Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that worn over a damaged tooth to improve their structure, appearance and function. The cap covers the entire visible portion of the tooth, so that it lies just above the gum line. Dental crowns are customized by the dentist to ensure a good fit and then they are cemented into place so that it looks like your natural teeth. They are made from a range of materials and your choice will be influenced by a number of factors that your dentist will break down for you.
Although dental crowns serve the same purpose for both kids and adults, putting crowns on children is different from how it’s done on adults. The child is first numbed using local anesthesia and then all the damaged part of the tooth is removed and cleaned to get rid of decay. The tooth is then prepped in a way that a prefabricated crown can fit over it. Your child’s pediatric dentist will determine the best size of the crown and then cement it in place. The procedure is completed in a single dental visit and takes about 45 minutes.
The enamel of baby teeth tends to be thinner than that of permanent teeth. This means that your child is completely vulnerable to adverse tooth decay since a decay in a single tooth rapidly spreads between teeth. And while tooth extraction seems like the quickest fix to a decayed primary tooth, the effects that follow are much more serious. Pulling out a child’ tooth early will cause the neighboring teeth to shift into the gap left behind, leaving less room for the incoming permanent tooth, which causes malocclusions.
Basically, a dental crown helps save a compromised tooth. It is necessary in cases where a primary tooth is found to have large cavities, is broken or fails to develop properly. When a tooth is greatly decayed or fractured, a filling is not used because there is great risk of the filling falling or wearing out. In such a case there would be need for additional cavity filling costs and the trouble f having your child seat through repeat procedures. Using a crown on the tooth is a much lasting solution that will hold until it is time for the tooth to fall out. Besides restoring a tooth, crowns also prevent the spread of decay and infections to other healthy teeth.
Factors considered when choosing pediatric crowns for kids include durability, retentiveness, aesthetics, adaptability, allergenicity, placement time and cost. Commonly used crowns include:
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends use of stainless-steel crowns on kids, since it has several benefits. They are durable and inexpensive and have proven to be more successful than tooth fillings. There is also very little sensitivity involved and the crowns are easily adaptable to occlusion. The downside to these crowns is that they have poor aesthetic and potential for allergenicity.
These crowns combine some of the best properties of steel and resin. They are both durable and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Stainless and resin crowns are usually used on the front teeth.
To make these crowns, a hardening composite is placed inside a clear plastic mold and then placed over the damaged tooth to adhere to the dentin and enamel. They usually look great but have a ton of drawbacks. The technique used is sensitive to hemorrhage and moisture and takes some time too. They are also highly susceptible to fractures.
They are both great looking and highly durable. It is also one of the most expensive type of pediatric crowns available. And that coupled with their inability to easily contour and increased placement time makes it rather unsuitable for most pediatric patients.
Visit Golnick Pediatric Dentistry to find out more about the benefits of crowns vs fillings and how we work to ensure that the process of placing crowns is painless, comfortable and effective for all our young patients.