Does Your Child Need Dental Crowns?

Kids and dental crowns

Dental crowns offer a helping hand in saving kids’ teeth.

When trouble strikes in the form of a cavity, basic fillings aren’t always enough to save a child’s tooth. To prevent the premature loss of your child’s important baby teeth, a pediatric dentist can instead save them with protective dental crowns.

Placing a dental crown is very safe and low-risk, but parents naturally wonder if it’s really necessary, especially when the tooth in question is going to fall out anyway. To help parents better understand why their child’s pediatric dentist might recommend a dental crown, here’s a quick guide.

What Kids’ Dental Crowns Are and Why They’re Important

Kids’ dental crowns are very much the same as adult dental crowns in design and shape. They also serve the same purpose: protecting a weakened or damaged tooth and eliminating the need for an extraction. Similar to adult dental crowns, kids’ dental crowns also have some cosmetic benefits as they can cover a discolored or chipped tooth.

Getting a dental crown as an adult is understandable. Losing an adult tooth is a serious situation that leads to further restorative care, such as a dental bridge or dental implant. So why is it so important for a child to get a crown on a temporary baby tooth?

Premature loss of baby teeth doesn’t spell disaster but it does invite the potential for complications that are best avoided. Losing a baby tooth too early can impact speech, make chewing difficult, and cause crowding or gapping issues. If this type of shifting does occur it can even cause problems for erupting adult teeth.

Placing a crown rather than extracting a tooth means that your child’s baby tooth will remain in place until it’s naturally time for it to fall out.

Types of Kids’ Dental Crowns and When They’re Used

There are two main types of kids’ dental crowns: stainless steel and tooth-colored.

Stainless steel crowns are very obvious, making them better suited for covering molars that aren’t readily visible in your child’s smile. They are also exceptionally durable, adding to their suitability for protecting molars. Pediatric dentists often favor stainless steel crowns for baby molars specifically, as they will fall out eventually.

Tooth-colored crowns can be made from a variety of materials, with composite being common in pediatric practices. Tooth-colored crowns are also durable and long-lasting. Their major advantage is that they look just like a natural tooth and you won’t be able to tell which tooth is the crowned one in your child’s smile.

Tooth-colored crowns are best for front teeth or protecting an already erupted adult tooth that needs protection.

Situations in Which a Dental Crown Is Recommended

There are three occasions in which a pediatric dentist may recommend a dental crown for a child.

1. Cavities Too Large for a Filling

The most common reason a kids’ dental crown is placed is when a tooth has a cavity too large for a successful filling. Tooth decay is the most prevalent oral health issue in kids of all ages, and many kids will get a cavity at some point. Optimal at-home dental care and regular six-month visits to the dentist generally prevent a cavity from growing too large, but sometimes it still may happen.

If it does, your child’s pediatric dentist will remove all tooth decay and any damaged enamel, then move forward with placing a crown instead of a filling.

Similarly, if your child needs a baby root canal on a badly decayed tooth, more often than not a dental crown will also be placed afterward.

2. Chipped or Broken Teeth

Whether it be from an accidental injury while playing or biting down on some inanimate object, kids occasionally get chips and cracks or break their teeth. Even if the tooth is otherwise healthy, it will need protection for cavity prevention and added strength. Since a dental crown entirely encapsulates the tooth, it’s a great restorative option for damaged teeth.

3. Cosmetically Flawed Teeth

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for adults. Permanently discolored, dark teeth or large gaps between teeth are two examples of reasons why parents may want cosmetic dental crowns for their children. While youngsters may not be very aware of their smile’s appearance, as they grow older and reach adolescence, these cosmetic flaws might become a reason to feel shy or hide their smile. Tooth-colored dental crowns offer a safe and easy way of covering these aesthetic smile issues.

Learn more about dental crowns for your child at Pediatric Dental Specialists.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental crowns or you need to book your child’s dental crown appointment, the Pediatric Dental Specialists team is ready to help. You can ask questions or book a visit by calling your preferred location or using this online form.