Shining Solutions: Stainless Steel Crowns for Durable Dental Care

Dental and oral care with little kids is one of the most challenging aspects of pediatric dentistry. It is challenging to teach young kids about dental hygiene with regards to brushing their teeth, keeping up with oral hygiene practices, flossing and other techniques. It is imperative for kids to understand the relevance and importance of these practices from a very young age to avoid early age caries, discoloration and prevention of other dental issues such as decay and/or infection. Inspite of the growing knowledge and awareness in dental and oral health amongst parents, often these practices are not passed on to young kids and by that time, their vulnerable and soft primary teeth is already exposed to harmful germs and bacterias that can get their way.

Dental crowns have remained a golden standard when it comes to repair and maintenance of damaged or weak teeth in both children and adults. The most popular treatment modality of pediatric patients who suffer from tooth decay, infections or early age caries and require the removal of the infected or damaged parts of the tooth either through pulpal therapy or by sawing it down is usually followed up by the placement of a dental crown. 

This method helps in preventing further damage of the weak tooth after the removal of the infected part and provides better strength and retention of functionality post the removal of the weak parts of the tooth, helping it to maintain health. Dental crowns sit right on top of the original primary tooth and are usually full coverage so as to provide optimum balance and support for the underlying tooth. The adhesion is done using a luting agent and the cementation process depends majorly on the type of dental crown chosen and the technique that is to be used to cement the crown to the tooth. 

There are many different kinds of dental crowns in the market such as Stainless steel crowns, traditional metal crowns, Porcelain fused to metal crowns, all ceramic crowns, Zirconia crowns, temporary pediatric crowns such as composite strip crowns, preveneered resin facing Stainless steel crowns, polycarbonate crowns, art glass crowns etc. The type of crown that is to be used can be chosen based on the preferences of the parents and the children and especially based on the condition and requirements as advised by the dentist. One of the most popular and the most successful pediatric crowns that has been constantly staying relevant and used in the most versatile manner is the Stainless steel crown. 

Stainless Steel crowns

Stainless steel tooth crowns are one of the most amazing inventions when it comes to pediatric dentistry. Infact, stainless steel crowns were used for adults as much as for young children but with the advent of dental restorative materials and the need for esthetic options in adults and for anterior restorations, stainless steel crowns were slowly replaced by more esthetic options such as Porcelain fused with metal crowns, ceramic crowns, and recently by the likes of Zirconia crowns which have become extremely popular because of the strength, durability and aesthetics. But even today, stainless steel crowns for adults are being used in elderly patients and for those who have low dental and oral hygiene or have lack of access to dental care. Patients who also do not cooperate well with dental procedures are ideal candidates for stainless steel crowns.

Stainless steel crowns are made from an alloy of nickel, chromium, iron and other elements in a very small proportion. The major element that is used to make these crowns are nickel and which provides for its strength and durability. Stainless steel crown tooth is mostly used for children in today's age and time for posterior teeth restorations owing to their durable nature and lack of continued maintenance which makes them perfect for young kids who are prone to accidents, falls, tooth loss, crown loss and crown displacement etc. Stainless steel crowns are pocket friendly and are one of the most economical dental crown options in the market. They only cost around 20 USD on average per crown and can be easily fixed and adjusted in a single seating even with the most uncooperative pediatric patients.

Easy to restore

Prefabricated stainless steel crowns are one of the easiest methods of dental restorations in young children. Since stainless steel crowns are mass produced, they come in various sizes and shapes in a preformed manner and can be simply tried and fit based on the size and shape that is required. These stainless steel caps are easy to fit, can be easily crimped and adjusted to fit the size of the scaled down tooth of the patient and within a few minutes, the restoration is done! This method has cut down hours of laborious restoration time and improved the turnaround time both for dental labs and for the practitioners.

Given that they are easy to adjust and easy to fit, one must not mistake their incredible strength and durability as a dental crown. Even though they are flexible and easy to reshape, they still are one of the strongest metal alloy crowns in the dental world. Once they are cemented and ready to use, they serve well for more than 5 years with good dental and oral hygiene practices. In most cases, the crowns can last for several more years. Even though children may lose their crowns often, these preformed crowns are easy to repurchase or can be cemented back to their position within a few minutes.

Budget Friendly

One of the most important factors that make these crowns special is that they are very affordable. Given that not a lot of insurances cover dental costs in children and in many clinics or hospitals, dental plans do not cover crowns and other treatment modalities, using Stainless steel crowns can be a life saver for parents who are looking at multiple tooth restorations and the fact that children may also lose these crowns easily. Coupled with lengthy restoration time, parents may have a hefty price to pay at the end of the day. With stainless steel crowns, this is hardly an issue. These crowns are very affordable and are available from a low starting cost of just a few dollars but can go upto 50 USD and more based on the brand, the technique used and the additional features that it may possess such as resin facing crowns, open faced crowns etc. But on an average, these crowns cost only around 20 USD give or take which is incredibly cheap when compared to other options such as metal crowns, all ceramic crowns or even Porcelain fused to Metal crowns.

Sensitivity and Ease of restoration

Another amazing quality of stainless steel crowns is that it does not have a technique sensitive restoration method. They have lower sensitivity to moisture or hemorrhage as these crowns are not affected much and may not pose any risk of infection or damage to the crown unlike resin composite or polycarbonate crowns. They are almost always safe for children until they are explicitly allergic to metal or especially nickel for that matter. Children who have such allergies may not be an ideal candidate for stainless steel crowns but for all other patients, stainless steel crowns are extremely safe and have been in use for generations in patients young and old alike. Since these crowns are not technique sensitive and have low chair side time, they can be easily affixed and the patients can start using them right away. Most patients report a very low adjustment period or time after the placement of the crown unlike PFM or Ceramic crowns.

Caring for Stainless Steel Crowns

Once a patient is fit with a stainless steel crowns, they can start using their crowns for day to day activities right away. Only a few things need to be kept in mind when so as to allow the crown to stay intact in the first few days. Avoiding hard or sticky foods in the first couple of days can help keep the stainless steel crown intact and avoid accidental damage to the cementation. This means children should stay away from biting hard on food such as chicken bones, hard candies or gooey chocolates that can stick on the crowns and disturb their placement.

It is important to keep the area of the crown neat and clean as it protects the underlying primary teeth that were previously damaged because of an infection or tooth damage. Brushing the teeth twice a day, rinsing the mouth after having sweet food or beverages and flossing daily can help in cutting down on the risks of developing new problems and keep the crown healthy and clean. 

If a patient happens to lose the crown, parents can try to secure the crown and bring the patient in immediately to get the crown affixed. If the crown is lost, the process can be repeated using a new prefabricated crown and the patient can start using the same just as before.