Posts for tag: Crown
One of the key elements in a child’s development is their first set of teeth. Although primary (“baby”) teeth last only a few years, they’re critically important for enabling a child to eat solid foods, speak and smile.
But they also provide one more important benefit—they hold the space in the jaw reserved for the permanent teeth developing just under the gums until they erupt. But if a child loses a primary tooth prematurely because of disease or injury, other teeth may drift into the vacant space and crowd it out for the intended permanent tooth. It may then come in misaligned or remain stuck within the gums (impaction).
To avoid this, we try to treat and preserve a diseased primary tooth if at all practical. For a primary molar, one of the large teeth in the back of the mouth, this might include capping it with a stainless steel crown.
Why a metal crown? Primary molars normally don’t fall out until around ages 10-12, so it may be years for a younger child before their permanent molars erupt. All during that time these particular teeth will encounter heavier biting forces than teeth in the front.
A steel crown is often the best solution for a molar given their longer lifespans and encountered biting forces. The crown’s metal construction can stand up to these forces while still protecting the tooth from re-infection from decay. And because molars are typically outside of the “smile zone” occupied by more visible front teeth, the crown’s metal appearance isn’t usually an aesthetic issue.
Crowning a molar usually takes one visit, a dentist typically performing the procedure with local anesthesia and possibly a mild sedative like nitrous oxide gas (“laughing gas”). After removing any decayed structure from the tooth, the dentist will then fit a pre-formed crown over the remaining structure, sized and shaped to match the original tooth as close as possible.
A stainless steel crown is a cost-effective way to added needed years to a primary molar that could otherwise be lost prematurely. Preserving it may help a child avoid bite problems and expensive future treatments.
If you would like more information on dental care for primary teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stainless Steel Crowns for Kids: A Safe and Effective Way to Restore Primary Molars.”
If you are embarrassed by missing or damaged teeth, repairing your smile can do wonders for your self-esteem. Dental crowns and bridges can help you restore functionality to your teeth and give you a smile you love. Learn more about dental crowns and bridges with Dr. Amanda Hillis at Hillis Family Dental in St. Peters, MO.
When is a crown necessary?
Though a dental crown has many uses, its main objective is protecting a broken or weakened tooth. However, dentists also use crowns to:
- stabilize a tooth with a large filling
- cover a dental implant to replace a missing tooth
- improve the appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth
- restore the biting surface of a worn down tooth
- strengthen a broken tooth without compromising the tooth’s structure
A dental laboratory creates each crown based on an impression of your mouth sent in by your dentist. Laboratory technicians work hard to color-match each restoration to blend in with your natural teeth flawlessly.
When is a bridge necessary?
A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth. Similar to a crown, a dental laboratory customizes a bridge based on the patient’s mouth. A permanent bridge has crowns on either side to hold it in place using the natural teeth surrounding the gap. Removable bridges use metal clasps on each side which latch onto the natural teeth for support. Permanent bridges require preparation of the teeth while removable bridges do not
Crowns and Bridges in St. Peters, MO
Dental crowns require your dentist to prepare the tooth in question. This involves removing enamel from the sides and top of the tooth and shaping it into the same form as the inside of the crown. This ensures a snug fit and a solid bond between the restoration and your tooth. Bridges have crowns on either end. This makes it necessary to prepare the two surrounding natural teeth to receive the bridge.
For more information on crowns and bridges, please contact Dr. Amanda Hillis at Hillis Family Dental in St. Peters, MO. Call (636) 970-7902 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Hillis today!