Stainless Steel Crowns
Unlike small cavities that can usually be restored with silver fillings, larger cavities that have destroyed a lot of tooth structure often have to be restored with a stainless steel crown. In addition, teeth with smaller cavities that have weakened enamel in the areas around the cavity often require stainless steel crowns as well. Stainless steel crowns cover the entire tooth and strengthen and protect it. Stainless steel crowns are much less expensive than adult crowns.
Many adults associate their children getting stainless steel crowns with the procedure that a parent may have gone through to get a permanent crown. The procedures are actually very different. Adult permanent crowns are often made of porcelain, gold or ceramic and have to be custom made in a dental laboratory. They usually require two appointments, one to prepare the tooth for the crown and one to cement the crown. Stainless steel crowns on the other hand are pre-made in various different sizes. We simply find a size that fits your child’s tooth and then we can contour and adapt the crown to fit perfectly and then cement it in place all in one appointment.
The procedure for placing a stainless steel crown is actually pretty quick. After the tooth is numbed we remove the decay and shape the tooth so that we can fit a stainless steel crown over it. We contour the crown so that it fits perfectly and then we cement it on with a dental cement. The stainless steel crown will stay on the baby tooth until the baby tooth falls out at which time the stainless steel crown will still be cemented to the tooth and fall out with the tooth. It is important that your child not eat sticky candy (tootsie rolls, starbursts, laffy taffy, skittles, gummy bears, etc.) or fruit-snacks as this will cause the cement to loosen and the crown to come off prematurely. Those treats are bad for all of your child’s teeth. It is better to offer your child a chocolate bar (M&M’s, Hershey bar or Kisses, Reese’s Cup etc), ice-cream or popsicle as a treat!