Many patients tend to think that a tooth that has received a dental crown and that has been thus restored is no longer a problem, and needs to be dealt with no more. If that tooth should start to hurt under the crown, the patient may think it is not very serious and may want to just leave it alone entirely. This is a very bad line of reasoning, as many problems can happen underneath the dental crown, and as long as there is a living tooth root and/or a stub that the dental crown is mounted on, it may need dental treatment. As conditions continue to change in your mouth, the tooth stub and its future are, as everything in life, subject to change.
What it means
A toothache can be caused by basically one of two things. Either the crown is causing damage to the tooth stub that it’s on, or the tooth is infected or undergoing tooth decay in some form. Both of these are very bad news, and require the immediate attention of a dentist. The best case scenario is the first one, in which the dental crown is pushing down on the tooth stub. This means that the dental crown has to be removed, and replaced. It may mean that some of the tooth has crumbled and the dental crown is now pushing down on areas that it previously left alone. A new crown will be needed. Maybe the dental crown has just shifted or is improperly bonded, and just needs to be re-cemented.
Tooth decay underneath the dental crown
If there is an infection or tooth decay underneath the dental crown, then the problem is a little bit more complicated. You may need to get a root canal treatment, and then a new dental crown as well. The worst case scenario is that the tooth stub is beyond saving, and must be extracted, and a dental implant needs to be put in place, or a dental crown that is held in place by the tooth next to it. The situation should definitely not be ignored, as these kinds of infections can spread and affect your jawbone, the adjacent teeth and can even cause an abscess to form underneath the crown.