Stainless Steel Crowns For Children | Avenue Dental Sunshine Coast

Stainless steel crowns may be the treatment of choice for children with heavily broken down teeth, baby molars that have had pulpotomy treatment or underdeveloped enamel in baby teeth. They may also be recommended in children who are experiencing high decay rates.

Stainless steel crowns come preformed, meaning they are already made to size for most baby molar teeth. These crowns as the name suggests, are made of stainless steel which is composed of metals and are the strongest restorative material available for immediate placement for restoring baby teeth. These crowns are silver in appearance and can be rarely noticed when your child is smiling. At Avenue Dental, we like to think of these teeth as transformer or pirate teeth which are very cool and unique! The purpose of stainless steel crowns is to provide protection to the tooth structure and keep function within the mouth. We now know that large and even moderate sized fillings on baby teeth often result in bacteria continuing to march into the nerve no matter how well these fillings are done. This will cause a nasty and often painful infection and will often result in early loss of the tooth. Stainless steel crowns have excellent sealing properties to help prevent these bacteria infecting the nerve of the tooth, giving the tooth its best chance of survival.

Once it has been diagnosed that a stainless steel crown is the best treatment option for your child, the appointment is planned appropriately to your child’s needs.

Some stainless steel crowns can be placed without preparation of the existing tooth. This is usually advised in heavily broken down teeth with large decay near the nerve of the tooth. Prior to placement of the crown, a rubber band (separator), may be placed between the tooth that requires the crown and the neighbouring tooth. The reason for this is to create a space between the teeth to allow the crown to slip on and fit perfectly. This is usually placed a few days prior to crown placement to allow the movement and space to be created. The crown is usually cemented with a restorative material that will keep the crown sealed over the baby molar until the molar is ready to fall out naturally in the future.

The other option for placing a stainless steel crown is indicated in teeth that have had pulpotomy treatment or there is decay present. Once the pulpotomy treatment is completed and decay is removed, a crown is best as the tooth is now very weak from this treatment. The crown will act as a helmet to help prevent the tooth from breaking and minimising the risk of recurrent decay. Sometimes the tooth can be a little too big for the crown so may require mild adjustments to ensure the crown fits well. The crown is then cemented like the procedure mentioned above.

Once your child has had their transformer tooth placed, good oral hygiene is very important to keep this special tooth and all other teeth healthy. After the appointment your child’s gums may appear blue – this is due to the colour of the metal under the gum tissue, it will disappear over the coming days. It is best to avoid eating sticky foods as this may move the crown out of place and place other teeth at risk of decay. As a parent or carer you play an important role in caring for your child’s oral health, ensuring that you provide them with nutritious food and drink, supervise twice daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and once daily flossing, whilst maintaining regular professional dental checkups.

At Avenue Dental we have dentists and oral health therapists at each of our practices in Caloundra, Kawana and Maroochydore that are experienced in the placement of stainless steel crowns in children.