Baby Teeth CrownsThe National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that 42% of children between the ages of two and eleven suffer from dental caries (cavities) in their primary (baby) teeth. To remove the bacteria and reduce the risk of pain or infection, we often recommend a white filling or crown as a restoration. In some cases a crown may be a more effective option that a white filling. And in some cases of severe deterioration, a dental crown may be the only way to save the child's primary tooth.
Crowns are a protective cap placed on a decayed tooth
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped restoration that is placed over a tooth to protect it from further deterioration. After we remove the decay, the crown is properly fit and cemented into place. Crowns can be made from different materials, including porcelain, resin composite, metal alloys, and stainless steel.
What is the difference between white and silver crowns?
Stainless steel crowns have been used for years to provide full coverage to baby teeth. These are made of medical grade stainless steel and do not contain any mercury like silver fillings. One of the advantages of steel crowns is our ability to change the shape of the crowns to make them fit each unique tooth.
White crowns are generally made of a ceramic material. They have better aesthetics, but placement comes with some unique challenges. They are a rigid material so it may not be possible to change the shape to fit a tooth.
Crowns can withstand the forces of biting and chewing long enough for the permanent teeth to erupt. Other advantages include:
|Minimal sensitivity issues
|Covers all surfaces of the tooth so the tooth is no longer exposed to the environment that caused the cavity in the first case
|Full coverage provides strength that may be reduced as a result of lost tooth structure
|Stainless steel crowns can be used as an attachment for a space maintainer
|Higher success rate than fillings for children under 4
|Crowns are prefabricated in a variety of shapes and sizes
|Crowns for children only take one visit
|There is no need for impressions or laboratory fees
Extractions are an alternative, but we try to avoid them
Removing a primary tooth prematurely can interfere with the development of a permanent tooth. When a primary tooth is removed, the adjacent teeth may drift into the space and cause alignment or spacing problems. When this happens, a space maintainer may be required to preserve the normal eruption pattern. At Portland Children's Dentistry, we try to avoid tooth extractions, as maintaining the natural teeth can be critical for good oral health.
How to prevent decay and the need for a filling or crown
As a parent, there are many ways for you to prevent your child from receiving a dental crown:
|Minimize tooth decay by monitoring their oral hygiene habits. Make sure that your child brushes and flosses on a daily basis, using American Dental Association (ADA) recommended products.
|Professional dental cleanings and fluoride treatments can also protect your child from tooth decay. Fluoride helps to strengthen enamel and reverse decay.
|The ADA also recommends your child visit our office no later than their first birthday. Why so early? The first dental visit for babies is a great opportunity to get started with healthy habits.
|Clean your infant’s gums using a damp piece of gauze or clean washcloth. Ideally, this should take place after feedings, during the morning, and before bed.
Do you still have questions about crowns for baby teeth?
Portland Children's Dentistry is committed to providing the best possible pediatric dental care. If you would like to learn more or schedule an appointment, call (503) 893-2889 today!