When primary (baby) teeth have too BIG cavities or are decayed in areas that will not hold fillings- usually between the teeth, stainless steel crowns provide an excellent solution.
First, the decay is removed and the tooth reduced in size. Then a crown is selected and contoured to fit snugly over the tooth. Last, it is filled with retentive dental cement that becomes hard soon after the crown is pressed into position.
Stainless steel crowns have many advantages over large fillings.
- Unlike a filling, a stainless steel crown is unbreakable and therefore will usually last as long as the tooth. In some cases, this can be until the child is 13 years old.
- Since a crown completely covers the tooth, no enamel is left exposed to future decay. In other words, a stainless steel crown is a one-time procedure for that tooth.
- Stainless steel crowns are relatively inexpensive.
Stainless steel crowns require no special care with the exception of the need to avoid sticky foods that could dislodge them. It is rare for a crown to become uncemented but should this happen, the crown should be saved and our office contacted as soon as possible. Recementation is a simple procedure that does not require a local anesthetic (Novocaine). Stainless steel crowns are unconditionally guaranteed for 6 months. After that, there is a nominal fee for recementation and remakes of lost crowns are done at half cost.
We are often asked, “What happens to the crown when the tooth is ready to fall out?” The answer is simply “nothing” because the crown will come out with the tooth.
As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have regarding dental care for your children.