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Why choose a pediatric dental crown instead of a filling?
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that 42% of children between the ages of two and eleven suffer from dental caries (cavities) in their primary (baby) teeth. To remove the bacteria and reduce the risk of pain or infection, we often recommend a white filling or crown as a restoration. In some cases a crown may be a more effective option that a white filling. And in some cases of severe deterioration, a dental crown may be the only way to save the child's primary tooth.
Crowns are a protective cap placed on a decayed tooth
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped restoration that is placed over a tooth to protect it from further deterioration. After we remove the decay, the crown is properly fit and cemented into place. Crowns can be made from different materials, including porcelain, resin composite, metal alloys, and stainless steel.
What is the difference between white and silver crowns?
Stainless steel crowns have been used for years to provide full coverage to baby teeth. These are made of medical grade stainless steel and do not contain any mercury like silver fillings. One of the advantages of steel crowns is our ability to change the shape of the crowns to make them fit each unique tooth.
White crowns are generally made of a ceramic material. They have better esthetics, but placement comes with some unique challenges. They are a rigid material so it may not be possible to change the shape to fit a tooth.
Crowns can withstand the forces of biting and chewing long enough for the permanent teeth to erupt. Other advantages include:
Minimal sensitivity issues
Covers all surfaces of the tooth so the tooth is no longer exposed to the environment that caused the cavity in the first case
Full coverage provides strength that may be reduced as a result of lost tooth structure
Stainless steel crowns can be used as an attachment for a space maintainer
Higher success rate than fillings for children under 4
Crowns are prefabricated in a variety of shapes and sizes
Crowns for children only take one visit
There is no need for impressions or laboratory fees
Extractions are an alternative, but we try to avoid them
Removing a primary tooth prematurely can interfere with the development of a permanent tooth. When a primary tooth is removed, the adjacent teeth may drift into the space and cause alignment or spacing problems. When this happens, a space maintainer may be required to preserve the normal eruption pattern. At Portland Children's Dentistry, we try to avoid tooth extractions, as maintaining the natural teeth can be critical for good oral health.
How to prevent decay and the need for a filling or crown
As a parent, there are many ways for you to prevent your child from receiving a dental crown:
Portland Children's Dentistry does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services to patients or clients. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.