Is a Crown Appropriate for a Cracked Front Tooth?

I have a vertical crack along my front tooth. It can't be seen by the naked eye but when my dentist put a light behind the tooth I could see it. She is recommending a crown for the tooth. Is this appropriate?

Doctor Answers 6

Is a Crown Appropriate for a Cracked Front Tooth?

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In situations like this is hard to determine a solution because many factors could take in place before going over the best option for your tooth. Most of the time, the most conservative approach will be a veneer, but if the tooth has an existing filling , a root canal or the crack is very severe, then a crown is recommended. Again both options are great solutions, ask the dentist more details about the tooth condition and how bad the crack looks? If you refer to all the answers given by all of us, you can ask more direct questions and feel comfortable with the treatment .

Fairfax Dentist

How to treat a cracked tooth

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There are many option. A photo would help. There also factors that determine the best option

  • Do you grind?
  • Do you clinch ?
  • Why did it crack in the first place, was it due to trauma?
  • Does it have a root canal?
  • Does it have an existing filling?
  • Is the crack relatively large and noticeable( close /more than !/2 of the tooth)

The more YES answers to above questions, the more chance of a crown VS a veneer.

Good luck



Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Crown for a Cracked Front Tooth?

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As Lance mentioned, I prefer doing Porcelain Veneers on front teeth if not too badly cracked. If, as you say, the vertical crack can only be noticed with trans-illumination, you might not need to do anything at all. Another point: it is extremely difficult to do a single crown or Veneer on a front tooth, and expect it to match in color, texture, shape, etc, to the adjacent front tooth. usually, you would need to do at least 2 crowns or veneers for symmetry.


Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Porcelain veneers are great options for cracked front teeth

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Sometimes dentists just use the term veneer and crown interchangeably, just to keep things simple and not confuse patients.  SOMETIMES dentists don't know much about veneers and only know how to do crowns, so a veneer isn't even offered (not by manipulation but dentist ignorance).


I would guess that in my office I would be offering a veneer and not a crown in this situation.

Treatment of the anterior teeth

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Developing cracks in the front teeth happens more frequently than expected.  These cracks can be very superficial and almost invisible to the naked eye.  As these cracks grow deeper and closer to the biting edge, we become a little more concerned.  And of course, if the crack is due to a traumatic event, the tooth should be evaluated for possible nerve damage as well.

If the crack is not due to trauma and not a deep crack, I tend to be more conservative and wait on treating the crack as it may not grow for a long time.  And if the crack is a cosmetic concern, someting as simple as bonding with a composite resin can treat the crack.

However, if the crack on the front tooth is a deeper crack and/or close to the nerve, a crown or veneer can be the treatment of choice. 

Discuss all the options with your dentist carefully.

Parnaz Aurasteh, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist

Is a Crown Appropriate for a Cracked Front Tooth?

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There are many varieties of cracks in teeth. Front teeth are especially prone to "clear" or more transparent cracks. Sometimes this comes from a traumatic event.

I am slower to treat cracks in front teeth than the ones in back teeth.

If this crack is spreading, or getting up to the biting edge, then it may need to be fixed. 

Some cracks can be repaired with bonding. The beauty of the result depends a lot upon the skill of the cosmetic dentist.

I do a crown on the front tooth only when I am convinced that there are no other reliable alternatives.

Like other cosmetic dentistry, if you are not certain you want to move forward, ask more questions. You may want to ask: "what are my options?" or "Why is this my best choice?"

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.