Crowns (sometimes called “caps”) are full-coverage restorations that protect the entire surface of teeth. While crowns are common in adults, children sometimes need them as well. If your child's tooth is damaged or weakened due to decay or a traumatic injury, it won’t withstand normal biting and chewing pressure. In such cases, a pediatric dental crown may be recommended to prevent premature tooth loss.
A dental crown provides added reinforcement for damaged, decayed, or weak teeth. The crown distributes biting pressure across the restoration so that your child can continue biting and chewing normally. Dr. Petr Vaughan will typically recommend crowns for children when a filling is not adequate to restore the tooth or when the tooth has undergone a nerve treatment, such as a pulpotomy.
Parents may wonder if pediatric dental crowns are permanent. While dental crowns on children’s teeth are not intended to last a lifetime, they can last for several years with proper care and maintenance. As your child grows, their primary (baby) teeth will fall out and be replaced with adult teeth. Or if the crown is on a permanent tooth, it will eventually need to be replaced with a more long-lasting crown to accommodate their changing bite.
Full-coverage crowns can restore a child's ability to chew and speak properly, prevent further decay or damage to the tooth, and help maintain natural tooth alignment, as broken teeth may lead to orthodontic complications.
Dr. Vaughan and his team will take the time to explain the procedure in a way that is easy for your child to understand. They will use age-appropriate language and gentle techniques to ensure that your child feels comfortable and relaxed throughout the process. We also offer sedation to help them take their mind off of the fact they’re getting a crown to begin with.
During the actual procedure, the damaged or decayed portion of the tooth will be removed, and the tooth will be prepared for the crown. Dr. Vaughan will fit a pediatric crown over the tooth and then cement it in place. Your child’s tooth will be completely numb throughout the visit; the only thing they’ll feel is a little pressure. Since the numbing medication can take a few hours to wear off, make sure they do not eat or bite down on anything in the meantime. We also recommend avoiding sticky foods for the first 24 hours.
Cleaning around your child’s new dental crown can help it last as long as intended. Brush around the crown twice a day, paying close attention to the margin near the gums. Floss around the crown daily, but glide the floss out through the sides of the teeth rather than pulling it straight back out of the contact. This will help prevent new decay from developing around the margins between checkups.