What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that covers a tooth to restore it back to its proper function. A dental crown protects a tooth from further cracking or breakage, strengthens the tooth, and improves the overall appearance of the tooth.
Why Dental Crowns are Used?
In some cases, a decayed tooth must be restored using a crown when a filling is no longer a treatment option. A dental crown is a simple treatment that will help your child achieve optimal oral health. Sometimes, a dentist will have to remove significant decay or perform a nerve treatment, potentially leaving a tooth exposed and requiring a crown to cap the affected tooth. Protecting a damaged tooth or restoring a decayed baby tooth will help set your child up for healthy smiles for life.
Stainless Steel versus White Dental Crowns
The 2 most common types of dental crowns are stainless steel and white dental crowns. Stainless steel crowns, silver in color and made of stainless steel, are more regularly used on back molars and preserve more of the tooth’s structure. Stainless steel is a strong material that can withstand the force of biting and chewing and rarely crack or break. Stainless steel crowns work well on children who are in active occlusion and need a crown that will adapt to their growing mouth.
White crowns dental crowns, typically made of composite resin or porcelain, are used on front teeth or adult teeth. White dental crowns are more cosmetically pleasing which make them optimal for restoring front teeth. White dental crowns tend to be more rigid and are most effective when a mouth is finished growing. Your child’s dentist will determine which type of crown is best for their growing mouth.
How Many Visits are Needed for Dental Crowns to be Completed?
A dental crown procedure is typically completed in just one visit. Your child’s dentist will choose the best type of dental crown to meet their needs and then place the crown on the tooth. The crown will usually last until they are replaced by their adult teeth.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
Following a procedure, have your child avoid eating for a few hours until the anesthesia wears off. This prevents the risk of biting the numbed area resulting in injury. If your child is feeling any discomfort, give them the appropriate dose of children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Ways to Prevent Needing a Dental Crown
Sometimes accidents happen, but there are a few simple ways to protect your child’s teeth and help them avoid needing a dental crown.
- Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports
- Chew carefully and do not use your tooth as an instrument or tool
- Practice proper brushing techniques
- Floss daily
- Talk to your child’s dentist about teeth grinding
- Don’t wait to get cavities filled
Talk to your child’s dentist about how you can help your child avoid a dental crown and have a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Children’s Dental Crown FAQs
Is Getting a Dental Crown Painful?
A dental crown procedure is not painful. Thanks to the use of general anesthesia, your child’s dentist will keep them comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. If your child feels any discomfort following the procedure, this can be relieved with children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Can a Dental Crown Fall Off?
Sometimes, a dental crown can fall off. It can be due to the tooth decaying or the cement loosening. By taking proper care of your crown, your child’s crown should stay intact until it is replaced by a permanent tooth.
Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?
Although a crown doesn’t guarantee protection from tooth decay and gum disease, the best way to take care of your crowned tooth is to treat it like the rest of your teeth! Remember to limit snacking, protect it with a mouthguard, practice proper oral care, and refrain from using your teeth as a tool.
How Long Does a Crown Stay on Your Teeth?
Your child’s dental crown should stay in place until it is replaced by their permanent teeth. Proper care will prolong the life of your crown and keep it strong and healthy before adult teeth come in.
How Can I Protect a Dental Crown?
Even though there is natural “wear and tear” on a crown, there are a few ways to protect it and keep your smile healthy.
- Practice proper oral hygiene
- Chew carefully and do not use your teeth as a tool
- Wear a mouthguard during contact sports
- Discuss teeth grinding with your child’s dentist
- Avoid biting fingernails