At Dentistry for Children & Adolescents, we understand that sometimes what seems like the most perfect routine can lead to the need for a dental crown. It’s okay, not everyone is perfect and it’s certainly not the end of the world.
When the need arises we receive a lot of questions regarding what type of filling is best for their child. So today we embark on a blog post meant to answer some age-old questions about dental crowns and their applications.
“What is a dental crown?”
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth in order to help restore its shape, size, strength, and improve its appearance. When put in place, a dental crown will fully encase the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line.
“Why does my child need a dental crown?”
For children, a crown is used primarily for two reasons:
- To save a tooth that has decayed to the point that it cannot support a filling.
- Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay.
“What types of crowns are available?”
Permanent crowns different metals, most commonly stainless steel, gold, or some other alloy. Then, there are the porcelain-fused-to-metal types, and ceramics.
Stainless-steel crowns are prefabricated used on permanent teeth as a temporary measure. For children, their application is used to fit over a primary tooth that’s prepared to fit it, protecting it from further decay. And when the primary tooth erupts, the crown comes with it.
These are used as a more cost-effective measure than others for children as they require fewer visits to put in place than other types.
Other metals used in crowns are gold alloys, palladium, nickel or chromium. Comparatively, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and the metal can withstand biting and chewing forces over the course of their lifetime. But, due to the color of the metals, dentists often reserve these types of crowns for out-of-sight places like molars.
Porcelain-fused-to-Metal crowns solve the problem of color-matching, but more wear and tear can occur to the opposing teeth can occur compared to the metal counterparts. Porcelain is also more prone to chipping over time.
For children with metal allergies, we may recommend all-ceramic or all-porcelain type crowns. Both are good choices for front teeth.
If you have more questions about dental crowns, or general questions about your child’s dental health, reach out to us: