A cap or crown is a covering that encases the entire tooth, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
There are several types of crowns that are commonly used in pediatric dental offices. Each type has its own set of benefits and the choice is made depending on the tooth location, child's age, and other circumstances. They are highly durable and will last many years.
Stainless steel crowns are most commonly used for back teeth. They provide a durable, easy to clean, and easy to maintain restoration that protects the remaining tooth structure and allows for the normal function of the tooth. On occasion, stainless steel crowns are used on front teeth as well.
Esthetic (white or tooth-colored) crowns are now a common choice for parents when a crown is necessary for their child's front teeth. Esthetic crowns come in a variety of materials and the decision on which type to use is based on individual circumstances.
Broken or fractured teeth
Severely decayed teeth
Teeth with root canal therapy completed
A crown procedure on a pediatric patient can usually be done in one visit, unlike that for an adult. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the tooth surface to properly fit the crown. Once this is accomplished, the tooth is sized and the appropriate crown is selected to properly restore the tooth. Then, a special type of dental cement is used to secure the crown to the tooth.