Stainless Steel Crowns can help your Child on their Journey toward a Healthy Smile
The first set of teeth that a kid grows are precious - not only do they add shape and form to the child’s face, they help the child with basic functions such as eating and speaking. Even though these pearls are precious and cute, they are also very vulnerable. Unlike adult human teeth, baby teeth are delicate and easily fall prey to tooth decay, carries and infections. With good oral and dental hygiene, a child is able to avoid these issues but even then, some children may have to undergo dental procedures in their life before they get their permanent teeth.
Temporary or primary teeth often are prey to early age carries - a condition that is developed when the new teeth is exposed to milk which is seldom cleaned. Parents usually assume that babies do not need brushing until they have a full set of teeth which is a big myth. This may infact cause babies and toddlers to have teeth decay and caries much earlier in their life. Oral hygiene is of utmost importance even as early as infancy when the babies begin to sprout their first set of teeth.
Another common practice amongst parents is the lack of awareness about the dental care that needs to be provided when a tooth has decay or caries. Children must be taken to a dentist immediately and effective care should be provided so that the decay of the tooth is arrested and addressed with proper care. The dentist may either recommend a tooth filling or may go in for a baby root canal which is called Pulpotomy. In this case, the baby will need a dental crown. A dental crown is the most effective solution to restore the functionality of the damaged tooth by placing a crown on top of the original tooth.
Even though primary teeth are temporary, the health and maintenance of them is imperative as their functionality is irreplaceable in a childs’ mouth. Most parents assume that primary teeth can be removed if they have cavities of decay in them but then the teeth functionality will be lost. A primary tooth has more functions than just chewing and speech such as:
- Primary teeth holds space for the permanent teeth
- It helps align the permanent teeth when they grow
- It helps in having better jaw and mouth structure
- Provides self esteem by improving facial features
- Helps with early learning skills such as chewing and pronunciations
These are some of the roles of primary teeth which are lost if they are simply extracted when there is decay or cavity in them. Even if a child loses their tooth in an unnatural scenario such as in the case of a fall or an accident, parents must look for other options such as a dental crown replacement that can help restore the role of the original tooth in the childs’ mouth. Some of the applications of dental crown for a pediatric patient are
- When a tooth is damaged due to caries or decay
- When gum is infected causing structural damage to the teeth
- Incase of a tooth loss due to a fall or accident
- Tooth chipping or fracture due to an accident
- Severe tooth discolouration or misalignment/deformity
In all of these cases, parents must seek the help of a pediatric dentist so that the child can easily switch to a dental crown. Dental crowns are now available in a variety of materials including metal, resins, composites, ceramics and a combination of these mentioned materials as well. Even though there is a plethora of options to choose from, one can safely assume that the preferred dental restorative method for kids worldwide is stainless steel crowns. These crowns are not only versatile when it comes to usage, but they are also economical and easy to adapt to. It is a great way to protect the delicate and vulnerable treated tooth by protecting the pulp and yet be able to carry out all the functions of the tooth such as eating and speaking.
Stainless Steel Crowns for Pediatric Patients
Stainless steel crown for pediatric dentistry has been in use for generations now. They were first popularised in the 1950’s after which almost every dentist in the world recommends the use of a stainless steel crown for their young patients. Stainless steel crowns are seldom used for adult patients but it still is relevant in some cases. Stainless steel crowns for adults are used mostly with older adults who have poor oral hygiene and lack of accessibility for dental care. Specially abled patients with regards to mental health are also candidates for stainless steel crown tooth.
In babies and kids, stainless steel tooth crowns are the best options because they are super versatile and easy to adapt to. Kids lack cooperation when it comes to dental procedures and therefore lengthy dental sittings are rarely ever possible. These crowns are available in the form of Prefabricated Stainless steel crowns which reduce the chair side adjustments and restoration time to the least. Prefabricated stainless steel crowns are readymade crowns that come in a variety of sizes and shapes making it easy for the dentist to simply find the perfect fit and fix the same to the child’s requirement.
With just a little bit of adjustment, your stainless steel crown is ready to go. Not only for this, they are also very easy to care for and hardly have any history of allergies or sensitivity in kids. Except for patients who are explicitly allergic to metal, pediatric stainless steel crowns are extremely safe, non-allergic and cause minimal to no irritation or sensitivity in patients. Several studies have crowned Stainless steel crowns as the best dental crown for kids because of these wonderful qualities.
Below are some of the characteristic features of Stainless steel crowns
Being a metal alloy crown, there is no doubting the fact that Stainless steel crowns are strong. They can be used for molars and premolars pretty easily as they can tolerate a high bite force and do not cause much wear on adjacent and opposing teeth. They have good mechanical properties and resist fractures much better than any other restorative material.
Stainless Steel crowns are very durable. Given that they have excellent mechanical properties such as high bite force, better load bearing, good flexural strength and resistance to fracture, they last much longer than any other material in a patient's mouth. Stainless steel crowns can easily survive for 10 to 12 years although most kids may outgrow them naturally as the primary teeth exfoliate and are replaced by permanent teeth.
This is perhaps the best feature of stainless steel crown - they are super economical and cost way less than any other restorative material. For kids who need multiple crowns and are susceptible to damage their crowns or lose them, stainless steel crowns are a definite option. These crowns are available in various shapes and are manufactured in bulk. This reduces their cost and therefore makes them affordable for parents who cannot or do not want to spend a high amount of dental crowns.
Stainless steel crowns are very easy to adjust to for a kid - they hardly cause any irritation or sensitivity in a child’s mouth and children usually adjust to the new crown feeling pretty easily. Once the numbness of the procedure and the bite force of the new crown settles in, kids are able to adapt to stainless steel crowns quite easily and without much trouble.
5. Reduced Chair Side Time
This is another major factor - kids hardly ever cooperate when it comes to dental procedures due to fear and anxiety and therefore the shorter the time they spend on the chair, the higher the chances of cooperation. Stainless steel crowns are available in a wide variety of prefabricated form making the whole process much easier. Once the treatment procedure is completed, the dentist can easily choose the right crown size and with just simple crimping and adjustments, the crown is affixed to the original tooth by the dentist.
After Care with Stainless Steel Crowns
A natural beautiful and healthy smile comes at a good price - in this case this price is oral and dental hygiene. Kids must be taught from a very young age how to take care of their teeth. Our teeth are an asset and dental procedures are quite the pain. To avoid teeth getting damaged and infected, children must adhere to simple oral hygiene measures including regular brushing, flossing and mouth rinsing after meals. Visiting the dentist every 6 to 8 months is one of the best measures to avoid any major problems with teeth. Early decay can be detected easily and corrective measures can be taken before the need for a treatment modality.
For children who go through root canal or pulpotomy, aftercare is an important factor to ensure the original tooth is kept safe and prevented from any further damage. Once the crown is affixed and the numbness wears off, the child must be taught to take good care of the crown as well as the rest of the teeth. Below are some of the measures that should be taken:
- Brushing twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste is a must
- Flossing once a day or when a food particle is stuck between teeth or near the crown
- Washing and rinsing the mouth regularly and especially after meals to prevent food lodging
- Visiting the dentist for follow-ups every 6 to 8 months
If a crown is dislodged, the crown must be preserved and brought back to the dentist so that it can be affixed again. It must be done sooner than later so that the original tooth which is now exposed is not damaged further or attacked by bacterias in the mouth. In case the crown is lost, the dentist can affix a new crown within a sitting. Using these simple measures, parents can ensure a healthy smile and a healthy dental journey for your young ones.