If you have a cracked tooth, the main goal of the dentist is to make your smile look as natural as possible. One way they can do this is by using a porcelain crown or porcelain veneer to replace the tooth. Below is information about each of these procedures to help you make a choice of what you would like best.
Veneers bond to the front of the cracked tooth. The porcelain is first color matched so the veneer matches the same color of your other teeth. If you have stained teeth, you may want to consider whitening them before you have the veneer made. Otherwise if you whiten your teeth later, the veneer may not match as well.
Veneers are often chosen because the dentist does not have to remove as much of the tooth as they do with crowns. To install the veneer, the dentist will use a special tool to sand the top layer of the tooth enamel from the cracked tooth. The dentist will then make an impression of the tooth. They will send the impression to a dental lab, which will make your new veneer. Once the veneer comes in, the dentist will temporarily put the veneer on the tooth to ensure it fits correctly and that the color is correct.
The dentist then places a dental cement to the veneer and places the veneer on the cracked tooth. A light beam is used to help the dental veneer harden quicker. When finished, the doctor will check your bite to ensure it looks and feels natural to you. The dentist will use a special tool to remove excess cement.
Instead of being placed on the front of the tooth a dental crown completely covers the cracked tooth. The dentist first has to trim the cracked tooth to make room for the dental crown. Before they trim your tooth, the doctor will apply an anesthetic to numb your gums and tooth, as this procedure can be painful. The dentist will use a dental drill to do the trimming. Once enough room is created to place the crown the dentist will make a tooth impression using a digital scanner or a paste and have the crown made in a dental lab.
Until the crown arrives, the dentist will likely place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it. This temporary crown can come off easily so you need to be careful in what you eat. When the crown comes in, the dentist uses a special type of cement to bond the crown to your tooth. The doctor will check your bite. If it is not right, they will trim down the crown until you feel natural when you close your mouth.
Talk to your dentist and they can give you much more information about porcelain veneers and crowns.