Contrary to what you may hear, baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. They deserve the same care and attention that adult teeth deserve to maintain a healthy mouth, free from cavities, infection and gum disease. A cavity on a baby tooth can be detrimental to your child, like a cavity on an adult tooth can be for you. Once a cavity forms, it grows until it becomes an infection. If a cavity on a baby’s tooth is left untreated, your child will experience pain, infection and tooth loss.
The hope is that a cavity will be diagnosed early on in a baby tooth, and a simple filling can be placed to fix the cavity. However, this is not always the case. Baby teeth have large root canals and less enamel than adult teeth. Cavities can spread into the nerve of a tooth relatively quickly. Therefore, the solution for a moderate to larger sized cavity on a baby tooth is usually a temporary dental crown and possible root canal treatment. If the cavity has entered the nerve, a root canal treatment will be necessary. While a root canal treatment will always require a crown to be placed on the tooth, a temporary dental crown may be beneficial without needing the root canal treatment.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a metal cap that is used to place over the remaining structure of the baby tooth to offer full support. All decayed tooth structures and filling material are removed before the crown is placed. The dental crown helps to ensure the baby tooth is no longer susceptible to cavities, offers a vulnerable tooth full support and helps the tooth reach its natural exfoliation. Crowns for baby teeth will usually be metal as they are mostly used on back teeth and will be lost when the tooth falls out after a few years. Metal crowns are the less expensive option. If desired, a white porcelain crown can be used.
What is the Dental Crown Procedure?
The cavity will be removed from the tooth, and the outer edges of the tooth will be sanded down to make room for the temporary dental crown. Temporary dental crowns for baby teeth are premade in various sizes, so it only takes one appointment as opposed to a custom crown for an adult tooth, which takes two appointments. The metal crown will then be fitted and cemented onto the remaining baby tooth. The procedure doesn’t take long and causes minimal discomfort for the child.
What are the Benefits of a Crown?
With the use of a temporary dental crown, your child will be able to keep a baby tooth that would otherwise require early extraction. If a baby tooth is removed early, there is the risk of future crowding and misalignment of the adult teeth. Also, damage in the form of infection or trauma to the future adult teeth and the ability for your child to properly chew food and speak.
If you have any questions about dental crowns for children, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.