How Do I Know Whether My Child Needs a Dental Crown?

Should your child get a dental crown

What is a dental crown?

When you think of a dental crown, you likely think of a restorative dental treatment for adults. But the truth is that crowns are often recommended by pediatric dentists to repair and restore baby teeth that have large cavities, are broken, or did not develop correctly. Yet crowns are often confused with fillings, which can help with some of the same dental ailments. So what tooth problems warrant a crown instead of a filling?

Dental crowns are one of the most adaptable restorative dentistry procedures available. They are used to restore your tooth’s shape, function, and strength. A dental crown is tooth-shaped and is affixed over the damaged tooth to restore it. Dr. Monroe offers crowns made of porcelain, metal alloys, or a fusion of both and will select the best option based on your individual case.

On the flip side, dental fillings treat small holes or cavities. While a dental crown completely covers the problem tooth, a filling is a quick procedure used to fill the space or hole. Dentists use crowns and fillings differently based on your child’s specific circumstances.

What tooth problems warrant a dental crown instead of a dental filling?

There may be a time when your child’s tooth has considerable damage or decay and restorative treatment is necessary. Your Greenville, South Carolina, family dentist will need to determine if a crown or filling should be used in these cases.

  • A dental filling makes sense for smaller areas of decay. Once the decayed portion of the tooth is removed, the dentist uses composite-resin material to fill in the void.
  • A porcelain crown is a custom-made covering to match the color and look of your child’s other teeth. Once decay is removed, dental crowns are cemented directly over the decayed or broken tooth. This said, if it is your child’s primary tooth and is about to fall out, your dentist will likely suggest an extraction instead.

If my child needs a dental crown, will they also need a root canal?

You may wonder if your child will need a root canal prior to their dental crown. The truth is, this is a common procedure. But it isn’t always necessary to get a root canal before a crown. Root canals are only necessary when the pulp inside the tooth is infected. These infections are usually caused by decay or a crack in the tooth. When infection of the pulp is left untreated, it leads to inflammation and severe discomfort, which can only be alleviated at that point by a root canal.

What dental crown material will be suitable for my child?

Dental crowns are made of different materials and serve different functions. Monroe Family Dentistry offers porcelain, metal alloys, or a fusion of both depending on what Dr. Monroe determines will work best for your child’s case. Materials used for the repair and restoration of primary teeth are slightly different from those used on permanent teeth but otherwise function the same.

Metal Alloy (Stainless Steel) Crowns

  • Perfect for back molars
  • Durable, strong, and moisture resistant
  • Cost-effective
  • Only require one visit

Porcelain (Tooth-Colored) Crowns

  • Stronger than enamel
  • Plaque resistant
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Natural-looking finish

Most children’s dental crowns are stainless steel and are placed in a single trip. Dr. Monroe will start by numbing the tooth and surrounding area. Once everything is suitably numb, a dental dam will be placed to isolate the tooth being worked on. This small piece of latex protects your child’s cheeks, tongue, and gums during the procedure. Finally, Dr. Monroe will remove any present tooth decay and will shape the tooth for the crown. The crown is then cemented in place and checked for a proper fit. For custom-made porcelain crowns, your child may need to return at a later date to receive their permanent crown once it is ready.

Dental Crowns for Kids in Greenville, South Carolina

If your child has large cavities or teeth that are broken or did not develop correctly, a dental crown might be the right solution. Dr. Monroe can assess your child’s situation and determine whether they need a dental crown. And if you have been looking for a family dentist near Greenville, South Carolina, we’ve got you covered too. Request an evaluation with us at Monroe Family Dentistry today.