Crowns for Children
A dental crown surrounds and encases a damaged or weakened tooth. If possible, it is best to save the natural tooth, even children’s primary teeth, they serve as a placeholder for the permanent tooth. If your child has a broken or fractured tooth, or if they have a tooth that has suffered from considerable decay, we can protect the tooth and recreate its original size and bite with the use of a dental crown. Working with our staff at Kids First Pediatric Dentistry, we will evaluate the tooth in question, diagnose the problem, and work with the parent to create a treatment plan, which may include the placement of a dental crown.
When would a child need a dental crown?
There are two common reasons that we would recommend a dental crown for a pediatric patient. This includes:
To Save a Tooth that has Been Badly Damaged from Decay
A frequent dental issue is the development of caries, known as cavities. Caries are the result of decay. Our mouths are constantly exposed to bacteria, it is in the foods we consume, and even in the air, we breathe.
Additionally, our body naturally creates a material in our mouths known as plaque; plaque is a blend of food debris and saliva. Bacteria particles cling to the sticky plaque, and because so much of the food we consume contains sugar, the bacteria will begin to feed on the bacteria and then emit an acid that erodes our enamel. This erosion, or decay, is what creates cavities in our mouth. Children are highly susceptible to cavities because they are still learning to be good brushers.
Large cavities need to be filled and then have the tooth covered with a dental crown to provide added strength. We want to protect the primary tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to take its place.
To Save a Tooth that has Been Broken or Fractured
Kids play hard, and we love it, but accidents can happen. If your child has broken or fractured a tooth, we can help. Some broken teeth can cause severe pain; others just have sharp edges, we can restore the tooth’s size and shape, while relieving any discomfort, with a dental crown.
In general, we want primary teeth to stay in place until the natural time that they should come out, for some patients this will mean protecting the tooth with a dental crown. In such cases, we are likely to recommend a stainless-steel crown. If a permanent tooth has been broken or damaged, we can provide additional options for materials, including acrylic, gold, porcelain, and porcelain over metal.
Extracting a Tooth
Many parents ask if a primary tooth can be extracted instead of being saved. Overall, we do not recommend extracting a tooth unless the permanent tooth is coming into position. This is because missing teeth allows room for other teeth to roam. Your primary teeth serve as a placeholder for the permanent tooth. In some cases, an orthodontist will recommend the extraction of a primary tooth, but when this is done, it is in a controlled fashion and often with the use of spacers.