Dental Crowns

At ToothTown Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Tom and Dr. Lulu are here to help your child get the care they need for a healthy mouth, and that includes dental crowns. 

Crowns are ideal for severely damaged teeth, and help restore your child’s smile and bite while preventing future complications. Contact us now to schedule an appointment for your little one today.

Often, if a 2-surface filling is used to restore a first baby molar, the tooth may decay again or the dental filling may break due to the shape of the tooth. If that occurs, the tooth may need a stainless steel crown or to be extracted and treated with space maintenance. That would mean the child would have to go through an extra procedure and the parent would pay for treatment of the same tooth twice! Our goal is to restore the health of the tooth for longevity. We place crowns on first baby molars that have decay in between the teeth, or on teeth which are too damaged to be repaired with fillings.

What Is A Dental Crown?

A dental crown, also called a “cap,” is basically a hollow, artificial tooth. The crown is designed to be placed over your child’s tooth to cover up all of the remaining enamel. Once it’s in place and attached, it won’t move or shift, and it will protect your child’s tooth and replace it all the way down to their gums.

What Types Of Crowns Are Available?

There are two types of crowns used in pediatric dentistry. Stainless steel crowns are the most common, and are used for children with a damaged baby tooth. These crowns are pre-fitted to make placement easy, and can cover up and protect the tooth until it falls out naturally.

Stainless steel is ideal for this because it’s inexpensive, yet provides excellent protection for damaged teeth. It does have an unnatural, silver-gray color, but this doesn’t matter for baby teeth, since they will be replaced with healthy adult teeth in the future.

The second type of crown is a ceramic crown. These are usually only used for adult teeth, because they are more expensive and complex to manufacture and place. However, they are made out of a porcelain material that looks just like natural enamel.

For that reason, they’re a better option for covering up adult teeth, and front teeth in particular. Your child’s crown will be totally indistinguishable from a natural tooth. Ceramic crowns also last up to 10-20 years or longer, so your child will get long-lasting protection.

Why Would My Child Need A Crown?

Dental crowns may be recommended for a few different reasons. First, a crown may be a better choice for a deep or extensive cavity, rather than a large dental filling. Complex, large fillings tend to have a short lifespan, so a crown may be a superior option in some cases.

Crowns are also recommended for teeth damaged by oral trauma. For example, if your child falls and breaks a tooth or their tooth is chipped while they’re playing with friends or participating in sports, a crown is usually the best way to restore the tooth and preserve it.

A crown may also be used for purely cosmetic purposes, such as to cover up a misshapen tooth, but this is more common in older teenagers and adults. It’s quite rare for young children to get a crown for this reason.

The Crown Placement Process

The process of placing a crown is a bit different depending on whether your child is getting a stainless steel crown or a custom-fitted ceramic crown. To begin, Dr. Tom or Dr. Lulu will clean and numb your child’s mouth. Dental sedation can also be administered to keep your child calm and comfortable. 

For a stainless steel crown, minimal tooth removal is needed. Dr. Tom or Dr. Lulu may remove a small amount of enamel. Then, they’ll place a pre-fitted steel crown on the tooth using powerful dental cement.

Ceramic crowns, on the other hand, require the removal of more enamel. The tooth will be trimmed into a stable platform, then impressions and images will be taken of the tooth and sent to a dental lab. Your child will get a temporary resin crown to protect their tooth, and will be sent home.

Then, you and your little one will come back in a few weeks when their permanent custom crown arrives at our office. Dr. Lulu or Dr. Tom will remove the temporary, then check the fit of their porcelain crown. If it looks good, the crown will be bonded into place with dental cement.