Stainless steel crowns can help your child on their journey toward a healthy smile.
Have you ever caught a glimpse of something shiny and silver in the smile of your child’s friend or classmate? Chances are you noticed their stainless steel crowns.
A silver-colored crown in an adult’s smile is fairly rare since tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials are now the norm. But stainless steel crowns are still a very common choice in pediatric dentistry and may be recommended for your child as a tooth decay treatment option.
Here’s what you need to know about stainless steel crowns.
What are stainless steel crowns?
Stainless steel crowns are a specialized type of dental crown for kids. They are specifically designed for placement on badly damaged or decayed baby teeth (rather than adult teeth). Most stainless crowns are preformed, tooth-shape crowns that cover the affected tooth on all sides. They come in a variety of sizes, allowing your child’s pediatric dentist to select the perfect size and shape for a comfortable fit.
When should stainless steel crowns be considered?
Stainless steel crowns are recommended when a child’s tooth has experienced enough damage from tooth decay that a standard dental filling may not be possible. A stainless crown is also a good choice if your child needs a pulpotomy, or baby root canal. Once the root canal therapy is complete, the stainless steel crown protects the tooth and gives it more stability.
What are the benefits of using stainless steel crowns?
There are three main benefits of stainless steel crowns for kids:
They are super durable and economical.
Stainless dental crowns are extremely durable, making them perfect for covering molars, which take the majority of chewing force. They are also long-lasting and very economical options for parents.
They prevent the premature loss of baby teeth.
Losing baby teeth, especially molars, earlier than normal can cause complications and spacing issues. Missing baby teeth can impact a child’s ability to chew properly and speak easily. They can also cause adult teeth to come in crooked or remain impacted.
They are more successful than large metal fillings.
For young kids, stainless dental crowns are often more successful than placing a large dental filling. This is due to their durability and overall longevity. They also offer more protection against future decay in a tooth that has already been compromised.
Is there any case in which a stainless steel crown shouldn’t be used?
Stainless steel crowns are very safe, and most kids are candidates. However, there are two cases in which stainless crowns may not be the best choice.
The first situation is if the tooth needing treatment is a front tooth. Since front teeth are obviously visible, most pediatric dentists recommend a tooth-colored crown. This allows for treatment of the tooth without any visible change to the appearance of your child’s beautiful smile.
The second situation is if your child has experienced severe metal allergies in the past. Metal allergies of this type are rare, but it’s still important for parents to be aware that they exist. An allergic reaction to a stainless steel dental crown can cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, lips, tongue, and cheeks.
If your child has an extreme sensitivity to metals, discuss this with their pediatric dentist.
How do I care for my child’s new stainless steel crowns?
We recommend parents keep a close eye on their child until the numbness wears off from their appointment. Your child also may have some minor discomfort around the tooth for a couple of days.
After this quick healing period, your child will go back to feeling 100% normal. From there you can continue supervising or assisting your child with usual brushing and flossing. Following the general guidelines of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once daily are the minimum American Dental Association requirements.
Keep in mind that a tooth with a stainless steel crown can still develop new decay if dental hygiene isn’t up to par. Help your child floss thoroughly around their crowned tooth to ensure there is no food stuck between the crown’s edge and their gums.
Aside from at-home dental care, continue following a six-month schedule for checkups and cleanings unless your child’s dentist instructs otherwise.
Learn more about stainless steel crowns for your child by scheduling an appointment.
The best source of information on stainless crowns for your child is their pediatric dentist. Every child’s smile is unique, and certain factors may impact whether or not stainless steel crowns are the most effective choice for treating a problematic tooth.
For gentle, expert pediatric dental care in Waldorf or Prince Frederick, We Make Kids Smile is the perfect place for kids and their parents to be. You can schedule your child’s appointment by calling our closest office or filling out our online form.