What are the types of crowns used on childrens teeth? | Dental Treatment Guide

It is becoming increasingly common that children's teeth suffer from cavities. If you find out that your child has got this problem, then it is important that you are aware of the options from which you will have to pick from to resolve the issue and restore the health of you child's teeth. If the cavity is caught early enough, it is often sufficiently small to be repaired using a normal, small filling. Although if you discover that the tooth decay has reached such an extent that the cavity is rather serious, your child will probably have to have a crown fixed onto the tooth in question. These crowns have to be used as a simple filling could break the tooth if it is very decayed and damaged.

If you have been told that your child needs a crown, you must subsequently choose from a number of options. This article aims to provide you with the basic information surrounding each type of crown.

Stainless Steel Crowns

The most prevalent type of crown employed in paediatric dentistry on milk (or primary) teeth is composed of stainless steel. These crowns are often called 'silver' crowns, as they are effectively metal tooth coverings that are designed to fit your child's tooth. The stainless steel crowns are extremely strong and durable, which may justify why they have been used to help repair children's teeth for the past fifty years.

Due to the tough nature of these crowns as well as the protection they provide from decay, stainless steel crowns are a very good option. However, they are not so advantageous if you are concerned about how your child's teeth actually look or if they have specific metal allergies (although allergic reactions are rare).

Veneered Stainless Steel Crowns

There is an option if you wish to give your child a crown that is both durable like a traditional stainless steel crown as well as aesthetically pleasing. This option is a stainless steel crown, which has got white facings. These are just regular stainless steel crowns that have got a veneered plastic position over the metal faces. This makes the crowns appear white and therefore they blend in better with your child's smile. However, these crowns with white facings have been known to look somewhat "bulky" and stand out of they rest of the teeth due to the extra material. Also, the white, veneered plastic can slowly chip away throughout the crown's lifetime so the steel underneath becomes exposed.

Strip Crowns

Strip crowns are also known as acid-etched resin crowns, or more simply resin crowns. They are composed from plastics that are designed to fit the tooth and then carefully positioned over the decayed tooth. This crown blends well with the rest of the teeth making it a more attractive option for many.

The level of experience your dentist has is quite an important factor with this type of crown. The crown must be positioned skilfully and should be completely fixed to however much of the tooth is remaining. They also take quite a long time to install, which can make this crown quite difficult to position if your child is rather uncooperative or has a short attention span. In such cases, the dentist may deem it necessary to use sedation to calm the child.

Although the crown looks rather natural to start with, they do tend to become discoloured over time due to the food, drink and other lifestyle factors. Not only this but if they are not kept sufficiently clean and card for, plaque can build up and cause further discolouration and/or damage. A final disadvantage of resin/strip crowns is that they are generally significantly weaker than conventional stainless steel crowns. This often means that they are more likely to chip or crack if subjected to trauma.

Ceramic Crowns

Very few dentists actually offer all ceramic crowns, however, they are worth knowing about in case you are given this option. These crowns are completely white, as opposed to veneered stainless steel crowns, which have silver metal underneath. The ceramic crowns are composed of Zirconia, which has previously only been seen in expensive cosmetic dentistry for adults. Due to the one coloured, solid nature of the crown, it is aesthetically attractive as it look rather natural and blends with the rest of your child's smile, provided the rest of their teeth are not discoloured.

The ceramic crowns are coated with a glaze, which gives them an element of shine as well as makes them smooth and less vulnerable to staining. Not only this but contrastingly to some strip/resin crowns, the ceramic crowns are apparently very strong and durable.

Further Information Childrens Dental Treatments