Stainless steel crowns, also known as "Silver Crowns or Caps", are a very common procedure used to restore "baby teeth" (and occasionally permanent teeth) that have large caries or those that had a pulpotomy (baby root canal). Although most teeth can be filled with a white or silver filling material, stainless steel crowns are by far the most predictable and durable option to fix "baby teeth" with large caries, large defects, or damaged enamel.
When do you need stainless steel crowns?
Stainless steel crowns are indicated for the following conditions:
- Tooth decay involving more than two surfaces of a tooth
- Tooth treated with root canal treatment etc.
- Sometimes these crowns are used as space maintainers
- Other developmental problems in which the form of the tooth is affected badly
No the procedure is not painful for a child. The tooth preparation is minimal and even if it causes some amount of sensitivity the pediatric dentist can anesthetize the area and carry out the procedure.
Types of Stainless Steel Crowns
There are, currently, three types of stainless crowns that are available to the practitioner and these are:
Crowns with straight sides with margins that follow the gingival contours of the tooth. The gingival margins can be trimmed where necessary but also need contouring and crimping to ensure gingival adaptation to the prepared tooth.
Crowns that have been pre-formed and pre-crimped that, as a result, are more difficult to adapt since trimming will result in the removal of the manufacturers' gingival crimp. The ensuring of a proper fit usually requires modification of the prepared tooth rather than the crown.
Aesthetic crowns have recently been introduced but they have been assessed to promote poor gingival health, they appear bulky, do not possess a natural appearance and are very expensive.
There are two major indications for use of such crowns in pediatric dentistry:
- Primary molars with extensive destruction of the crown.
- Permanent first molars with severe developmental defects.
Is the tooth preparation painful for a child?
Normally the crown is verified for its tight fit and then bonded tightly to the tooth with a cement. Hence the chances for the crown to be dislodged is remote. The crowned tooth is as good as a natural tooth and usually fall of normally.