Your child’s baby teeth usually and gradually fall out as their adult teeth come in. There are times when a baby tooth is so damaged that our dentist may recommend placing a dental crown (a protective cover) over the tooth to save and protect it. Our team would much rather do this than pulling the tooth and leaving it under your child’s pillow for the tooth fairy to add to her collection earlier than needed. You may then wonder why your child would need a dental crown to “cap” a baby tooth?
Why Cap a Baby Tooth With a Dental Crown
The biggest reason is to protect your child’s future oral development. As their jaws develop, spaces from teeth that were extracted prematurely can cause issues when their adult teeth eventually come in and require braces and other costly treatments later.
Cavities are common in children because of tooth decay, and a large cavity that can’t hold a filling can still support a dental crown placed over the damaged tooth. Saving a primary tooth now (even if it has severe decay that a dental filling can’t support) is still worth placing a dental crown. Crowns can protect teeth that may be broken or badly chipped from injury from a hard fall or from playing high impact sports. Having a root canal can also save a primary tooth, as can placing a bridge with a crown over a prematurely missing tooth. A dental crown looks and functions like the rest of their teeth, strengthening and restoring the damaged tooth’s function.
A Dental Crown Effectively…
- Holds space for the incoming adult teeth and guides the adult tooth that will be moving down into its place.
- Helps your child chew the healthy foods their growing body needs.
- Helps your child to speak properly to prevent developmental speech problems.
Protecting Your Child’s Baby Teeth
Just like with permanent teeth, primary teeth need proper daily care. It means establishing healthy dental habits while they are young to set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles! Daily brushing and flossing is the easiest way to avoid cavities in children, along with routine dental cleanings and checkups.
Make sure they know not to chew hard food, including munching on ice or hard candies. When your child is participating in impact sports or recreational activities, make sure they have all the proper safety equipment, including a sports guard. It can help pave the way for your child to have healthy permanent teeth.
Placing a crown on damaged teeth can help your child’s oral development properly proceed. So what kinds of crowns are available for primary teeth? While there are a variety of materials used to create children’s crowns, the location of the damaged tooth typically determines the crown materials that will need to be used.
Common Crown Materials
Stainless Steel Crowns: These are strong and long-lasting, making them ideal for the molars in the back of the mouth that must handle the bulk of chewing their food. They also do not corrode and are economical choices.
Alloy Dental Crowns: These are also strong and durable, making them perfect for replacing molars in the back of the mouth. They may be made from gold, nickel, chromium and palladium.
Ceramic Dental Crowns: These are made to match the surrounding teeth, making them ideal for covering teeth in the front.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Dental Crowns: Strong and beautiful crowns made from porcelain fused to metal, these are perfect for both the front and back teeth.
If your child has a damaged tooth that isn’t quite ready yet for the Tooth Fairy, our pediatric dentist is happy to restore its form and function with the help of a dental crown to protect their developing smile. It can save you time, energy and money later to correct dental issues. We welcome you to call our caring team today to schedule a visit and learn more!