Pediatric crowns are dental caps that are usually used to restore or protect the teeth of children. Basically, these types of crowns are used or what is referred to as ‘Milk Teeth’ – which are the first set of teeth that eventually fall off to make way for permanent teeth. Milk teeth are also referred to as primary teeth. It is very important to take good care of primary teeth as they affect the growth and development of permanent teeth.
What is a pediatric dental crown?
Pediatric dental crowns are used to cover, restore and offer protection to the damaged or decayed primary teeth of children. They are different types of dental crowns for children and a dentist will choose one depending on the dental issue that is at hand.
Why do we need them?
Many people may wonder why it is necessary to restore or put a dental crown over a child’s damaged or decayed tooth. You might think that your child’s tooth is just milk teeth and will eventually fall out. Why bother with dental treatments or why not extract the truth?
Well, the answer is not that simple.
Milk teeth is a place holder for permanent teeth that may come up. If the milk teeth are decayed or lost before time, the permanent teeth may turn out to be crooked.
Research has proven that 1 in 5 children aged between 5 and 11 are likely to suffer from tooth decay. In fact, around 40% of kids tend to be affected by cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. These are the key reasons why pediatric dental crowns offer many advantages when it comes to the restoration and protection of teeth.
Here are some of the reasons why your dentist will recommend a dental crown for your child:
- To protect a tooth that has decayed and a filling cannot save it
- To cover and offer protection to a partially or fully decayed tooth
- For other cosmetic reasons
Given below are some of the advantages of pediatric dental crowns:
- Protect further decay: Patients who belong to the age group of 5 to 12 tend to have a thinner tooth enamel when compared to their older counterparts. This is why, if they suffer from tooth decay, it can spread faster than usual to the surrounding areas. Thus, making other teeth more prone to damage. This is why dental crowns for kids play a crucial role in protecting baby teeth.
- Designed for kids: Children often tend to lack patience and also have their own fears and apprehensions about dental treatments. It is also not easy to get them to sit for a long time for a dental procedure. They may tend to get restless. This is why pediatric crowns are specially designed to cater to this population. ‘
Therefore these crowns are:
- Designed keeping in mind the needs of this type of patient population
- Can be fitted in one sitting
- Help doctors complete the procedure faster than usual
- Pre-designed for better outcome: Pediatric dental crowns are contoured, crimped and pre-trimmed. This helps doctors fit the crown in just one sitting and there is also no need to make further adjustments in most cases.
Types of pediatric crowns
1. Stainless steel: These are probably one among the oldest types of pediatric crowns and have been in use since the 1940s. They are often very durable and economical.
Easy to fit
Faster to replace
Resistant to moisture
Risk of an allergic reaction
Not aesthetically sound
2. Composite crowns: This type of crown can be very aesthetically appealing. However, it can be prone to fracture, especially in the case of children who may tend to be negligent with dental care. These types of crowns are used mainly on anterior teeth.
Not very expensive
Not very durable
Not very resistant to moisture
3. Polycarbonate dental crowns: Made from polycarbonate or acrylic resin shells, these dental crowns are the same colour as the natural teeth. However, when it comes to durability, it depends on the type of application method used.
Low in cost
Used for temporary restoration
4. Resin Veneer Crown: This is a type of dental crown that is typically stainless steel but has a resin overlay. They tend to be comparatively more expensive than steel crowns and offer the patient the best of both worlds – steel and resin.
Sensitive to moisture
What is a pediatric dentist’s recommendation?
A pediatric dentist is specialized in treating the dental needs in children. They recommend that children follow a good oral hygiene regimen at all times.
Here are some dental tips:
- Supervise your child’s brushing: It is very important for parents to teach their children how to brush the right way. Till a child develops good oral habits it is very important for parents to supervise. Children learn by example, so it will help a lot if parents inculcate good oral hygiene practices.
- Restrict sugar intake: Kids tend to eat a lot of candy, desserts and consume other types of sugary foods. This makes them more prone to oral decay and cavities. Restrict the amount of sugar and junk food and encourage healthy eating. Serve them a portion of fresh vegetables or fruits and also include milk or other dairy products.
- Get regular check-ups: It is very important to get your child’s teeth checked regularly. Making a visit to the dentist at least every 3 to 6 months will help diagnose any dental issues before it is too late to fix
- Use good dental products: It is important to use good quality dental products like an anti-bacterial mouth wash, a good fluoride toothpaste and a tongue scraper. Also, do not neglect the gum area and encourage regular flossing along with brushing.
Pediatric dental crowns play a very important and crucial role when it comes to protecting the milk teeth in children. They have various benefits and a host of advantages when it comes to treating to dental cavities.