Hearing that your child has cavities can be disconcerting. It can often leave parents feeling guilty and wondering what comes next. While some cavities can be fixed with a simple filling, others need a dental crown.
When a tooth has extensive decay, or is damaged significantly, a crown is used to restore the tooth to functionality. The crown, or cap, covers the tooth down to the gums and helps protect from further decay or damage. This is a great way to preserve baby teeth until adult teeth emerge. Also, it is used on adult teeth to prevent extractions. Dental crowns are available in a variety of materials and are covered by most insurance plans.
These are the most common. They are what people refer to as “silver” crowns/caps. They are very durable and strong. However, they are a shiny silver color. In very rare occasions, there can be localized tissue irritation. If your child has any allergies to metal, you may wish to consider other types of crowns.
If you want the simplicity of a stainless-steel crown but aren’t pleased with the aesthetics, you can get them with white facings. These are especially good for front teeth. Keep in mind that the extra material must be added to the crown so it may look rounded. Also, it’s important to consider that over time the facing can chip off and expose the silver underneath.
Prepared correctly, these crowns are very esthetically pleasing. It requires more skill and time to install these crowns, so they aren’t often used on small, uncooperative children. However, they can be placed under general anesthesia. They have much more natural look, but they are prone to staining over time. Also, they are much weaker than stainless steel. Therefore, there is an increased risk of chipping and cracking.
These are prefabricated, white ceramic crowns. They are designed specifically for children. They are made of solid zirconia which is biocompatible. Since it is composed entirely of tooth-colored material, it looks great from any angle. They are strong and impermeable to staining making them a great option for children.
Whether it is decay or trauma, learning that your child needs a crown can be stressful. However, there are many options available to fit your preferences and budget, allowing you to preserve your child’s beautiful smile.
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