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.
Benefits of stainless steel pediatric crowns include:
Benefits of white crowns include:
Your child’s dentist can usually place pediatric crowns in a single visit. The dentist starts by numbing the tooth and the area around it. If your child is anxious, the dentist may recommend sedation.
The dentist will then place a small piece of latex, known as a dental dam, around the tooth to isolate the tooth and to protect your child’s gums, cheek and tongue. Next, your child’s dentist will remove any decayed portions of the tooth and use a special drill to shape the tooth for the crown.
Your child’s dentist then places the crown and checks for a proper fit. Once placed, a pediatric dental crown help restore strength and function of baby teeth.
The dentist may recommend sealants to help protect your child’s remaining teeth from tooth decay. Sealants are thin coatings that your child’s dental team paints or brushes onto the chewing surfaces of the molars, which are the teeth at the back of your child’s mouth. These sealants act as a protective shield that prevents plaque from developing in the grooves and pits of the back teeth.
For more information about pediatric dental crowns, consult with the pediatric dentists at https://www.saginawkidsdentistry.com.
At the heart of Saginaw Kids Dentistry is our passion for meeting families, seeing them grow, and being a trustworthy presence for kids and parents alike. If you’re ready to join our patient family, book a visit online today! We are excited to meet you and your child.