Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crowns Protect Little Teeth, Too

Most people are surprised to learn that young children can have dental problems that may be treated with crowns—even on baby teeth. A crown is a cover placed over the entire tooth. It is fabricated to look like a tooth and is usually used on teeth that are badly damaged or so decayed that there is not enough tooth structure left to support a large filling.

Although baby teeth eventually fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, it is important to try to save them until they fall out on their own. Primary teeth enable the child to chew food and develop normal speech patterns, and help to guide emerging permanent teeth into place.

If your child has broken, decayed or severely discolored baby teeth or discolored permanent teeth, we may recommend treating the problem with a crown. There are several kinds of crown treatments, and we will take into consideration the type and extent of your child’s dental problem, as well as his or her biting patterns, when recommending treatment.

Crowns protect the problem tooth, but their placement requires that the tooth be ground down to accommodate the adhesive needed to attach the crown firmly.  Conventional crowns are usually made of stainless steel, which is very durable and works very well on the back teeth.  For a more esthetically pleasing result, White crowns can be made from plastic or porcelain for the front teeth.  Sometimes stainless steel crowns can have a resin plastic bonded to them as well to improve the esthetic appearance.  In addition, injury to the tooth can break, loosen or dislodge a crown. Their durability may depend on how much tooth structure was left in the treated tooth and how prone the child is to cavities.

If your child needs a crown, we will recommend the option that is best suited to your child’s oral health and overall well-being.

Image credit: <a href=''>ximagination / 123RF Stock Photo</a>