Pediatric Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are for patients with teeth that are too decayed to fill. Crowns completely cover the tooth and help to hold a tooth together so the tooth can be saved instead of extracted. Putting crowns on baby teeth are different in a lot of ways although the purpose is the same.
Pediatric crowns are used to:
- Restore a damaged tooth — one damaged by a trip and fall or even sports injuries, such as being hit in the mouth by a ball.
- Save a tooth that’s been badly damaged by decay to the extent that it can no longer support a filling.
How long do pediatric crowns last?
Putting crowns on baby teeth is often questioned because a child will typically lose all of their baby teeth. If a child needs a crown there are several factors that we need to consider:
- Age of your child: We are less likely to extract a tooth if it can be saved with a crown. Allowing your child to keep the tooth is a priority because it saves the much needed space that your child’s adult teeth will need. Putting a crown is also much less invasive and painful than pulling a tooth. Many parents are under the impression that baby teeth don’t have roots . . . but they do!
- How long your child will have the tooth: If your child is older and the tooth will come out on it’s own within about 2 years, we would opt for extraction especially if the tooth is bothering your child or if it will lead to an abscess. It’s important to remember that not all baby teeth come out at the same time. Baby teeth begin to exfoliate when a child is approximately 6 years old and a child may not lose all of their baby teeth until they are 12 or 13 years old! An x-ray will give us an indication of how long the baby tooth will be in your child’s mouth.
- Spacing of the teeth: As your child grows, it’s important that we do procedures to keep the alignment of the teeth intact. When your child is at the proper age we will refer them to someone who will evaluate their teeth for braces. Until they are ready for braces we want to make sure that we do everything that we can to help keep the spacing of your child’s teeth intact. Keeping the baby teeth may save you money on braces in the long run.
After we assess if your child will need sedation for the crown to be put on their tooth, we numb the tooth and shave it down so that the crown can fit comfortably in your child’s mouth.
As with any crown, it is extremely important that your child refrain from a sticky diet. Gummy foods will pull on the crown and eventually remove the crown. Changing a child’s diet greatly enhances the time that the crown will stay on the tooth. Ideally, the crown will stay until the baby tooth comes out on its own!
What to expect during an extraction appointment
At our office it’s important to make your child comfortable. Comfort is imperative to make sure that your child’s extraction goes off without a hitch. That is why each child is assessed for conscious sedation. Each child is individually evaluated for a sedation regimen that will help him or her. Since no two children are alike, each recommendation will be different.
The best thing that you can do for your child is let them ask Dr. Warr any questions that they may have. Many parents mean well when they attempt to “prepare” their child for dental treatment but too much information about their treatment may make your child more nervous. This makes the appointment more difficult for the child. Allowing your child to ask our staff their questions demonstrates your trust in us. When your child sees that you trust us they can be more relaxed. Studies show that relaxed parents make relaxed patients!
In order to make sure that we use terms that your child can understand, we use the term “wiggle” instead of “extraction”. This is less frightening and less complicated for your child.
At each step of treatment, our staff explains what we are doing in language that your child can understand. It is important that your child know what is going to happen so we recommend that you let us do the heavy lifting!
After the extraction, if the tooth was a baby tooth, a spacer may need to be put in your child’s mouth to help their facial development as your child grows. The dentist will give detailed instructions about how to care for your child’s mouth after a tooth has been extracted.
Do you think your child may need an extraction? We’re happy to answer any questions about what your child needs and why.
Give us a call at 336-887-9277 to learn more about crowns and to set up your next dental appointment.
Pediatric dental crowns come in three types:
Stainless Steel (Silver) Crowns
These silver crowns are the strongest of the three crowns. It is also important to note that these crowns are not like amalgam, which contains a minimal amount of mercury.
The silver crowns are made from stainless steel which is the same material that we use to make silverware. If your child isn’t allergic to silverware they won’t have any problems with these stainless steel crowns.
We don’t put these on anterior teeth because we have a more aesthetic alternative.
Stainless Crowns With Resin Facing
These crowns have the best of both worlds. They have the strength of stainless steel but the beauty of the white resin coating.
These are the crowns that we put on the front teeth and they look great!
There are some parents that prefer for these to be placed on the posterior teeth. Either way, it’s important that your child stay away from sticky, gummy foods.
This is the most aesthetic alternative and the most expensive. Zirconium produces a very natural appearance and don’t have any risks of allergic reactions (like gold can) or complications.
Zirconium is made of crystal and is extremely strong — even stronger than porcelain. Part of what makes it so strong as a crown is its resistance to chipping and cracking.
It can also be fairly easily reshaped or colored to match the other nearby teeth.