While the idea of outfitting your young child with a mouthful of stainless steel might seem unfortunate, saving decaying primary teeth through the application of stainless steel crowns is often necessary to preserve the integrity of a child’s bite and early facial development. As we’ve covered previously, preserving your child’s primary teeth – even though they’ll fall out eventually – is more important than one might assume. Let’s take a look at why your dentist might recommend stainless steel crowns for your child, and what happens during the appointment.
Why Your Child Might Need a Crown
As with any damaged or decayed permanent tooth that requires a crown to bolster its integrity, a primary tooth that possesses the same sort of problems requires the same sort of solution. So, it should really come as no surprise to parents when a dentist recommends a crown as a way to save a child’s tooth. Your child needs their teeth as much as you need yours!
How the Crowns Are Placed
That said, unlike custom-made crowns for adults that often only partially cover a permanent tooth, stainless steel crowns are pre-fabricated, and completely cover the remaining portion of the child’s tooth. The benefit to the child then, is that the use of such a crown protects the primary tooth from further decay, and also preserves a space for the permanent tooth that will arrive underneath it at a later date. Stainless steel crowns are also used only on primary molars, not front-facing teeth, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes that the dentist will experiment with during the crown placement procedure.
To prepare your child for this type of crown, a dentist would first remove any decayed or weakened areas from your child’s tooth, and reduce its overall shape to accommodate the crown. Then, different sized crowns would be placed on your child's tooth until the correct size was found. Some minor adjustments in the fit might also need to be made after this point to accommodate your child’s bite, and after that, the crown would be cemented in place.
Pediatric stainless steel crowns are an effective and affordable solution used to repair tooth decay in young children, and the result is a tooth free of damage and decay, ready to take on the rigors of childhood habits and consumption just as if a natural tooth were in its place.