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Why Do My New Dental Crowns Still Hurt?

In September, I had two upper left crowns replaced. I wore temporary crowns for almost four weeks while waiting for the final one. As I wore the temporary crowns, they started to smell, leave a bitter taste in my mouth, and become painful. My dentist said that the new crowns would resolve the issues. The pain increased after I received my final crowns. When I returned to the dentist, he said my bite was probably off. He drilled to correct my bite, but now that pain comes and goes. It hurts to chew and bite down on the left side of my mouth. I am afraid that I have tooth infections and will need dental implants if I continue to let my dentist experiment on my teeth. What can I do? Thanks. Oakley



Almost four weeks is a long time to wear temporary crowns. We understand that your experience is frustrating. Although you need an exam and X-ray to determine the cause of your discomfort, we will discuss some causes of problems with temporary and permanent crowns.

Pain and Odor with Temporary Crowns

Two dental crowns for molar teeth
Get a second opinion if your new dental crowns hurt

If your temporary crowns begin to smell and hurt, microscopic particles are trapped between the crowns and your teeth and breed bacteria. The bacteria affect the dentin (the layer beneath tooth enamel) and irritate it. The tooth beneath a crown can begin to decay.

Why Do Your New Dental Crowns Hurt?

Dental cement that bonds a new crown can irritate your tooth. If a tooth is already sensitive, the sensitivity may temporarily increase but gradually decrease and go away. When sensitivity does not improve, the tooth may be infected. Your dentist might need to perform root canal treatment on the tooth.

Pain When Biting with a New Crown

If you feel pain when biting or chewing with a new crown, your dentist should adjust your bite until you are comfortable. Even tooth ligaments are sometimes irritated, and your dentist would need to x-ray the roots to see their condition.

If your dentist cannot resolve sensitivity with your new crowns, we recommend that you get a second opinion to prevent the need for dental implants.


Rocky Hill, Connecticut, cosmetic dentist Dr. Thaddeus Michalski sponsors this post.

My Tooth Crown Fell Off Four Times

Although our family has had the same dentist for over 15 years, I have given up on my dentist because my crown won’t stay on. I first received a crown for my lower left second molar after a root canal in 2009. My dentist replaced the crown in March 2022. Over the past year, the crown has come off four times. The fourth time it came off was two weeks ago, and I decided not to return to my dentist. I knew I couldn’t leave my tooth bare, so I found an emergency dentist who re-cemented it. She wants me to return to her so she can determine why the crown repeatedly falls off. I’m not sure what to ask or what to do. This ordeal is making me nervous. I wish it would go away, but I know better. I would like to know why the crown keeps coming off. – Thanks. Dakota from NJ


Dr. Michalski would need to examine your crown and tooth to determine why the crown keeps falling off.

Why Does a Dental Crown Fall Off?

A dental crown for a molar toothIf a crown repeatedly falls off, the issue is likely with how your dentist prepared your natural tooth for the crown—not the strength of the cement or bonding. If that is the case, you need a new crown.

When a tooth has a root canal and little structure remains to support a crown, a dentist needs a specific technique to ensure the crown is secure. Although a dentist who understands how to resolve the issue might have a slightly different approach, the process generally includes the following:

  • Place and cement a semi-flexible fiberglass post deep into the canal, about 2/3 the length of the tooth
  • Bond core material to the tooth and the fiberglass post
  • Bond the post into the canal with composite.

The composite builds the core for the crown preparation. This method works because some tooth structure remains. But if a tooth breaks off at the gumline, a post alone will not work. Twisting stresses on the post from daily oral function will dislodge the post, and the crown will keep falling off.

If the dentist with whom you had an emergency visit has advanced cosmetic dentistry training, you may check her patient reviews to decide if you want her to complete the work. Otherwise, look for a dentist with advanced cosmetic training. Talk to the dentist about your increasing anxiety and get details on sedation options to calm you during treatment.

Dr. Thaddeus Michalski, a Rocky Hill, Connecticut dentist, sponsors this post.