Dental Crowns are a marvel of medical innovation that has solved many complex dentistry problems in the modern day. A dental crown can be an easy alternative to many problems that used to require interventive treatment such as root canal or tooth; extraction. Many of these treatments cannot be performed on patients with age and medical limitations. Therefore, there was a need for an easier solution for a tooth that was damaged and needed replacement. Pediatric Crowns is a sub-branch under dental crowns that is especially designed for children’s baby teeth. Children with baby teeth cannot have extensive dental treatments nor are they capable of undergoing many of the surgical treatment forms. This is why there was a need for alternative options that did not cause any adverse reactions in kids and remained safe post installation as well.
Dental and Pediatric Crowns
Dental Crowns are caps that are placed strategically on top of the broken or damaged tooth. They are made from many different kinds of materials and can help in solving many purposes. A dental crown is recommended in many scenarios such as:
- When a tooth has become weak due to damage or infection
- When a tooth has cracked
- For restoration of a broken tooth
- To fit onto a worn down tooth
- Covering tooth that has a large filling
- Covering a dental Implant or a Bridge
- To cover a misshapen tooth or a discoloured tooth
- Covering tooth that has been worn down after Root Canal Treatment
Getting a dental crown is one of the most common dental procedures these days as their usage is very flexible and versatile and solves many purposes with just a single option. It also comes in many different forms of material and can be chosen based on the type of teeth, the position of the teeth and the preference of the patient.
Pediatric Crowns or Pediatric Dental Crowns are made specifically for baby teeth. They are a different division under dental crowns as they are made from sensitive and non-allergic materials that are used to help children maintain their dental functions while their permanent teeth grow in place. They are also one of the safest options for kids who need medical intervention.
Although baby teeth do not last many years, an untreated teeth can bring in more problems in the future and create a bad foundation for permanent teeth that grow in later. Below are some of the main reasons children’s baby teeth can need replacement with pediatric crowns:
- Baby teeth that has bacterial and gum infection
- Teeth that has become weak or soft because of decay
- Teeth that has chipped
- Teeth that is misshapen
- Teeth that is discoloured
- Teeth that is broken or fractured due to accidents
These are some of the top cases where a child may require pediatric dental crowns as an alternative for their primary teeth. One of the biggest reasons why pediatric crown is required is because primary teeth cannot be left untreated even for small and minor issues. An untreated problem can lead to the growth of unhealthy secondary or permanent teeth. If the shape of the teeth is not preserved, the permanent teeth growing in may be misshapen and out of order. It may then require orthodontic procedures for corrections later on.
Most parents tend to leave small tooth infections or deformity unattended, thinking that they would soon fall out and would be taken over by permanent teeth, but the fact is, the foundation of the tooth is bad, there is a high chance that the teeth that grow in that place will also be similar.
Another reason why children need to preserve their primary teeth is because at their age, it is important for them to learn proper skills that depend on healthy teeth such as speech, enunciation and chewing ability. All of these factors can be affected if they do not have a good set of primary teeth.
These are some of the reasons why primary teeth must be taken good care of and in case of any dental deformity, they must be preserved and corrected with the use of dental procedures and solutions.
Materials and Types of Pediatric Dental Crowns
Pediatric dental crowns are not made similar to normal dental crowns. Pediatric dental crowns are made from materials that are safe for children’s oral cavity and are highly resistant to allergies and corrosion due to salivation. Below are some of the most common types of material that are used for preparing pediatric crowns for children:
1. Stainless Steel Pediatric Crowns
Stainless Steel Pediatric Crowns are one of the most widely used types of crowns for baby teeth. Not only are they pre fabricated and come in a variety of shapes and sizes which can easily be fit to any shape of baby teeth, they also are very cost efficient, sturdy and non-corrosive due to saliva. They fit perfectly and can be easily installed on any kind of baby tooth with basic dental cements or paste. They are very efficient and can stand the test of time. They can survive good bite force as well and therefore best when used for posterior teeth such as molars.
The only downside to Pediatric Stainless Steel Crowns are their appearance. They have a dull metallic sheen to them and would be extremely visible amidst the white teeth in the baby’s jawline. They are not such a great option for anterior teeth as well because of this reason. For aesthetic purposes, stainless steel crowns may not be a perfect fit for all, especially older kids above the age of 10.
When compared against the pros and cons, stainless steel crowns are still one of the most used and preferred type of crowns by dentists simply because of its ease of use, ease of adaptability and ease of maintenance. Despite its colour or obvious aesthetic problems, they are a preferred choice for posterior crowns in baby teeth. They are extremely reliable and have minimal maintenance even for those who are not too keen on oral upkeep, although oral and dental hygiene is highly advised in children who get pediatric crowns.
2. Resin Veneered Pediatric Stainless Steel Crowns
Resin Veneered Pediatric Crowns are made with a stainless steel crown base but with a veneer front. This solves both purposes which was initially not met by the stainless steel crowns - the issue of aesthetics. The Resin veneer mix is used to create a natural tooth-like appearance which makes it easy to blend in with the rest of the teeth and therefore makes it look very aesthetically pleasing. This type of crown can easily be preferred for making anterior crowns as well.
