A crown (cap) covers the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. The following are the reasons for placing a crown on a tooth:
Restore severely decayed teeth
Strengthen fractured teeth
Protect and strengthen teeth that have weak enamel and/or dentin
Protect teeth that have had nerve treatment (pulpotomy or pulpectomy)
Before a crown is placed over a tooth, we may remove the decay from it. Unlike adult crowns, where the crown is made to fit the tooth and requires at least two appointments, crowns on baby teeth are placed in one visit.
Since the entire tooth is covered, a crown is the most desirable restoration for severely broken-down teeth. Crowns are stronger than fillings and protect and strengthen the remaining tooth structure. Crowns offer the best chance for keeping a nerve-treated tooth until it is ready to naturally fall out.
Crowns are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. Most children’s crowns for back teeth are silver in color and, therefore, may be noticeable. Our office does provide a white alternative made of zirconia. These crowns are more costly, take additional time, and require more removal of the tooth structure. Dr. Niloo and her team will discuss the best option for your child should a crown need to be completed.
Typically, there are no good alternatives to crowns. If the tooth has sustained enough damage to require a crown, then the best treatment for the tooth is to receive the crown. Placing a filling on a tooth that should have a crown likely will result in fracture, recurrent decay, and loss of that tooth.