Parents often assume that children don’t need dental crowns because the baby teeth will fall anyway. However, children need dental crowns for several reasons, including the proper development of the jaws, protecting teeth after a root canal, and ensuring dental alignment. At Nova Children’s Dentistry, we use the most effective crowns with the simplest procedures to ensure your children maintain optimal oral health.
What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are basically caps attached to teeth to protect them from damage. They can be made from various materials, including silver amalgam, porcelain, and composite resin, depending on the location of the crown and the parent’s preferences. Some of the crowns, such as the molar crowns, are only visible when the child yawns, making them suitable for metallic materials. Others are designed to match the child’s teeth because they’re highly visible.
What’s the purpose of dental crowns for children?
- Restoration: Dental cavities and cracks are usually restored with fillings. However, if the tooth is severely damaged, a filling might not provide sufficient restoration, making dental crowns necessary.
- Root Canal: After a baby tooth has been treated with a root canal, it’s left in a weakened position without pulp tissues. As such, a dental crown is attached to the affected tooth to strengthen it, minimizing the risk of fractures.
- Alignment: Once a baby tooth is pulled, the space left behind is vulnerable to misalignment, dental decay, and injuries. As such, a placeholder crown is placed to prevent dental injuries and preserve alignment. This minimizes the need for future orthodontic treatments.
- Poorly-Developed Tooth: If a tooth hasn’t developed sufficiently, a crown can be attached to protect the tooth, hold the space, and prevent misalignment.
What are the materials used for dental crowns?
- Tooth-Colored Materials: Porcelain, composite resin, ceramic, or zirconia materials are suitable for tooth-colored dental crowns. These are white materials available in numerous shades, allowing the pediatric dentist to provide crowns that resemble your child’s natural teeth. Tooth-colored dental crowns blend with natural teeth, and they’re virtually indistinguishable. As such, they’re used in the front teeth.
- Metallic Materials: Gold and silver amalgam are metallic materials that stand out prominently, but they’re incredibly strong, capable of withstanding immense bite force. As such, metallic materials are generally used for molar dental crowns or those in less-visible spaces. The crown might be visible while the child is yawning, but it will otherwise remain hidden.
- Porcelain-fused-to-Metal: Parents often opt for porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. i.e., a metallic crown with a porcelain exterior. Such crowns provide the natural appearance of porcelain crowns with the strength of metallic crowns. However, a sliver of grey might be visible at the base of the crown.
What happens during the dental crown procedure?
- Consultation: The pediatric dentist will talk to you and your child about the various dental crown options, recommending the ideal crown for the child’s needs.
- Preparation: The damaged tooth will be shaped and adjusted to receive the crown.
- Impression: Using a digital scanner or a dental putty, the pediatric dentist will take impressions of the child’s teeth. The dentist will also select the ideal shade for the crown to match your teeth.
- Temporary Crown: A temporary crown will be placed on the damaged tooth to protect it while the laboratory prepares the permanent crown.
- Permanent Crown: Once the permanent crown is prepared, the dentist will numb the tooth and the surrounding gums and mount the crown over the affected tooth.
- Post-Procedure: The child might experience discomfort for around 24 hours after the procedure, but that can be managed with children’s ibuprofen. You should discourage eating until the anesthetic numbness wears off.