The pros with Resin Pre veneered stainless steel crowns apart from its looks is that it also has high resistance towards corrosion and they are insensitive to hemorrhage. This makes the placement of these kinds of crowns easier. They are very durable and can last almost as long as Stainless steel crowns and definitely longer than any other tooth-like material crown as well.
The cons when it comes to Resin Pre Veneered Stainless Steel crown is the fact that the resin veneer part may sometimes chip. Although this is rare, one needs to be precautionary as the resin part is not as strong as the underlying steel part and therefore much caution needs to be exercised.
Another con is the fact that it cannot be easily contoured or trimmed due to its limited crimping ability as a structure. In such a scenario, more of the natural tooth may have to be removed to make space for this kind of a crown. They are also quite expensive and can be more expensive than other kinds of crowns as well. But they are thankfully covered under many medical policies which is a bright side.
They may require some extra attention in terms of biting force, cleanliness and regular maintenance. Given the cost, children will need to be trained on carefully handling the crown and taught to be careful with the way they chew or bite down on hard things to prevent the resin from chipping
3. Zirconia Crowns
Zirconia Crowns are one of the most natural looking solutions to all aesthetic crown related issues. They are perfect for anterior crowns and can easily blend with the rest of the natural teeth with ease. The best part about zirconia crowns is that not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they are also exceptionally strong. They can be used for both posterior and anterior crowns and can prove to be excellent in terms of durability and reliability.
They can last for a really long time and unlike resin veneer crowns, there is no fear of chipping or wearing down. They are very low maintenance and can last up until the permanent teeth show up.
The only cons with regards to Zirconia crowns is that they are quite expensive and may also be one of the most expensive options for crowns in the market. This may make not much sense since the child will soon have their permanent teeth and therefore seem like a dead investment.
Another con is that they are not very easy to contour or trim based on the size of the primary tooth, therefore the procedure to fit the crown may actually be longer and more tedious. It needs to be done from a place that specialises in these kinds of procedures.
Apart from these cons, zirconia is absolutely safe since it is a bioceramic material made often from Zirconium oxide and Yttrium oxide. They may also sometimes contain a layer of porcelain on their outer surface for enhanced strength and appeal.
4. Composite Strip Crowns
Composite Strip Crowns are made from clear strip plastics. They function more like a bridge or a mold that covers the tooth rather than a crown. They are hardened onto the surface by using a hardening composite. They come in clear colours and therefore are aesthetically apt and can be used for anterior crowns. They are also quite moderately priced and therefore can be considered easily for cost conscious patients. They are an easy alternative to dental crowns made from metals and resins and can be considered by those who are in their late primary teeth phase and soon to expect permanent teeth. Those who are conscious about the color of the crown such as girls around their teenage can be good candidates for this kind of crown
The Cons of these kinds of crowns are that they are not as durable or as strong as the rest of the crown options. These kinds of crowns depend on the hardening composite to naturally adhere to the dentin and enamel and therefore are very prone to fracture and breakage. Extra precaution and much care must be exercised when using this kind of crown. This is the reason why they can be used only on the anterior crowns as they cannot take high amounts of bite force.
Another con is that they need to be affixed quite carefully by practitioners who are used to working with this kind of crown as they are technique sensitive. Also, they are very prone to hemorrhage and moisture therefore much care needs to be exercised while affixing the same onto the baby teeth during the placement procedure.
Although a new and aesthetically pleasing option, many dentists do not prefer this for children’s baby teeth as they require ongoing repair and maintenance through the lifetime of the crown, which again is not very long.
5. Polycarbonate Crowns
Polycarbonate Crowns are made from polycarbonate resin shells with glass fibre. They may also be made from acrylic resin shells. They are usually cememented with self adhesive resins. They are aesthetically pleasing solutions to crown issues but are mostly considered for temporary restorations rather than as permanent dental crowns. They are translucent in nature but can be easily changed with the help of cements and liners to suit the rest of the tooth colour.
This kind of crown is mostly preferred for anterior crowns and can prove to be quite cost efficient. They are mostly preferred for temporary restoration due to their low strength and durability.
The cons with respect to this crown is that it requires a trained dentist to colour match and place the crown perfectly to the primary tooth. Also, the crown is not as sturdy as the rest of the options and may require replacing in a short period of time. The crown is also susceptible to moisture and hemorrhage at the time of placement and therefore, much care needs to be exercised during the procedure.
This type of crown is rarely used and is preferred for older kids who would outgrow their primary teeth soon enough. They are perfect for anterior crowns where there is not much bite force and needs to be aesthetically pleasing as well. The are considered mostly for temporary restorations and therefore are quite cost effective solutions as well.
These are some of the most popular options for pediatric crowns for children’s baby tooth along with their pros and cons.