If your child has a severely decayed or injured baby tooth, our dentist may recommend a pediatric crown. You might be a bit surprised - after all, dental crowns are often a solution for adults who have decayed or injured permanent teeth. Here is what our dentists at Saginaw Kids Dentistry want you to know about pediatric crowns.
You might wonder why a baby tooth needs protection at all, as they are eventually replaced by permanent teeth. After all, they are “just baby teeth,” aren’t they?
Surprisingly, baby teeth perform several important functions, so they are worth saving. Like their permanent counterparts, baby teeth help your child speak, bite and chew. These temporary teeth also serve as placeholders for permanent teeth – loss of baby teeth may affect the alignment of your child’s adult teeth. Removing baby teeth too early can allow neighboring teeth to drift into the gap left behind; this can lead to crowded teeth later on.
Decayed baby teeth can compromise the health of the other nearby teeth. The infection that causes tooth decay can spread rapidly to other teeth, for example, as baby teeth have very thin enamel that is vulnerable to tooth decay.
Pediatric crowns work like caps on toddler teeth to help keep damaged or decayed baby teeth functional, so that your child can talk and eat normally. They help reduce the risk that your child will need braces later, as crowns keep teeth in their place to avoid crowding and poorly aligned teeth. Dental crowns can also prevent tooth decay from spreading.
Dental crowns are sleeve-like coverings that strengthen teeth and protect them from further damage. Crowns on baby teeth use different materials than adult crowns do.
Pediatric crowns use state-of-the-art materials. The location of the decayed or damaged tooth can sometimes affect the materials chosen for the crown. Your dentist may recommend a stainless steel crown to repair a tooth in the back of your child’s mouth, for example, or a natural-looking white crown to cover a front tooth.
Stainless steel pediatric crowns
Benefits of stainless steel pediatric crowns include:
- Reliability – pediatric dentists have been using stainless steel for more than 80 years, and regard stainless steel as a trusted option for protecting damaged or decayed teeth
- Highly customizable – dentists can customize stainless steel crowns to fit over any tooth
- Durable, strong and resistant to moisture – makes them perfect for back teeth
- Cost effective and highly affordable
- Usually require only one trip to the dentist office for placement
Benefits of white crowns include:
- Natural looking – made from material similar to ceramic rather than stainless steel, white crowns look like natural teeth
- Can be pre-made to the desired size
- Stronger and more durable than natural tooth enamel
- Resistant to decay
- Does not cause an allergic reaction in gums or other tissues of the mouth