What’s the best treatment for a cracked tooth? I was planning to start Invisalign next month, but my hygienist noticed two cracks in my upper first molar, so Invisalign has to wait.
After my appointment with an endodontist who recommended a crown, my dentist used bonding on the tooth as a more conservative approach. Now the tooth is sensitive and chewing on it hurts. I want this resolved so I can get Invisalign. Should I ask for a crown or an onlay? Thank you. Sonja from Douglasville, GA
Thank you for your question. Dr. Tostado would need to examine and ex-ray your tooth to determine its condition. You may still feel discomfort and sensitivity in the tooth if it is not fully repaired. An accurate diagnosis depends on these factors:
- The crack’s location
- The crack’s length and depth
- Whether the damage is horizontal or vertical
Will a Dentist Recommend a Crown or an Onlay?
A dentist’s recommendation for a crown or an onlay depends on the tooth’s condition and position. Also, not all dentists use onlays. Although an onlay or a crown can restore a tooth, we explain the differences.
An onlay is a custom-made restoration that replaces only the damaged portion of your tooth. An onlay covers one or more cusps or peaks of a tooth. An onlay can be gold, ceramic, or porcelain. A porcelain onlay is not strong enough to restore a cracked tooth. A dentist may recommend a gold onlay or a dental crown.
A dental crown is a dental restoration that covers the entire tooth from the gumline up. An extensive crack may require a dental crown. Or, if you already had a crown on a tooth, you could only receive another crown.
Repeated attempts to restore the tooth will further weaken it. Speak with your dentist again to ask about the condition of your tooth and treatment recommendations. Afterward, you may get a second opinion from an advanced cosmetic dentist to compare your options.
Dr. Jerome Cha, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, cosmetic dentist, sponsors this post. Read about what Dr. Cha does to provide his patients with some of the best dental care in Tulsa.