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)
We remove decay from the tooth before the crown is placed over 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 offers the best chance for keeping a nerve-treated tooth until it is ready to naturally exfoliate.
Crowns are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. Most children’s crowns are silver in color and, therefore, may be noticeable. Our office does provide a white alternative made of zirconia, which is a stainless steel crown with a white coating bonded to the tooth. 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.
The biggest question is silver vs. white, and that decision is up to you and your child.