Dental crowns are essentially caps that are placed over a broken or badly decayed tooth to restore the tooth to its ideal shape, size and function. Dental crowns can protect the damaged tooth and restore the smile.
Some people may wonder why a crown may be needed on a baby tooth, since those teeth are going to fall out anyway. A crown will ensure the tooth is restored to its proper function, allowing your child’s smile to look and act as it should. Crowns help your child by:
- Ensuring the tooth and surrounding teeth are protected from further decay
- Restoring the tooth to its proper shape
- Helping your child’s bite function properly for biting and chewing purposes
What is the process for receiving a pediatric dental crown?
The good news is, the process to receive a crown is typically quick and easy, and can be completed in only one visit with our pediatric dentists. Our dentists will begin by removing any decay that is in the tooth. We then shave down the tooth to ensure an ideal shape to allow the crown to fit comfortably. The crown is then fitted onto the remaining portion of the tooth – this may take a few tries as we find the right size crown for your child’s smile. Once correct size and fit is achieved, the crown is cemented into place.
How long will my child’s crown last?
Dental crowns in children are durable and will last until the tooth naturally falls out and is replaced by its permanent one.
Why should my child get a crown instead of having the tooth pulled?
Whenever possible, we want to preserve the tooth and prevent the need for extractions. Early extractions create a space in the mouth, into which other teeth can drift, causing unnecessary issues. A crown allows us to preserve the natural function of the smile and restore the smile to its optimal function.
If my child has a large cavity, why can’t it just be filled?
If your child has a tooth or teeth with excessive decay, it may be beyond the scope that a filling can repair. That’s because the filling stands a risk of falling out, breaking or wearing out. Crowns are more durable and a better solution to repairing a tooth damaged by severe decay.
If the baby tooth is going to fall out anyway, can’t we just wait for that to happen on its own, rather than repairing the tooth?
Avoiding repair for tooth decay in your child’s mouth stands the risk of the decay spreading to additional teeth. The enamel of baby teeth is much thinner than that of permanent teeth. This means decay can spread much more easily between the teeth. A crown works as a cap to cover the tooth and prevent the spread of decay and risk of infection.
If my child is anxious about the procedure, what are the options?
We know that visiting our office, especially for a procedure such as a crown, can cause a bit of anxiety for children. We offer the following options to ensure your child’s comfort:
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) – This is delivered via a mask that is placed over your child’s nose. Your child will be fully alert, but relaxed.
- Sedative via syrup or pill – A sedative via a syrup or pill can be administered for children who have more severe anxiety or who cannot tolerate nitrous oxide.
- IV sedation – If your child is in need of serious restorative work, we may decide an intravenous sedative is the more ideal option.
What can I expect after my child’s procedure?
After the crown, your child may experience some discomfort. Over-the-counter medications can help. Discourage eating until the numbness has completely worn off – this can ensure your child doesn’t cause injury by accidentally biting the inside of the cheek or lip. Pay close attention to your child to ensure they are not accidentally biting or chewing on the numb areas inside the mouth.
To ensure your child’s oral health is maintained, encourage proper brushing and flossing.