A dental crown is needed when a tooth has become too decayed to be repaired with a filling. The decay will be removed from the tooth and a crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it from wear and tear and to provide additional strength.
A crown acts as a cap for a tooth, covering the tooth on all sides and protecting a weak tooth from cracking or breaking. When a tooth is at risk of breakage, it’s important to protect the tooth with a dental crown to prevent premature extraction.
You may be thinking, “well, baby teeth fall out anyway, so what’s the point of getting a dental crown for a baby tooth?” Baby teeth, believe it or not, have a very important job that will impact the growth and health of your child’s permanent adult teeth.
Baby teeth act as space maintainers for their permanent teeth, meaning they hold space in the mouth for their adult teeth to grow into. They also ensure that it grows into the right place, not to mention that until your child gets their adult tooth, they will need healthy teeth to properly chew and speak clearly.
When decay is left untreated in baby teeth, this can lead to premature tooth loss. Premature loss of baby teeth means the teeth are no longer holding a space for the adult teeth to come in. This will cause the teeth to shift and the surrounding teeth to lean into the space.
This can cause a host of problems such as crooked or overcrowded teeth, bone loss, changes in facial structure, and a lack of space for the adult tooth to grow into.
The two most common pediatric dental crown options are stainless steel and porcelain crowns.
These crowns are very popular for kids with extensive tooth decay or damaged teeth, especially if the affected teeth are the back molars. These crowns are made of stainless steel, which means they don't look like natural teeth.
However, they are considerably more affordable than porcelain crowns and will not be noticeable in the back of the mouth. If the crown is for a baby tooth, the crown is only temporary and will fall out when your child is ready for their adult teeth to come in. This makes them a great option to protect baby teeth and enables them to do their job as space maintainers.
Porcelain crowns are tooth-colored so they look just like natural teeth. This, however, does make them a more costly option. Porcelain crowns may be more desirable for teeth that are visible when your child smiles, especially if the affected tooth is an adult tooth.
While porcelain crowns are more costly than stainless steel crowns, they feel and look more natural and last for 10-20 years.
If your child has extensive decay or a damaged, cracked, or weakened tooth, dental crowns may be a great option to protect their tooth until their permanent teeth come in. Schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Sandra Thompson today to find out what options are most suitable for your child’s oral health.