How Common Are Dental Crowns?
The use of dental crowns in children’s dentistry is more common than you think. According to recent statistics, nearly 60% of children in the US had at least one cavity by five years of age. Cavities are the holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay. Extensive cavities may cause discomfort while eating as the food particles can get stuck inside these holes easily.
Typically used for severe decay, dental crowns are tooth-shaped covers that restore a tooth’s original shape and function. Teeth with extensive cavities that cannot support traditional fillings are excellent options for crowns. In addition, since baby teeth are thinner than permanent teeth, tooth decay can easily penetrate deeper and spread faster to adjoining teeth. Thus, crowns can help prevent the spread of infection and decay and restore damaged teeth.
Here’s why crowns are essential for restoring your child’s primary teeth:
- Dental crowns aid in the development of your child’s jawbone and muscles
- Restoration using crowns can help in speech development
- Crowns can restore the original shape and size of the primary teeth, essential for developing permanent teeth
- Dental crowns can successfully cover and protect the entire tooth, preventing future decay
Dentists can use crowns to address dental trauma. For example, a crown can restore the functionality and shape of a chipped or diseased tooth. Crowns are commonly used for primary molars in cases such as extensive decay, fractured teeth, after pulp therapy, due to a developmental defect in primary teeth, or due to extensive wear.
Types of Dental Crowns for Children and Teens
Stainless Steel Crowns
These are the most commonly used crowns in children’s dentistry. Dentists use these “silver crowns” for back teeth that rarely show. These are strong, durable, and moisture-resistant. In addition, dentists can place a stainless steel crown in one sitting.
Porcelain crowns are stainless steel crowns coated with a tooth-colored material to match the other teeth. These are also known as veneered steel crowns or resin veneer crowns. The porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are more aesthetically pleasing than stainless steel ones and are suitable for front and back tooth restorations. Porcelain crowns are also durable, strong, and moisture-resistant, but require more tooth preparation than other crowns.
Composite Strip Crowns
Dentists often place composite strip crowns on the front teeth. Placing these crowns requires a lot of skill and time. Children are usually given general anesthesia sedation for this procedure. The white filling material of these crowns looks natural, and a shade card can help match the filling color with your child’s natural tooth color. A significant drawback of composite strip crowns is their tendency to absorb food stains and fracture. In addition, a lack of proper oral hygiene with these crowns may attract plaque.
Zirconia or white dental crowns are composed of a solid white-colored material that is virtually indestructible. These are entirely metal-free and stronger than natural enamel. Zirconia crowns are digitally prepared, and dentists can place them in one visit. These white dental crowns are the most aesthetically pleasing option available on the market.
Regular checkups and maintaining good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay and reduce the chances of getting a crown. Your children’s dentist can help you better select which type of crown is the best option for your child. Visit your children’s dentist at the first sign of a cavity.