I have implant crowns and three crowns on my natural teeth. The crowns on my natural teeth are more than 20 years old. The crowns are on my left front tooth and the two teeth behind them. Two of the teeth are sensitive to heat. Maybe I notice it more now that the weather is cooler, and I have been eating more soup and drinking more tea. The pain is increasing. My dentist is from Portugal and is out of the country on holiday until February 12. He takes the trip yearly. Is this something that can wait, or should I see another dentist? – Thank you. Nathan from Austin, TX
Sudden pain and sensitivity to heat are symptoms of a dying tooth. Your sensitive teeth are infected. As the tissue inside the tooth swells, it releases gasses. When the tooth is exposed to hot temperatures, the pressure increases, and so does your pain.
What Causes an Infection Beneath Dental Crowns?
Decay beneath your crowns or exposed root surfaces might be the cause of irritation and infection in your teeth.
A dentist needs to remove your crowns to examine your teeth and see their condition. Afterward, root canal treatment will remove the dead pulp. And a dentist can replace the pulp with a filler material. And you will need new crowns. Ask the dentist to check the remaining old crown on the third tooth, too. Beneath the crown, your tooth may be irritated and at risk for infection like the others.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Take?
Getting a dental implant from start to finish takes three to nine months. The process takes time because of several phases. Depending on your situation, you can expect several steps:
- Initial consultation – Your dentist or oral surgeon will complete an exam and a 3-D x-ray to ensure you are a candidate for implants.
- Tooth removal – Surgically removing your teeth takes about 30 minutes unless there are complications.
- Implant surgery – Inserting implants through your gum and jawbone takes one to two hours per implant.
- Healing – You will wait three to four months while the implant and bone fuse.
- Periodic checkups – Your surgeon or dentist will check the surgical sites for proper healing during the healing process.
- Final crown – After the healing period, your dentist will take images of your mouth for a lab to make the final implant crowns. Your dentist will attach crowns to the implants.
San Antonio dentist, Gilbert Tostado, DDS sponsors this post.