My Child Needs Pediatric Dental Crowns: What Are My Options?

young boy smiling as the dentist waits to examine his mouth with dental tools

Oh no! You’ve recently been told by our Hudsonville pediatric dentist that your child has an extensively decayed or injured baby tooth and a dental crown is needed. It’s normal to feel a little worried, but it’s not the end of the world. We can help restore your child’s smile.

Here is what you need to know about the two types of pediatric dental crowns we offer and why restoration is necessary for oral health.

Crowns and Baby Teeth

Every parent wants their child to have healthy teeth that are free of decay. Yet, that doesn’t stop the initial thought many have when they hear a dental crown is needed. It’s only a baby tooth, can’t it just be extracted or left alone?

To put it simply, no, because damaged teeth require protection. Though they are eventually replaced by permanent teeth, baby teeth are important. They help your child to speak properly, eat comfortably, and serve as placeholders for adult teeth.

If a decayed tooth is not treated, it could compromise other surrounding teeth and spread rapidly. This is due to the thin enamel of baby teeth. On the other hand, if the tooth is prematurely removed, neighboring teeth will want to fill the space and crowding can occur. Dental crowns are the most durable solution for your child.

Types of Pediatric Crowns

Crowns intended for the repair and restoration of primary teeth differ slightly in terms of materials used but function the same as adult crowns. They consist of a tooth-shaped “cap” that covers a vulnerable tooth, thus restoring its strength.

Where your child’s decayed or injured tooth is located does sometimes affect the type of crown chosen. If the tooth is in the back of the mouth, a less aesthetic option, like stainless steel crowns, are preferable. But, if the tooth is front facing, you may want a white dental crown as it will look more natural.

Stainless Steel Crowns

One type of pediatric crown that we offer at Hudsonville Dental Kids is made of stainless steel. Stainless steel crowns have been used in pediatric dentistry for over 80 years and are regarded as a trusted option. The crown itself is a metal shell that is easily placed and can be customized to fit any tooth.

Other pros of stainless steel crowns include:

  • Their durability, strength, and resistance to moisture (perfect for back molars)
  • They’re cost-effective and are the most affordable crown option available
  • They generally only require one visit to our pediatric dentist

White Crowns

Unlike stainless steel crowns, white crowns contain no metal and closely resemble those made of porcelain. This tooth-colored option is often recommended for damaged teeth in the front of the mouth as they are more aesthetically pleasing. They can be pre-made to a desired size and are made of a material similar to ceramic.

White crowns are also:

  • Stronger and more durable than natural enamel
  • Resistant to plaque accumulation and decay
  • Not capable of producing an allergic response when introduced to biological tissue

What to Expect for the Procedure

Most dental crowns for children can be placed in a single visit, unlike their adult equivalents. Our pediatric dentist will start by numbing the area around the tooth and the tooth itself. Let us know if your child is more anxious at the dentist as we can also offer sedation at this stage.

Once everything is properly numb, a dental dam will be placed to isolate the tooth being worked on. This small piece of latex also protects your child’s cheeks, tongue, and gums. Continuing the procedure, our dentist will remove any decay present and shape the tooth for the crown using a special drill.

Lastly, the crown is placed and checked to make sure it fits properly.

Consider Sealants

Prevent tooth decay on back teeth with dental sealants. Sealants are thin coatings that can be painted or brushed onto the chewing surface of your child’s molars.

On the top of these back teeth, there are narrow fissures and pits. Sealants act as a protective shield and prevent plaque from hiding inside these hard-to-brush grooves. If you’re interested in this quick, painless procedure for your child, our dentist can apply them following a cleaning.

Restore Your Child’s Smile

Dental crowns can seem unnecessary for baby teeth but they help to restore strength and functionality. If you have additional questions regarding crowns for your child, our pediatric dentist in Hudsonville, MI, would be happy to speak with you. Make an appointment today online or call Hudsonville Dental Kids at (616) 209-4039.