Innovative Options and Costs for Pediatric Crown Solutions

As a parent, you only want to give the best for your kids. This applies to dental conditions and the myriad options that are available today in the market to cover up dental flaws and issues such as broken tooth, fractured or cracked tooth, discoloured or deformed/misshapen tooth or even for cosmetic alignment and appearance. No matter if the patient is too young or an adolescent, the need for dental options that are both cosmetically and aesthetically pleasing as well as serves the purpose is extremely important for the present and upcoming generations.

This is where dental crowns have become the most important and integral part of the paediatric dentistry world. Dental crowns offer full coverage and complete restoration for teeth that have undergone severe damage and need support for performing basic functions such as chewing, dental alignment, speech and enunciation. In this section, we discuss more about the innovative dental crown options available in the market as well as the costs associated with the same.

Introduction to Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are an extraordinary innovation that has helped many patients to overcome dental issues pertaining to dental fractures, misalignment, deformation or discolouration. It is also an ideal solution to patients who have undergone pulpal therapy and require a post op solution to protect and retain the original teeth. Kids between the age of 4 months and 13 years have their first denture referred to as the primary teeth which exfoliate by itself and are replaced eventually by the secondary or permanent teeth.

Primary teeth, unlike permanent teeth, do not have a thick enamel. The enamel is considerably thinner and the pulp is more exposed in primary dentition. This makes it more prone to dental issues than adults who have permanent teeth with thicker and stronger enamels. Children who may lose their teeth due to early age caries, accidents or falls or those who need a cosmetic option to cover up deformed, odd coloured or misaligned teeth can make use of dental crowns as an effective solution to protect the original teeth while also retaining the functionality of the tooth and covering up any flaws.

Unlike the earlier days, parents and children are leaning more and more towards esthetic options for both posterior and anterior restorations. Stainless steel crowns have been predominantly used for posterior restorations for a long time in children but with the need for esthetic options, they are slowly being replaced by teeth like, esthetic options such as resin veneer crowns, composite crowns, Preveneered stainless steel crowns, zirconia pediatric crowns, white pediatric crowns such as ceramic crowns etc.

The fitment of these crowns are easy and take only a few seatings based on the crown of choice, the treatment modality and the cooperation level from the patient. Some crowns such as pre veneered crowns take longer to restore and require multiple seatings and more time and requires patience and cooperation from the patient side, which can be challenging when it comes to pediatric patients. A better option when it comes to esthetics as well and durable crowns for children are zirconia crowns for children. These crowns are highly aesthetic and also have high durability, making them an excellent choice for young kids who need their crowns to last for 8 to 10 years.

Types of Esthetic Pediatric Crowns

  1. Composite strip crowns

Composite filled materials that are made into smooth and shiny looking teeth is one of the modern practices that are being successfully used for children as temporary crowns. These crowns are getting more and more popular amongst parents and children who need a temporary crown for a few years before they naturally exfoliate and are replaced by permanent teeth. Composite strip crowns are extremely technique sensitive - which means that they are to be done only by a qualified dentist who has successfully practised this procedure on many patients. It also can be done only with high moisture control and with complete cooperation of the patient. Moisture such as haemorrhage or bleeding can be a risk factor in the bonding and restoration process and therefore, children above the age of 6 or 7 who can cooperate with the procedure are more suited for this type of crown. 

Apart from these factors, composite crowns are an extremely good option for those who want an esthetic pediatric crown front tooth or for posterior teeth. Since they have a shiny and smooth surface, they mimic the teeth around them. They are also super affordable costing just around 6 to 10 USD per crown. They can be easily adjusted and trimmed as well.

  1. Preveneered stainless steel crowns

These crowns have been around the longest and were first introduced in the 1990s. They are super easy to fit, easy to adjust and trim, are not affected by moisture and have low haemorrhage control requirements and can be fit within one or maximum two seatings which is an excellent benefit when it comes to young patients. Their esthetics are good and can be used appropriately for both anterior and posterior restorations. These pediatric crowns cost low and can be a life saver for parents who are looking for durable, esthetic and pocket friendly dental crown options for pediatric patients. They cost around 18 to 30 dollars on average with limited shade options.

Pre Veneered crowns have a con with regards to the resin facing side which is known to be fracture prone and can chip or crack under high pressure. They may also need removal of a large portion of the original teeth owing to their inability to flex and their size which cause excessive removal of healthy primary teeth. These crowns are technique sensitive as the fitment and adjustment may require skill and therefore choosing the right crown as well as the right dentist is important. Pre veneered crowns need maintenance and must be taken good care of through their lifetime.

  1. Polycarbonate crowns

Polycarbonate crowns were extremely popular just like stainless steel crowns back in the 1970s but with higher aesthetics than the later. These crowns were made using heat moulded acrylic resin shells and self cured acrylic resin. They had medium to good durability and good strength when compared to resin veneer crowns or composite crowns but were prone to fracture and cracks because of the brittle nature of the material. But the good part was that they were aesthetically more pleasing than other crown types such as Stainless steel crowns or metal crowns in that period. Today these crowns are used less than usual for young kids who are awaiting tooth exfoliation and need an aesthetic temporary dental crown especially for the anterior teeth.

These crowns come in a few shade options and are easy to crimp and adjust. Their fitment procedure is similar to stainless steel crown restoration and is done within one to two seatings. These crowns are also less technique sensitive when compared to composite crowns which makes it easier on patients and cuts down on chair side restoration time. On the other hand they may require significant tooth reduction which can be deemed unnecessary in most patients, they are also not suited for patients with heavy bruxism as these crowns can wear out faster with heavy night grinding habits in children.

These crowns are moderately priced and cost similar to resin composite or composite strip crowns ranging between a few tens of dollars for each crown.

  1. Zirconia Crowns

There are many kinds of zirconia and ceramic/zirconia crowns available for kids in the market such as Kinder crowns, EZ crowns, Zirkiz crowns etc and each one is designed by a prominent dental lab with their own unique design and specifications that can improve the overall zirconia crown features. Zirconia crowns are extremely durable, strong and aesthetically pleasing which makes them the ideal choice for young kids who need a viable and long lasting temporary crown solution for a long period of time.

Zirconia crowns have rough edges and therefore can be easily adjusted and crimped to suit the requirements of patients. Zirconia crowns are technically custom crested using CAD/CAM technology that provide precise and exact measurements of crown cutting down on the chair side restoration time and helps easy and fast placement of crowns in anxious children.

Zirconia crowns are also highly esthetic and parents of children in surveys and in research studies leaned more towards zirconia crowns for their children displaying higher satisfaction to all attributes including appearance, durability, maintenance and other related functions. These crowns last for a longer time than resin composite or composite strip crowns and are a much stronger and durable option than veneered Stainless steel crowns making them the most viable choice for pediatric patients for restorations in both anterior or posterior teeth.

When it comes to cost, Zirconia crowns are higher than the rest of the options. Zirconia crowns can cost around hundreds of dollars but this may vary based on the brand of the crown, the technique used and the restoration method adapted. Even though they are the most expensive of the list of crowns suggested, it is still the highest used option amongst parents who are looking for innovative and esthetically pleasing dental crown options for their children.