Dental Crowns (Caps) for Primary (Baby) Teeth - Some must know

Pediatric dentistry recognizes the need for dental crowns or caps for baby teeth that have large cavities, structural inconsistencies, or functional difficulties. These crowns are used to repair and restore the original shape and structure of baby teeth while also allowing normal functionality. The following article enlists some important information about dental crowns for primary teeth and effectively answers most Frequently Asked Questions regarding the same.

Meaning and necessity of dental crowns:

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are used to encase or cover the teeth by cementing it to them. Repair and restoration of damaged, decayed, or disfigured teeth is the sole purpose of using dental crowns.

When it comes to cavities that have caused excessive decay, dental crowns are considered better than fillings as they are durable and much more effective.

The need for repairing decayed primary teeth should not be shrugged off and swept under the carpet. This is because:

  • Crowns help in preventing spread of decay to other teeth, other areas of the mouth or even the body
  • Crowns help in proper alignment of primary teeth to make way for permanent teeth
  • Jawbone and muscles around the lower part of your face are greatly benefited by the use of crowns
  • Speech development is a crucial aspect and crowns make sure that your teeth don’t come in the way of your words
  • Normal functions such as chewing food becomes easier with crowns that protect affected teeth from further decay

Types of Dental Crowns

It is important to know the available options in the market of dental crowns. There are four main types, each of which has their own pros and cons.

The four types are:

  • Stainless Steel Dental Crowns: Tried and tested, durable, cost-effective and can be customized; these dental crowns are usually used to cover molars that have decay between them.
  • Acid-etched resin or Strip Crowns: This type of crown is generally used for the front teeth and is made of clear shells that are filled with tooth-colored filling and taken off once the composite sets. It is an aesthetically pleasing option for those that don’t want steel on their front teeth. They are moderately priced as well.
  • Veneered Steel Crowns: A mix of steel and tooth colored composite, these crowns are used for the anterior teeth. They are moisture repellent and durable.
  • White Dental Crowns:This ceramic dental crown is indestructible and highly durable. They don’t result in any allergic responses when exposed to gum tissue.

The steps in the process

  1. Numbing the gums and cheeks with a numbing gel followed by a local anesthetic
  2. To overcome dental fear in children during the procedure, Nitrous Oxide is given through a small mask, or oral sedatives and even intravenous sedatives can be used to calm the mind.
  3.  A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth that is going to be treated. The dam is a small piece of latex that helps the dentist focus on just the decayed or damaged tooth.
  4. The decay is then removed and a drill is used to form the shape for the crown to fit in.
  5. The crown is then fitted in securely and debris from the drilling is cleaned. It varies for different types of dental crowns.
  6. After the procedure; eat right, and brush, and floss regularly!

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Last updated on 30 January, 2018.

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