Prosthodontics refers to the cosmetic restoration of teeth due to an aesthetic problem such as a cracked tooth. Cosmetic dentists have a range of potential treatments for cracking, which tends to damage both the protective enamel layer and some of the dentin. Each treatment option has its own pros and cons to consider before treatment.
Here are three of the common prosthodontic treatments for a cracked tooth and the pros and cons of each option.
A resin bond molds straight onto your tooth in one visit thanks the malleability of the material and a special light that hardens the resin once in place. The bond can quickly treat mild to moderate cracking near the front of the tooth. And the dentist won't need to file away any of the tooth to make room for the prosthodontic piece or to facilitate bonding.
The downsides include the fact that the bond doesn't offer as precise and customized of a result as the other options. The resin also isn't stain resistant like porcelain so the piece could become yellowed. Your dentist would then have to replace the bond because resin doesn't whiten like natural teeth do with whitening treatments.
Porcelain veneers are lab crafted and based on a mold of your cracked tooth. They can fix larger cracks located mostly towards the front of your tooth. The dentist will need to file down the natural tooth both to remove sharp edges around the crack and to facilitate the attachment of the cement compound to the veneer.
The porcelain resists staining, and the fabrication method ensures your dentist can make a piece that will best cover the crack while maintaining an attractive cosmetic result. The shaving down process can cost you extra dentin, which you might not want to lose if the crack was already large.
Porcelain and Metal Crown
A dental crown covers the entire natural tooth so it can treat larger, deeper, and more widespread cracking. The crown requires the dentist to shave down some of the natural tooth to get rid of those cracked edges and make room for the bulk of the crown so your tooth doesn't end up looking overly large.
Dental crowns come in a variety of materials but porcelain crowns look the most natural. Adding a metal backing increases the strength of the porcelain, which can break when used alone on a grinding tooth like a molar.