Tooth Colored or Stainless Steel Crowns
Since the enamel of baby teeth is thinner, cavities tend to spread more easily and usually come to affect a larger area of the tooth. It is at this point, crowns may be the only way to protect the tooth from premature extraction. In all seven of our practices, we offer white or tooth-colored pediatric crowns as well as silver, stainless steel crowns.
Why would baby teeth need to be restored by a crown?
Baby teeth that show evidence of extensive decay, with two or more surfaces affected, can sometimes be saved through the use of a crown. Occasionally, especially in esthetic areas, it is possible to use a tooth-colored crown. These crowns can be used to protect front teeth when they become cracked or chipped, have undergone root canal therapy, show signs of decay, or are markedly discolored. In particular, if the decay or cavity has spread to different surfaces of the tooth or has reached the pulp of the tooth, a baby root canal may need to be performed. At that point, the tooth becomes weaker and is more likely to crack. In these instances, it is important to protect the tooth by using a crown.
Which type of crown (tooth colored or silver) is best for restoring baby teeth?
In general, for front teeth, the specialists at Children’s Dental FunZone recommend using tooth-colored crowns. These crowns are both esthetic and strong. However, for baby molars that are constantly exposed to chewing and grinding, silver stainless steel crowns may be a better option.
How are baby crowns prepared?
After the child is made completely numb using local anesthesia, all of the affected tooth surfaces are removed and cleaned in order to rid the tooth of any decay. The tooth is then prepared in a certain way so that a prefabricated crown can fit on it. The pediatric dentist will then determine what size crown fits best for the tooth and the crown is cemented in place.
Are there any precautions that must be taken after having a crown placed on a baby tooth?
Immediately after treatment, it is important that the child does not eat anything too hard or sticky. Chips and popcorn pieces can get stuck under the crown, making it uncomfortable. Also, sticky or hard candies, like bubble gum, can displace the crown. If a crown gets displaced, the child should be brought back to the dental office to have it re-cemented. To prevent this from happening, however, parents should be careful as to what the child eats after treatment. Often we recommend softer foods. Also, sometimes the gums may become slightly irritated by the new crown. It is important to continue to brush around the gums of these teeth to prevent further irritation or infection.