Your child's dentist just informed you that your child needs a crown. You are probably wondering if kids even need crowns on their baby teeth? Why not pull the tooth out and wait for the permanent tooth to appear?
The answer is simple: it's an investment in your child's future health. As young jaws develop, spaces left by teeth that were pulled prematurely due to decay or even injury can result in severe dental related issues down the road. Without the baby teeth acting as a placeholder for permanent teeth, the teeth are bound to shift as the jawbone grows. This movement can cause overcrowding, misaligned teeth, and will probably lead to the need for orthodontic treatments in the years ahead. It could also lead to a myriad of other dental treatments.
So, most dentists will highly recommend placing a crown instead of pulling the baby tooth entirely to save your child from unnecessary dental treatments and expenses.
5 Step Pediatric Dental Crown Procedure
Once you decide to move forward with the crown, there are five main steps to expect.
Ask About Your Crown Options
Not all dental crowns are the same. Depending on your child's needs and preferences, there are different materials available. The best material for your child’s dental crown might vary due to the structure of the tooth and appearance-based needs. All materials have their benefits and drawbacks.
Preparing the Tooth
The first step in a dental crown restoration is the preparation of the tooth. This process shapes the damaged tooth so that a proper surface is created to mount the crown correctly.
The next step is taking impressions of the tooth. Impressions are made by applying a dental putty or using a digital scanner. The impression is then sent to a lab so that the crown can be made. If you are proceeding with a porcelain crown, your dentist will need to select the shade that best matches your child's natural tooth color.
Since the permanent crown will take a few days to develop, a temporary crown will be applied to protect the shaped tooth.
Applying the Permanent Crown
Once the permanent crown is ready, you'll be asked to schedule a time to have it fitted. The procedure will start with the dentist applying local anesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. This anesthetic will keep the process pain-free and comfortable for your child.
What Should I Expect After My Child's Dental Crown Procedure?
Immediately after the procedure, it is important to discourage eating until your child's numbness has completely worn off. Waiting until the anesthetic wears off will prevent your child from accidentally biting their lip or cheek, causing injury.
It is typical for children to experience discomfort for up to 24 hours after the procedure. This discomfort is caused by the irritation of the tooth's pulp and soft tissue around the tooth. Over the counter medicines, such as children's acetaminophen or children's ibuprofen, will help with the discomfort. It is essential to contact your child's dentist right away if the pain lingers longer than 24 hours.
Schedule An Appointment
While crowns are a valuable treatment option in restoring little mouths and preserving good dental health, it is important to continue maintaining excellent oral care at home. Brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist every six months, and avoiding sugary snacks can all help prevent tooth decay! If your child needs a crown or simply a routine check-up, we'd be happy to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.