Tooth decay in kids is a common problem that is often overlooked. In fact, it’s the most prevalent chronic condition in children, and the Centers for Disease Control reports that over 40 percent of children have a cavity before they even get to kindergarten. They have also reported that a large percentage of children have a decayed tooth that has not been treated.
There’s little disputing that pediatric tooth decay is a problem. However, the question is usually surrounding whether it’s an issue that should be treated. Many parents incorrectly assume that, since the baby teeth will fall out anyways, there’s no harm done. For this reason, these parents often consider crowns or other treatments to be a non-issue. There are many benefits of pediatric crowns when used for restorative purposes. Let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Why Baby Teeth Should Be Saved
For starters, it’s important to understand that decay on baby teeth spreads quickly, which means it’s important to be proactive to protect teeth. The fact is that baby teeth have an important function that cannot be understated or undervalued. If a tooth is lost prematurely, there’s a good chance that surrounding teeth will start to crowd the space of the missing tooth, which creates a problem when permanent teeth start to form.
In addition to affecting the way permanent teeth come in, removing baby teeth prematurely will affect the child’s ability to bite and chew. Essentially, molar crowns serve the purpose of promoting the long-term function of the teeth and preventing significant problems in years to come.
Dealing with Cavities
In the event that your child’s cavity is still small, there’s a good chance that the dentist will be able to repair the tooth with a filling. However, if there is a significant amount of decay and the tooth is severely damaged, there’s the likelihood that a crown will be needed to cap the tooth. Generally speaking, the purpose of crowns is to address issues of decay to avoid larger and more long-term problems.
Types of Crowns
There are different types of crowns to consider. The most commonly used crowns for pediatric dentistry are stainless steel, which are often called silver crowns. These are popular because they are sturdy and tend to provide a nice appearance. It’s important to know whether your child has any metal allergies or any other issues that would make stainless steel crowns problematic.
Not everyone appreciates the idea of silver crowns from an aesthetic perspective, which is why there are stainless steel crowns that are white-facing. These are often preferred because the front of the teeth look white to match the appearance of your child’s natural teeth. Unfortunately, this option is not always as sturdy as other options. Another problem that occurs is that children sometimes chip their teeth when chewing on white-facing crowns.
Although often difficult to place, another option for pediatric crowns is resin. This is sometimes a preferred choice because it looks natural in the beginning. However, resin has a tendency to stain as time passes.
About Sprout Kids Dentistry
Sprout Kids Dentistry aims to change how children feel about visiting the dentist. They achieve this goal through pediatric dentistry that’s collaborative and fun. The team at Sprout Kids Dentistry is committed to providing quality and safe dental care. To get started on the best dental care for your child, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form to meet with our pediatric dentists.
Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.