If your child has a severely decayed baby tooth, you may think the best option would be to go ahead and extract it since they fall out eventually. However, primary teeth serve important functions including holding a space for permanent teeth and helping to guide those permanent teeth into place. Baby teeth also aid in the development of a child’s jawbone and facial muscles. When primary teeth are seriously compromised due to decay or trauma, your child’s dentist may recommend a restoration in the form of a crown.
Stainless steel crowns have been the restoration of choice for children for decades. Stainless steel crowns are most often used because they are strong, long-lasting, and easily placed. There are other options of crowns that are appropriate for primary teeth including:
- Strip crowns are made with tooth-colored composite material and are most often used for front teeth.
- Open-faced steel crowns are a variation of a stainless crown that is sliced away on the surface and filled in with tooth-colored material to provide a more natural look.
- Veneered steel crowns have a tooth-colored cover affixed to the surface, which also creates a more natural look than with standard stainless steel crowns.
- Zirconia crowns are made of a tough tooth-colored material that are pre-fabricated to set sizes and are utilized more often for front teeth.
Crowns to restore primary teeth can usually be placed in just one dental visit with the use of local anesthesia. Your child may experience some mild discomfort for a day after the crown is placed. If pain or discomfort persists for more than a few days, call your dental professional.
It is important for your child to undergo dental exams regularly. Kids with crowns should have them checked as often as four times per year to make sure the crown is secure and intact.