Stainless Steel Crowns in Children

Stainless steel crowns are used to restore back teeth that are too badly decayed to hold tooth colored fillings. The stainless steel crowns (SSCs) are also extremely durable restorations with several clear-cut indications for use in primary teeth including: following a pulpotomy/pulpectomy; for teeth with developmental defects or large carious lesions involving multiple surfaces where an amalgam is likely to fail; and for fractured teeth. In other situations, its use is less clear cut, and caries risk factors, restoration longevity and cost effectiveness are considerations in decisions to use the SSC.

There are two types of Stainless Steel Crowns available:

Precontoured Crowns : this type of crown is the most popular because it closely resembles the shape and look of natural teeth. They are pre-contoured before placement and typically do not require much trimming.

Pre-trimmed Crowns : pre-trimmed means it is already trimmed according to a specific size. They do not require trimming to fit the tooth. These crowns have straight, non-contoured sides.

Dentists often use them to temporarily restore a child’s tooth and prevent the premature loss of baby teeth. When tooth decay on back teeth has been left untreated, teeth may have extensive damage to the enamel, dentin and sometimes the nerve (pulp). In such cases, tooth-colored fillings are not a viable option which makes stainless steel crowns necessary. These prefabricated silver-colored crowns are fitted to the patient’s tooth and then cemented to prevent further damage until these teeth fall out naturally with the crowns on them.

Restoration longevity

The primary teeth are a temporary dentition with known life expectancies. By matching the “right” restoration with the expected life span of the tooth, the dental practitioner can succeed in providing a “permanent” restoration that will never have to be replaced. The most commonly used restorative materials available are amalgams, stainless steel crowns and resin composites.

The advantages of SSC’s for children include:

  • An effective way to save baby teeth and stop the decaying process
  • Durable, strong, and inexpensive
  • Provide full-coverage protection for long-term
  • They do not need retreatment

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