In dentistry, we often use stainless steel crowns as a easily available, reliable restoration for a limited number of treatments. Although adults may have a stainless steel crown placed over a tooth before a permanent crown can be made, the majority of stainless steel dental crowns are used on young children.
When a primary (baby) tooth is treated for a nerve infection, it is necessary to cover the tooth with a crown to retain the tooth’s function. Covering the weakened enamel also prevents the tooth from fracturing or becoming irreversibly damaged. Retaining a primary tooth is extremely important when it comes to eruption patterns. Premature tooth loss can cause adult teeth to become impacted, due to shifting of the teeth adjacent to the tooth that was lost.
Although stainless steel crowns can be worn for a few years, they were never designed to be a permanent restoration for adult teeth. They are used on primary teeth, knowing that the teeth will eventually fall out in a few years when the time is appropriate. Or, the stainless steel crown may be placed over a permanent tooth that is still developing yet has not erupted fully into place. Once the permanent tooth has fully erupted, the stainless steel crown must be replaced with a custom-made permanent crown. A stainless steel crown does not provide a custom fit, and the bulky or open edges around the crown can make it difficult to clean properly, allowing the chance for new infection or disease to develop later on. Parents of young children should seek out a permanent restorative option once their child enters into their late teen years, allowing them to have a healthier smile well into adulthood.
Posted on behalf of Randy Muccioli
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