Recovery after dental crown procedure: Eating after permanent crown

Update in January 11, 2024

Recovery after dental crown procedure

If you have had to receive a dental crown at some point, you know that the crown looks and feels very much like your natural teeth. It even acts like a natural tooth. In fact, you can even treat it just like a regular tooth. One of the questions that many people have after they receive the crown from their dentist is what type of special dental crowns aftercare they need to follow. Once the crown is permanently in place, you will be happy to know that you don’t need to follow too many special tips.

Recovery After a Dental Crown Procedure

Recovery After a Dental Crown Procedure

Numbness from Anesthetic

If a local anesthetic was used during the dental crown procedure, the numbing effect may still be present for several hours after the dental appointment.

During this time, patients are prone to burn or bite themselves unknowingly because they are unable to feel the warning sensations, such as heat or pain, as usual. For this reason, it is recommended to avoid drinking hot liquids or chewing hard foods during this time.

There may also be some bruising and inflammation at the site of the anesthetic injection shortly after the dental crown procedure, particularly on the lower jaw. This should go away spontaneously without the need for treatment after several days.

Pain, Discomfort and Sensitivity

Most people experience some pain or discomfort in the affected area of the mouth following a dental crown procedure. This typically improves after several days or weeks without any assigned treatment.

Many patients find it useful to use simple analgesic medications to help manage the pain in the meantime. For example, ibuprofen is often recommended to help reduce the associated pain and make the patient feel more comfortable.

Some sensitivity of the surrounding gums is common following the placement of a dental crown, due to irritation from the dental cement. In most cases, a topical anesthetic gel readily available at most pharmacies is able to help relieve this, and is often more effective than oral medications such as ibuprofen. A toothpaste for sensitive teeth may also be useful.

If the pain continues beyond several weeks or it is severe, it may be necessary for patients to seek dental advice to investigate the situation.

While it is normal for the crown to feel strange as patients get used to the feel of it in their mouth, in some cases the crown may need some adjustment to properly fit the shape of the mouth.  If the bite does not seem right after several days or a week, dental advice to investigate the need for adjustment should be sought.

Care for Temporary Crowns

Most people who need a dental crown will get a temporary crown to protect the prepared abutment tooth between the two appointments, while the permanent crown is being constructed to fit their jaw and bite shape. The temporary crown will require special care to prevent fractures and dislodgement because it is more fragile than the permanent crown.

In general, patients can continue to eat and brush their teeth as normal; however, the following diet and oral care recommendations are prudent:

  • Avoid sticky or chewy foods, which may dislodge the temporary crown
  • Avoid hard foods, which may break the temporary crown
  • Attempt to chew most foods on the opposite side of the mouth while the temporary crown is in place
  • Avoid flossing next to the temporary crown, or take care to slide the floss rather than lifting it out

Dietary Advice During Recovery

Dietary Advice During Recovery

Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Temporary Crowns

With the temporary dental crown, the following few precautions should be taken:

  • Avoid chewy or sticky foods, such as caramel, taffy, and gum. These foods can grab and pull out the crown.
  • Avoid chewing hard foods, such as granola, hard candy, and ice. These goods can break off or dislodge the crown.
  • Avoid foods that are extremely cold or hot
  • Avoid tough foods like hard bread or steak.

It is also advisable that you chew less on the affected mouth part but chew more with the opposite side of your mouth. This will reduce the possibility of dislodgement or damage to the dental crown. More so, when flossing, slide out the flossing material instead of lifting it out. You may mistakenly pull off the temporary crown when lifting the floss out.

Once you receive the permanent crown, it is important for you to avoid sticky diets for the first 24hours.  After then, you may return to your normal diets and oral practices.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid with Permanent Crowns

When you receive your permanent dental crown, you will have fewer dietary restrictions. Nonetheless, there are still a few diets to avoid, which include:

  • Hard or crunchy foods like pretzels, seeds, or nuts. These types of foods can break or chip your dental restoration.
  • Sticky foods like steak and candies. These foods can pull off or potentially dislodge your dental crown. More so, be mindful of your dental crown when choosing snacks.
  • Popcorn and nuts. Biting down on nuts or accidentally on an uncooked popcorn kernel can be harmful to your dental crown.
  • If you’re the type that likes chewing on ice, it is important that you stop as this can cause damage to your dental crown.
  • Raw vegetables. It is advisable to eat cooked vegetables and not raw vegetables. Cooked vegetables are softer and will not harm or damage your dental restoration.

Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene

As soon as you receive your crown, it should be permanent within the hour. This means that it has cemented into place and it is not going to move when you talk or chew. You can treat it just like it was a part of your natural teeth. Even though the crowns are not likely to stain, this does not mean you should not brush. You will still want to brush them, as well as the gums. In addition, you want to floss regularly – at least once a day. This helps keep the entire mouth healthy.

Exemplary oral care should continue to be practiced for the lifetime of the patient. They should be aware that crowns are still susceptible to decay, particularly along the gum line of the abutment tooth. For this reason, it is important for patients to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and carefully floss daily.

What to do if complications occur?

What to do if complications occur

If After a Dental Crown Placement

Uneven bite

In most patients, the bite is normal after a dental crown or bridge procedure. However, it can be difficult to sense the bite when your mouth is numb. If you find that your bite is uneven once your anesthesia wears off, please call dentist as soon as you notice the issue. experienced dentists will want to fix the bite to keep the crown or bridge from cracking as a result of a “high” bite.

You Feel Sensitivity and Discomfort

Generally, a feeling of discomfort and sensitivity goes away within a few days after the procedure. But, if you still have a nerve in your tooth and experience any kind of discomfort when you bite, immediately contact your dentist. This may be a sign that your crown is too high and should be adjusted.

You Have Noticed a Dark Line on Your Crowned Tooth

If you see a dark line on the tooth next to your gumline, don’t worry, it is normal. The dark line is a metal that is showing up through the crown. This is especially typical if you wear porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns.

You Crown Has Been Cracked

A dental crown, especialy if it is made of porcelain, may chip under the extreme biting force. In most cases, it can be repaired. The dentist uses a special adhesive and composite resin to put cracked particle in place. Usually, repaired crown doesn’t last long, so consider it as a temporary solution. If you have more than one chip, you may need to replace your crown.

A Dental Crown Seems to Be Falling Out when You Bite or Chew

If your crown is badly adjusted to your tooth, it means that with a course of time the cement may wash out, resulting in the gap between the crown and the tooth under it. Usually, this is followed by a bad smell from the mouth. If you notice this symptom, you could already have bacteria spread under your crown. Contact your dentist to check your crown and fix it.

Your Crown Has Been Fallen Out

Sometimes, crowns can fall out due to improper fit and washed out cement. If this happens to you, put your crown in a plastic bag and bring it to your dentist. This crown can be used as a temporary one until your new crown is designed. Don’t try to put the crown in place by your own. In case of fallen crown, wash your tooth to remove any cement left. A cotton swab or a toothpick may be helpful. If you don’t have a possibility to visit your dentist immediately, you can try to fit you crown by using a special adhesive sold in pharmacies.

How to Prevent Decay

How to Prevent Damage

Crowns are crafted from high-quality dental materials, such as ceramic porcelain and zirconia. These surfaces are impenetrable to decay. However, this does not mean the tooth structure underneath cannot suffer a cavity. Some patients wrongly assume that teeth with restorations do not require as much attention. On the contrary, teeth with dental crowns require just as much care, if not more. If proper oral hygiene habits are not maintained, recurrent decay can develop underneath the crown. Once this occurs, the tooth weakens further, often leaving extraction as the only viable option.

To actively prevent recurrent decay, you should brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once per day. When cleaning between the teeth, gently pull the floss all the way through the spaces, rather than snapping it down. This will help keep the crown from loosening or falling off. Some patients find that specialized hygiene tools, such as interproximal brushes and dental picks, are beneficial as well. dentists can help you determine an at-home regimen that will work for your needs.

How to Prevent Damage

Dental crowns are strong, durable, and resilient, much like your natural tooth enamel. However, when exposed to excessive force or pressure, crowns can chip or fracture. To prevent this, avoid chewing on hard objects, such as pens, pencils, ice, or your fingernails. It is also important that you never use your teeth to open packages.

Additionally, if you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), or if you play contact sports, you should wear an occlusal guard. These oral appliances protect your teeth from damage by gently separating and cushioning the upper and lower arches. If you think you may require a mouth guard, talk to dentist about a custom oral appliance.

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