I had a dental bridge that it was time to replace. It wasn’t causing any problems, but my dentist said it was time to replace it. He is a good, trustworthy dentist so I just went ahead and did what he suggested. I’ve been in pain ever since the temporary bridge was put on. He’s tried to figure out what is causing the pain, but hasn’t been able to. I was taking four aleves every day, so my dentist prescribe a prescription strength pain killer. That has helped, but I don’t want to take something that is addictive for long. He also thinks its a good idea if I see a specialist. I think its called an endodontist. I haven’t gone yet. Do you have any suggestions before I spend any more money?
Catherine K.- Austin, TX
Let’s look at two groups of options for what can be wrong with your teeth. Are your teeth sensitive to hot and cold or are they more sensitive to pressure?
Let’s start with the hot/cold. If that is the case, here are some things to look for:
1. First, there is some trauma to the teeth because to place the crowns for the dental bridges the teeth need to be shaved a couple of millimeters. That resulting sensitivity can make your teeth have problems with hot or cold food/liquids. Generally, this resolves itself over time. It sounds like yours has been going on for some time, so this is probably not what you’re dealing with.
2. If there was decay under the bridge (maybe that was why your dentist wanted to replace it), then your teeth could be irritated by the bacteria.
3. It is possible the bridge is not completely covering your teeth properly. If that is the case, then some dentin is exposed. When that happens, saliva, air, or the heat in food can irritate it.
If your tooth is hurting when there is pressure, such as biting, then the causes are probably different.
1. It is possible the temporary bridge does not fit your bite properly. In that case it will need to be adjusted.
2. The temp. bridge could be irritating the surrounding gums.
I would not delay getting the permanent crown because of this problem. The temporary crown could be the problem, so having the permanent one made could solve the issue for you. Have your dentist put it one with temporary cement, in case there are additional issues.
If you cannot locate the problem, then an endodontist is the logical next step.
You may also be interested in learning about dental implants.
This blog is brought to you by Bedminster dentist Dr. Mike Mavrostomos.