The first premolar teeth are located two spots in front of the first proper molar. First premolars, also called first bicuspids, play a grinding role in chewing. Incisors grab the food, after which canines start to tear the food and then pass it to the first premolar, which then starts the grinding process the rear molars finish before you swallow.

A severely cracked first premolar can cause you pain when chewing, bite issues, and self-esteem issues, since the tooth is often visible when you smile or open your mouth wide. There are a few different treatment options for a severely cracked first premolar. The right choice depends on the location of the crack, but you should also ask your dental-reconstruction professional for a consultation to find the best choice for you.

Severe Frontal Crack: Porcelain Dental Veneer

A severe crack can have a limited depth and a frontal position that means most of the tooth is fine but the dentist needs to strengthen the outward-facing portion of the first premolar. The dentist can correct and cover this problem using a dental veneer.

A dental veneer is a thin piece of lab-crafted porcelain created based on a mold of the damaged tooth. The dentist will need to cement the veneer to the premolar's surface, and that requires the dentist to shave down the outward face of the tooth so that the cement will adhere. The grinding process does cost the natural tooth some enamel and dentin, and that means a lost veneer needs quick replacing so the sensitive tooth front doesn't remain exposed.

Porcelain looks like a natural tooth in both color and translucency but is still weaker than natural dentin. You will want to avoid chewing hard foods on the edge of the first premolar to ensure the veneer remains healthy for as long as possible.

Severe Crack All Over: Metal-Based Dental Crown

Veneers only treat cracks on the front surface of the tooth. What can your dentist do if the first premolar has a severe crack that covers multiple sides? The dentist can use a mold and the lab to craft a dental crown that covers all sides of the tooth instead of just the front.

The lab can craft the crown in a variety of materials or combinations, but the strongest and most durable against the premolar's bite force involve the use of metal. If you don't mind the unnatural look, an all-metal crown offers the most protection from bite and grinding damage. If natural appearance matters to you, a crown with a porcelain upper and a metal backing can offer you the best of both worlds.