I was planning to get Invisalign, but the hygienist noticed a crack in my lower right second molar during my dental cleaning. My dentist referred me to an endodontist to see the depth of the crack, but the endodontist just recommended a crown. My dentist tried to mend the tooth, and now I cannot chew on the right side of my mouth. The tooth is sensitive, and the dentist says that I must wait for Invisalign until it calms down. Should I ask for an onlay or a crown, or is it time for a second opinion? Thank you. Sage from Long Island
Dr. Farber would need to examine your tooth to see its condition. An accurate diagnosis depends on several factors, including:
- Location of the crack
- Vertical or horizontal crack
- Crack depth
Should You Get an Onlay or a Crown?
Whether a dentist recommends an onlay or a crown depends on the extent of tooth damage. Sometimes, an onlay can preserve a crown.
A dentist applies an onlay to the damaged portion of the chewing surface of your tooth. Gold, porcelain, and hardened composite are types of onlays. But a porcelain onlay is not strong enough to hold a cracked tooth together. Sometimes, it is necessary to cover the entire surface. But not all dentists offer onlays.
Although an onlay may temporarily hold a crack tooth, a dental crown is a long-term solution. Before getting a second opinion, listen to your dentist’s recommendation after examining your tooth. Your pain could be persisting because the crack is not repaired fully. If your dentist recommends a crown, you should consider it. Repeated attempts to restore the tooth without a crown can eventually make it weaker and break in half.
Invisalign puts gentle pressure on teeth to align them. So instead of adding pressure to a weak tooth, wait until your dentist resolves the issue before beginning treatment with Invisalign.
Midtown Manhattan dentist Marianna Farber, DDS, sponsors this post.