Dental crowns for kids are similar to the crowns used for adult patients. They are available for both baby (primary) teeth and adult (permanent) teeth, and serve the same function.
Crowns are shaped to restore the shape, size, and appearance of a tooth, covering up the damaged tooth structure all the way to the gum line, and protecting it from any future damage or decay.
The two most common reasons that your child may need a dental crown are tooth decay (cavities) and oral trauma. If your child has a large or extensive cavity, a filling may not be the best solution for that tooth. A crown can provide protection and structure for the tooth to last many years until the tooth is ready to be lost naturally.
Oral trauma, like a large crack or chip in the tooth, can also require the tooth to be restored with a crown. Crowns will restore the original shape and function of the tooth, and protect the remaining structure from further damage.
Crowns are also used if serious oral trauma or a cavity causes a tooth infection, requiring a pulpotomy or "baby root canal." The crown will cover up the treated tooth to restore it and protect it from future decay or infection.
Most commonly, pre-fitted stainless steel crowns are used for kids. These are ideal for treating baby teeth because they are inexpensive but very durable, and will protect the tooth until it falls out naturally. These crowns are even sometimes used instead of fillings, since they can typically be placed with minimal preparation, and require only one appointment at Green Leaf Dental.
For older kids with decayed or damaged adult teeth, porcelain crowns are typically used. Porcelain crowns are built from a ceramic material that looks and feels just like a natural tooth, so they are often a preferred option for permanent tooth restoration. There are special considerations for a porcelain crown that your children's dentist can discuss with you and your child. Porcelain crown placement requires at least two appointments at Green Leaf Dental.
Your child's tooth may feel a bit strange, sore, or tender for a day or two after their treatment, but they will be able to get back to their normal day-to-day routine right away, and can even go back to school after getting a crown as long as they received no sedation or minimal sedation with laughing gas. Just like with the rest of their teeth, it is important to brush all sides of the crown, especially down along the gums, so that the gums stay pink and healthy.
If your child’s tooth continues to hurt for more than a week after treatment, this is not normal, and you should schedule a follow up at Green Leaf Dental as soon as you can.