Dental crowns and baby teeth don’t seem to mesh together. Why put a crown on something that’ll fall off anyway? Are crowns on baby teeth even necessary?
Here’s the thing: it might not be as counterintuitive as it seems.
Sure, you probably shouldn’t waste money on things that need to be discarded. You shouldn’t repair leaves on a tree. Or fix a rip in your pet reptile’s molting hide. But certain things are better left alone until they fall off. Any sooner, and some major problems might ensue.
Primary teeth are one such thing. You could even say they’re the ultimate placeholders—they keep down the fort for your permanent teeth until you’re old enough to wield them. Once you’re of age, they loosen on their own and fall off naturally.
Some things can hasten the process, however. Your child could accidentally knock out a tooth, for one. Or get a really bad case of gum disease. When this does happen, your permanent teeth suddenly don’t know how to grow. Most of the time, they end up crowding where the tooth was lost. So you want to make sure that you keep your teeth on for as long as possible.
In this case, dental crowns and baby teeth aren’t quite the odd mix. A dental crown, after all, helps protect weak teeth from further damage. If your kid has a nasty cavity, for instance, a dental crown can keep the tooth together post-filling. And if they get a chipped tooth, a dental crown can solve that as well.
So are crowns on baby teeth necessary? Yes, they are. And here’s why.
Pediatric crowns save your baby teeth
Pediatric crowns are what some dental professionals call those dental crowns for baby teeth. So they pretty much work the same way. The dentist first makes a model and cleans your teeth. Then they file the errant tooth and cover it with a temporary cap until the actual crown is done. And much like the adult variety, you get to choose what it’s made of. Typically, you have five options:
- Stainless steel
- Composite material
- Zirconia ceramic
Essentially, a pediatric crown should shield the tooth from further damage. Whether that’s a particularly hard jawbreaker or your kid’s favorite sugary treat, these crowns should be as impervious as Superman. Or, well, almost as impervious. It’s why most dentists recommend a stainless steel crown. Stainless steel crowns are the perfect mix of durable and malleable, making them less likely to break or leak out.
Pediatric crowns lessen the need for an extraction
Teeth, like most things, have their own “point of no return.” If a tooth is grossly decayed, you’re better off without it. And while you do want to keep your teeth as much as possible, sometimes it’s not worth the pain. (Or potential death.)
If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, you’d best be grabbing onto that chance. And dental crowns are just that. When you get a pediatric crown—stainless steel or otherwise—you don’t just hold the teeth together. You also stop the damage in its tracks, one of the main things that make crowns on baby teeth necessary.
Our takeaway? Take care of your child’s baby teeth, please. And if there’s already damage dealt, maybe try out a stainless steel crown or two.