Most likely, you’ve noticed children that have had extensive dental treatment because you’ve seen multiple silver crowns in the front of their mouth when they smile. But, you may have also overlooked many children with healthy teeth that have had treatments using esthetic, open faced crowns.
What is an open faced crown? An alternative to traditional stainless steel crowns, the open faced crown allows dentists to treat severely damaged teeth with a restoration that, from the front, looks just like a regular tooth. A portion of the crown may still be made of stainless steel, but the portion facing the front of the mouth will be entirely tooth colored. That’s because a composite resin material is placed under the crown and shows through the acrylic window, giving the illusion that the tooth is still completely intact. Not only does this help restore the tooth to complete functioning, it boosts the child’s self-esteem and makes them proud of their smile. No more pain from dental infections, and no teasing from peers.
The color of open faced crowns are matched to other teeth so that it is the same color as the natural tooth enamel. Your dentist will use a shade guide to determine exactly what color of composite resin to use.
Crowns are typically needed when decay has damaged the tooth to the point where a filling is no longer adequate; or, when damage has occurred to the pulp and nerve therapy is needed. Placing the crown over the tooth helps strengthen it back to it’s full potential, and keep it healthy until it’s time for the tooth to be replaced with the permanent adult tooth.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Byron Scott, Springhill Dental Health Center
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