Pediatric dentistry has been the focus of many researchers and dental practitioners. Many new and upcoming techniques have been transforming this space as modern solutions have started replacing age old practices. The reason for this is perhaps the dissatisfaction that has been present amongst parents and children alike with the metal crowns. Several studies have gone into establishing what today's parents and children are looking for and the significant change that most studies have noted is the need for aesthetics.
Metal crowns or preformed and prefabricated metal crowns have been the norm in pediatric dentistry for a long time. These crowns have been successful in full frontal prosthetic needs and for providing restorative measures after treatments such as Pulpectomy or Pulpotomy in children. Metal crowns are safe, do not cause gingival infections and possess durability. Since they come in preformed/prefabricated manner, dentists were able to cut down on restorative time and be able to crown fitments in significantly less time.
The only demerit with Metal crowns or the Preformed SSC was the jarring metallic colour which was disliked by doctors and patients alike. Many parents and children do not prefer having metallic restorations in their body anymore due to the fear of harmful allergic reactions. The obvious metallic restoration is also a hindrance for aesthetics which has become one of the top priorities today. Unlike olden times where only functionality was important, today fit and finish is equally important and maybe even more.
New Age Pediatric Zirconia Crowns
Pediatric crowns have been receiving the spotlight for a long time and perhaps the star of the new age is Zirconia crowns. Zirconia is a fascinating material that has been used in prosthetics and bone surgery for a long time and has seen its uses in the human body for its incredible strength and durability. Soon enough, these prosthetic solutions have reached the dental solutions arena with some of the most durable and esthetic looking crowns. If you are someone looking for a durable, strong, aesthetic and a Biocompatible dental crown option, then look no further than Zirconia crowns.
Zirconia crowns have been used for adults for a long time now. These crowns are usually milled from blocks of Yttrium stabilised Zirconium oxide and crowns are prepared using high tech CAD/CAM technology to give patients the perfect fit and wear. The technique not only is amazing for precision and is lauded for its innovative approach, it has also brought down the chair side restorative time significantly giving patients and dentists some relief. Zirconia crowns are marketed by many brands in the market for adults and now pediatric crowns have also been introduced by some noteworthy brands in the dental sphere.
Why Pediatric Zirconia?
Pediatric zirconia crowns help patients provide an aesthetic solution for their children. Given that children need strong, durable, biocompatible, safe and esthetic options today, metal crowns have been replaced by preformed zirconia crowns in the market. Although Preformed zirconia tooth crowns are still a fresh new product and developments are still ongoing to make the product better and more suitable for use every single day, these crowns are already in great demand in the world of dentistry. Zirconia dental crowns have always been known for their strength and durability but what most people do not know is its biocompatibility to our body.
The zirconia ceramic crown is much like a ceramic crown but has biocompatible composition that makes it suitable for children of all ages. They do not cause any gingival irritation or infection and are also suitable for those who cannot tolerate metal restorations due to allergies. Zirconia is 100% safe and given its strength and durability, it is one of the best choices for children who need temporary aesthetic restorations very early on in life. Children who lose their primary dentition to caries and other accidents may have a long time before their permanent teeth come in and in such scenarios, preformed zirconia crowns is an excellent option.
The cost of zirconia crown today varies on the type of crown and the brand that you are looking to buy. There are many different kinds of crowns in the market and the zirconia crown price varies based on what features they have such as crimped margins, custom translucency with glazing etc. Zirconia crown cost may vary from one dentist to another and also based on the customisation that the parent and the child may opt for. The freedom to customise and make these crowns exactly what you want is something that no other pediatric crown offers today.
The Latest Innovations in Pediatric Zirconia Crowns
- Local availability
Dentists with labs attached are today able to provide locally milled and produced zirconia crowns. The technology of making these crowns depend on the CAD/CAM programs and many labs have created their own version of making these crowns locally in their labs. Although locally produced crowns are still better than metal restorations, one should look out for a history of these crowns and how successfully they have been used in patients. A good and reputed lab and with a successful history of restorations on young patients provides confidence in patients who want to go in for locally made Zirconia crowns.
- Branded products
There are many brands in the market that have proven products in the market as well. If you are someone who is confused about which crown to choose, then going in for any of the branded crowns in the market is a good option. These crowns have been researched on a small sample, tested and tried and have been approved medically for sale before they are sold and therefore parents can have more confidence in such products. Either way, zirconia crowns also depend on the placement and cementing technique and therefore choosing the right dentist is also an important decision for parents. Many new advancements have been made in the field of luting agents, adhesive and cementing agents as well.
- Cementing Innovations
Cements such as Pure Glass Ionomer cements, Resin Modified Glass Ionomer cements, Bioresponsive Ionic resin cements are some of the common examples of cements that are used with pediatric zirconia crowns. These new age luting agents help in providing an ionic bond with the tooth structure. Glass Ionomer cements have subsequently been taken up by Resin modified and Bioresponsive variants as they have better adhesion to the zirconia structure and have a 2-fold protection using resin or Calcium-phosphate layer. These new age techniques ensure a hydrophilic bond that helps keep the crowns healthier and durable for longer periods of time and repels any chance of infection in the gums.
- Staining and Glazing
Another superior innovation that has been added to the crown is the staining and glazing technique for the zirconia crowns. This technique allows crowns to shade match with the existing teeth and bring out the natural shade of the teeth. The artificial staining of the teeth gives an unbeatable shade match and makes it almost impossible to identify the original teeth from the crowned tooth. Zirconia crowns have a tendency to be slightly opaque and less translucent. But with the new age glazing and staining technique, not only is the crown almost similar to your natural teeth with a slight translucency, it also has the same shade.
- 3D Visual guide for preparing the tooth
Another technology that has been recently adopted with Zirconia crowns especially for primary dentition is the 3D visual guide in preparation of the crown. This method uses a standard scanner to identify the shape and size of the gap between the teeth to measure the crown size accurately and helps in preparation of the crown. This helps in cutting down on the time that is usually taken to prepare these crowns. Since zirconia crowns cannot be crimped to a great extent, using a 3D guide helped dentists prevent excessive tooth reduction and therefore secure more of the original tooth.
It is important for parents to take into account the need for dental care at the right time even if it is for primary teeth that are eventually replaced by permanent teeth. Instead of extraction, primary teeth should be treated and crowned using Zirconia crowns so that the original tooth structure can be preserved as much as possible. The original tooth has many definite roles in the mouth of a child as it helps in occupying the space for permanent teeth. It helps in keeping the jaw shape intact and in the healthy growth of permanent teeth without any misalignment.
If your child has recently undergone pulp therapy or has large carious lesions or has had an accident that has led to the loss/fracture of teeth, it is best to treat the original tooth and have a crown placed so as to protect the original tooth. If the child is close to having the teeth come off naturally and permanent teeth are almost kicking in, then you may choose to go in for extraction or use a more economic option such as SSC or a resin strip crown. But if your child has an early loss of tooth, then pediatric zirconia crowns are your best bet.
Not only are these crowns strong, durable, biocompatible and precisely created, they are also extremely aesthetic and can immediately cover up any dental flaw that might have come up. In the long run, this is one of the most successful solutions for primary teeth issues if the child has more than 2-3 years left for natural permanent teeth exfoliation.