If your child has a badly decayed primary or “baby” tooth that can’t be fixed using a dental filling, our pediatric dentist may recommend placing a dental crown. These are “caps” that are created to fit over the top of a tooth that has been damaged and will restore its function and appearance by strengthening the tooth.
Dental crowns are placed onto primary teeth when losing them might cause problems with speaking and eating properly, as well as maintaining space for the permanent teeth to grow into their correct position. Crowns also allow the proper development of your child’s jawbone and muscles to avoid expensive dental problems like spacing issues later.
Why Your Child Might Need a Dental Crown
- The cavity from decay is too large.
- The tooth has a fracture or injury that can be strengthened by placing a crown.
- Your child has had a root canal.
- Your child’s missing tooth requires a bridge between neighboring teeth to maintain the spacing.
Common Dental Crown Materials
The two most common types of crowns used to reinforce primary teeth are stainless steel and ceramic crowns. Stainless steel crowns are typically used for the molars in the back as they are strong, easy to work with and durable. They are also often used after having a pulpotomy (nerve treatment on the pulp of a baby tooth). Tooth-colored zirconia or ceramic dental crowns are often used to cap a damaged tooth in the front of the mouth since it can be matched to the color of the surrounding teeth.
When it is time to place your child’s dental crown, it can take one to two visits. The tooth will need to be prepared to receive the crown so our dentist will shape it down and get rid of any decayed material. Once the crown is placed, our dentist will make sure that it fits properly and functions as it should.
Prevent Needing a Dental Crown
To help your child prevent tooth decay that might require a crown to fix, you can help them by instilling and practicing good oral hygiene habits for their developing smile. Daily brushing and flossing, and paying extra attention to the back molars can help keep decay at bay.
Another strategy is to help them prevent injury to a tooth – especially if they are active in sports – by providing them with a protective mouthguard. Seeing our dental team twice a year will help us keep an eye out for developing cavities so they can be stopped from progressing far enough to need a dental crown.
We look forward to helping your child maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. If you would like to know if a crown is right for your child’s dental needs, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with our pediatric dentist.