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When is it Necessary to Crown Baby Teeth?

It can be upsetting to learn your child has cavities, and to be faced with the prospect of repairing the tooth while causing the minimum amount of discomfort for your child. Small cavities can be repaired with simple fillings, but if the decay is more significant, it might be necessary for our pediatric dentist to cap or crown the tooth.

A dental crown protects the whole of the tooth, covering it up completely right down to the gum line. This protects the remaining portion of the tooth against further decay and prevents bacteria in the mouth from entering the tooth.

Crowns are a great restorative technique for repairing teeth that are too significantly decayed to have a filling. A large filling would not be able to restore the tooth so it could be used normally. This is because the remaining tooth structure would be weakened and could easily break during biting or chewing.

It is important to protect baby teeth so they can remain in place until the adult teeth are ready to push through the gums. If they are lost too early there is the risk that the adult teeth may come through crooked or out of alignment, increasing the likelihood that your child would require orthodontic treatment.

Stainless Steel Crowns with a White Tooth colored Facing

Quite often a dentist will use stainless steel crowns to repair baby teeth as these are strong and durable but do not have good aesthetics and will be highly visible in the mouth. An alternative would be to use a stainless steel crown with a white facing. The facing is tooth colored to blend in with the natural teeth so it looks far less visible. However these crowns can feel quite bulky, and there’s a possibility that the white facing could chip off during normal use.

Composite Resin Crowns

Composite crowns are a more aesthetic choice and can look extremely natural. The crowns are made entirely from composite white filling material and are perfect for restoring baby teeth that will soon be replaced with adult teeth. The material isn’t as strong as stainless steel crowns, so there is a chance that a small corner of the crown could fracture off.

All Ceramic or Zirconia Crowns

All ceramic or zirconia crowns are strong and durable and create excellent aesthetic results. The crown should look very similar to your child’s natural teeth. This is the most expensive option and is normally only used for top-quality adult cosmetic dentistry, but is becoming an increasingly popular choice in children’s dentistry.

All ceramic and composite crowns have the advantage of being entirely metal free. Very occasionally, a child may be allergic to the metal used in stainless steel crowns, and the crown could irritate the gum tissues so a metal-free crown can be a good choice.