The Versatility of Stainless Steel Crowns: An Essential Solution in Pediatric Dentistry

Of all the physical and physiological problems that humans encounter, dental issues might take the cake for the most prominent. Taking care of one’s teeth and gum health is of utmost importance to ensure not just good oral hygiene but also for good gut health and overall well being of the body. Our oral and dental health affects our entire body as food passes through it and any infection or issues in the very first step of digestion can cause disruption to the entire process. Good dental health is essential for several factors including:

  • Proper Mastication of Food
  • Appearance and Self-esteem
  • Speech and Enunciation

Oral and dental health must be constantly maintained by visiting a dentist often and staying on top of any dental issues that might surface. Humans are prone to dental plaque and the subsequent issues that it may pose such as decay, cavities, bad breath, discolouration etc. Even in young children, these issues prevail in their temporary or primary dentition. It is important to maintain good dental and oral health from the very beginning so that children grow up to have stronger and well maintained permanent teeth.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are one of the modern day solutions to fix most dental issues that patients have. Dentists today prefer using crowns rather than implants and fillings as they offer a more durable and a low intervention solution to dental issues. Crowns can be a perfect solution for a range of dental issues including but not limited to:

  • Dental Accidents
  • Broken, fractured or missing tooth
  • Chipped tooth
  • Cavities and infected tooth
  • Misshapen or disfigured tooth
  • Discoloured tooth etc

For all these issues, dental crowns can be a perfect solution. They can be used for both dental physiological issues and cosmetic related issues easily. There is a whole range of dental materials that are now available for people to choose from based on their preference. This includes both metallic alloys such as Gold, Silver-Gold, Titanium, Stainless Steel; and more aesthetic options such as Resin Composite, Porcelain, Ceramic, Porcelain Fused to Metal, Zirconia etc. Although all dental materials have their own pros and cons, there is only one material that has stood the test of time - Stainless Steel Crowns.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless Steel Crowns are the most prominently used crowns that have stayed true to its element and have been relevant and viable ever since its inception. They were popularised around 1960’s but has been one of the most famously used crown material thanks to some of its unique qualities and abilities. Stainless Steel crowns are made from Chromium and Nickel alloy and may have a small portion of other elements in them based on the type of crown you choose - so in reality, they are not actually made from stainless steel but rather an alloy of many different kinds of materials.

Stainless Steel crowns are very versatile and are therefore used in many different ways. Stainless steel crowns may not be used as permanent crowns like they used to be in the 1960s to 80s and this is because of the need for more aesthetically pleasing options. But they are still very much in demand as temporary crowns before actual crowns are prepared (permanent crowns made of Ceramic or Porcelain fused to metal may take long to prepare). They are also famously used in children to preserve their natural primary teeth. Stainless steel crowns for adults are used in elderly and patients with mental or physical disabilities where dental and oral health is an issue. Stainless steel for pediatric dentistry is one of the most popular and extensive applications of these crowns.

Pediatric Stainless steel crowns and other temporary stainless steel tooth crowns are always in demand because of their characteristic features. They are strong, durable, have a very high success rate and are super cheap. Prefabricated stainless steel crowns brings down the manufacturing cost of these crowns in a significant manner and also reduces the chair side time for adjustments and fittings. This reduces the amount of time patients spend over restorations making it a successful and viable option for both dentists and patients. Stainless steel crown tooth also have very low chances of gingival infection or rejection and therefore can be used safely in patients. The only condition where they cannot be used is in case of metal allergies.

We will go in detail on all the benefits and versatile characteristics of Stainless steel crowns in the upcoming section.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are highly preferred by dentists all over the world simply due to their advantages and qualities that are way better than any other restorative material that is available by far. But the major disadvantages lie in the fact that they are unappealing to look at and that they cannot be used in patients who are sensitive to metal and have allergies with nickel. Because of these two predominant reasons, Stainless steel crowns slowly turned into temporary crowns rather than permanent crowns in adults.

Nevertheless, the qualities and simplicity of Stainless Steel crowns are far too much to ignore and that is why, they find application even today in the world of dentistry. They are extensively used for young kids and pediatric patients in case of early age caries and in adults as temporary crowns. They are also the preferred crown material for the elderly and those who cannot maintain their oral hygiene such as in mentally or physically challenged patients.

Below are some of the advantages and benefits of using Stainless steel crowns that prove that they are an essential solution in Pediatric Dentistry:

1. Versatility

One of the most important advantages of stainless steel crowns are how versatile they are - since they come as Prefabricated Stainless Steel crowns, they are mass produced and are therefore always available at all dental clinics. They can be easily matched to the size and shape of the dental cavity after the tooth has been treated and can be fit on to the patient easily. They can serve as temporary crowns until the permanent teeth kick in or can be used for a few days until the permanent crown is ready to use.

2. Strength

Stainless steel is made from a bunch of metals, all known for their strength such as Chromium, Nickel, Iron etc. The percentage is usually mix-and-matched to create the winning formula by each Stainless steel crown brand and the result is a strong and sturdy metal crown that can withstand high bite force, bruxism, are fracture resistant and does not need the excess removal of the natural teeth. All of these characteristics help in establishing the fact that stainless steel crowns are in fact the strongest crown in its category.

3. Durability

Stainless Steel crowns are extremely durable and easily outlast composite and resin strip crowns, which are the alternative temporary crowns in kids and adults. Stainless steel crowns are strong and do not break under heavy bite force or bruxism. They also do not chip or bend and have a high fracture resistance. They easily survive upto 5 or even 7 years without much maintenance or care.

4. Economic

Stainless steel crowns are by far the cheapest crowns - they are mass produced and are available as Pretrimmed or as Precontoured crowns. These crowns are prefabricated and come in a lot of sizes and shapes so the dentist can pick and choose a crown based on your size. Since the production cost of these crowns are low, they are very cheap and can be purchased by all kinds of patients. In the case of temporary crowns in kids, they make the most sense as they will be replaced by secondary/permanent teeth soon enough. Kids are also prone to losing their crowns and therefore, Stainless steel crowns are cheap enough to be replaced instantly. Older adults who have low budget, mentally or physically challenged patients who have low means and for children who are closer to the age of exfoliation of primary teeth, Stainless steel crowns are the best available options.

5. Quicker Restorations

Patients who are perfect candidates for stainless steel crowns are the ones who have the least cooperation when it comes to dental care. Young kids, mentally challenged patients and older adults may not cooperate well when it comes to dental care and procedures. Extensive procedures involving tooth restorations and adjustments are not possible in such a situation. Therefore stainless steel crowns are the best option for such patients. Stainless steel crowns can be easily fit on a treated tooth and within a few minutes of adjustments and crimping, the crown is ready to be used. It also needs very minimal post treatment care and maintenance.

6. Minimal chances of infection/reactions

Stainless steel crowns seldom cause any gingival reaction and also have very less chance of rejection from the body until and unless the patient is explicitly allergic to metal. The alloy is very stable and does not cause any reaction, excess bleeding or allergies in the body and can be safely used in children and adults.

These are some of the best qualities of Stainless steel crowns and why they are one of the most esteemed dental options for usage in pediatric and adult patients. It is clear how simple and versatile Stainless steel crowns really are given its multitude of pros and benefits.