Pediatric Dentistry is a well established brand of Dental Sciences focussing on the requirements of dental aids for children. Childrens’ teeth are referred to as primary teeth or deciduous teeth as they fall off after a certain point of time. Pediatric dentistry helps children achieve healthy teeth and helps them in dealing with early age carries, gingivitis and other issues.
Children's teeth have a soft enamel and the pulp is more easily affected than in secondary teeth because of the lack of enamel. This means that kids are more prone to tooth decay, fractures and cracks from falls and the natural misshaped or crooked teeth that erupt in children’s mouths. Pediatric Dentistry has evolved over the years and has so many solutions and products that help in dealing with these challenges in the most effective, patient friendly manner.
Preserving Primary Teeth in Children
It is of utmost importance that primary teeth be preserved in the child’s mouth as they have a very important role in retaining functionality and aesthetics. Most parents assume that primary teeth are not important enough to be treated and retained in the mouth because of their temporary nature but this myth has been blown wide open by dentists. Below are a list of reasons why primary teeth is necessary in the child’s mouth for as long as they naturally fall off :
- Primary teeth help in preserving the shape of the jaw
- Primary teeth help in preserving the spacing and alignment for when the secondary teeth erupts
- Primary teeth help in carrying on proper mastication function
- Primary teeth help in proper speech and enunciation which children learn over these years
- Primary teeth helps in building self esteem and aesthetics when compared to their absence
These are some of the factors for which the dentists recommend and insist on preserving primary teeth in children. More and more parents are now becoming aware of this and helping their kids deal with problems with primary teeth so as to help children have better dental health.
Dental Crowns for Primary Teeth
Dental Crowns are an excellent option for covering up most of the dental issues faced by young kids today such as decayed teeth, misshapen or crooked teeth, fractured or cracked teeth, chipped teeth etc. Dental crowns preserve the original teeth underneath and sit on top of the original teeth using a cement or a luting agent and helps protect the original teeth from further damage. It is the easiest solution to all pediatric dental problems. Dental crowns are easy to prepare, easy to place and easy to adapt to, even by young kids. Based on the dental issue and the degree of complexity, the chair side time may be high or low. Either way, using a dental crown is one of the permanent solutions for primary teeth as they last for as long as secondary or permanent teeth erupt (in most cases).
When it comes to primary teeth, not all crown materials are suitable. Below are a list of the preferred dental crowns for primary teeth:
Stainless Steel Crowns
One of the most used materials for pediatric crowns in the dental industry is Stainless steel crowns. Most of these crowns come in prefabricated or in preveneered forms and are very easy to use on patients. They have very low chair side restoration time and last for a long time in the patient's mouth. The only downside is that they have very low aesthetics which is very important for patients these days.
Resin Veneered Crowns
Resin Veneered crowns are basically made with Stainless steel but have a resin covering outside that has a white, teeth like appearance. This enhances the visual appeal of the dental crown but has no real effect on aesthetics as they are simply white and opaque unlike actual teeth. Their downside is their low crimpability due to their soft, polished exterior which often forces the dentist to remove more of the patient's original teeth.
One of the more preferred dental crown materials, Zirconia crowns are becoming more and more popular with adults and kids alike. Their natural teeth like appearance, easy adaptability and their high durability makes them one of the most preferred materials to work with. They are biocompatible and are extremely suited for kids who are metal allergic as well.
Zirconia Dental Crowns for Primary Molar Teeth
In continuation to the already mentioned,Zirconia tooth crowns are fast becoming the most preferred material for all kinds of dental restorations because of their wonderful, adaptive nature. Not only are they most used for anterior restorations given their teeth-like color and nature, they are also extremely useful for molar restorations/posterior teeth restorations. Below are some of the reasons why Zirconia is the preferred dental material for posterior restorations when compared to other materials:
It is one of the most stable, natural and biocompatible materials in the market that is preferred by most dentists for their restorations. Most kids these days have metal allergies specifically to nickel.Zirconia dental crowns are completely metal free and are the preferred material in such cases.
Zirconium oxide has the highest strength and durability in the list of most suited dental materials. They can take 5 to 10 times more force than the mean force used by an average person while masticating, which means that they are incredibly strong and durable and are suited for both anterior and posterior restorations.
Aesthetically speaking,zirconia ceramic crowns as they are sometimes referred to, are the most aesthetically pleasing crown materials because of its light translucent, teeth-like color. This makes it the closest fit to natural teeth in comparison to other dental materials. Zirconia tooth crown is suited for anterior restorations because of this reason.
Custom Made Zirconia Crowns v/s Prefabricated Zirconia Crowns
Zirconia dental crowns are now available in two options for children especially, they can either be custom made using molds, x-rays and CAD/CAM technologies or they are available in prefabricated sizes and shapes by various dental accessory providers.Zirconia crown cost for both these options are more or less same but custom made crowns can be more expensive than prefabricated crowns. Zirconia crown price for prefabricated crowns are more affordable for patients who are willing to go for zirconia tooth crowns for aesthetics but wary of the cost of Zirconia dental crowns. Both of these are excellent options when it comes to Pediatric dentistry and have their own range of pros and cons.
Pros of Custom Made Zirconia Crowns
Custom Made Zirconia crowns make use of the exact shape and size of the tooth using conventional molds and x-rays to determine the size of the restoration required
- CAD/CAM technology is used to carve out the specific custom sized tooth for the patient which means that the restoration is a perfect fit for the patien
- Due to its adaptive translucent nature, Custom made zirconia crowns can be made to suite the specific tooth color of the patient
- The chair side time for crown placement, adjustments, contouring or crimping is very less for custom made zirconia crowns
- They last a bit more longer in the patients’ mouth than prefabricated Zirconia crowns
Cons of Custom Made Zirconia Crowns
Zirconia crown cost for custom made crowns are slightly more expensive due to its single and exclusive preparation time and effort
- The time taken to prepare a custom zirconia tooth crown is higher and therefore may require temporary restorations in some cases using SSC crowns
Pros of Prefabricated Zirconia Crowns
- They are very easily available in the market and is a very handy and quick method when it comes to pediatric restorations
- Prefabricated Zirconia dental crowns come in a bunch of various sizes and shapes that may fit most childrens’ teeth
- Zirconia Crown price for prefabricated crowns are slightly less expensive due to the wide availability and mass production benefit
- They have significantly less time taken to choose a crown and fit it for the patient due to its availability, therefore removing the need for having a temporary restoration meanwhile
Cons of Prefabricated Zirconia Dental Crowns
They have a slightly high chair time when compared to custom made zirconia crowns given there is a need for adjustments, contouring and crimping based on the patients’ size requirements
- They have a slightly less natural color, although still aesthetic than any other options
- They may have a shorter life span since they are mass manufactured unlike custom made crowns
Custom made Zirconia crowns are an excellent option for kids with dental restorations, especially molar restorations, and if they have a significant amount of time left for them to naturally lose their molars and for their secondary teeth to erupt. In all other cases where there is only a few years and for anterior restorations, prefabricated zirconia tooth crowns can serve to be excellent options. Either way, Zirconia crowns are always more preferred and more suited for aesthetic oriented dental restorations in children. They are the modern day solution for primary teeth issues and for perfect preservation of the primary teeth until the secondary teeth erupt naturally.