It often surprises parents to hear their dentist tell them their child needs a crown. There’s a common but incorrect idea that our baby teeth aren’t important to our oral health. These teeth are more than just placeholders. They’re supports and guides for the adult teeth that will eventually come in. They help the jaw to develop correctly and ensure that adult teeth are properly placed when they finally erupt. Losing a tooth early means that your child’s oral health won’t experience these benefits. This can lead to adult misalignment, poor jaw development, and other oral health concerns. These are just some of the reasons that your dentist may suggest that your child undergo dental restoration with pediatric crowns.
How Children’s Teeth Benefit From Pediatric Crowns
After you’ve been told that a dental crown is needed for your child’s teeth, you’ll have to select a material. Many of the materials used in adult crowns are also used in the creation of pediatric crowns. Each of them brings certain benefits and drawbacks to the finished product and the child’s oral health. After you’ve selected a material, it will be time for your dentist to put the restoration in place.
The following steps are involved in getting a pediatric crown:
- Preparation: The first step in getting a restoration is the removal of tooth decay and shaping of the tooth. This is done to eliminate any chance of infection and to prepare the tooth for receiving a dental crown.
- Impressions: A dental impression needs to be taken now that the tooth has the proper shape and the decay is gone. This impression used to be created with a bite tray and impression material. Today’s impressions are usually created using highly advanced 3D imaging tools that are faster and more precise. They’re also more comfortable for the patient to create.
- Temporary Crown: Some clinics will have a machine for milling their own restorations. If yours doesn’t, your dentist will put a temporary crown in place. The finished impression will then be sent to a dental lab to create the final replacement crown.
- Apply Permanent Crown: If your child receives a temporary crown, it will be removed and replaced at your next visit. If a milling device was present, your dentist would simply place the permanent crown at the end of the procedure.
Local anesthesia is used to ensure your child doesn’t experience any discomfort during the procedure. Your dentist may offer nitrous oxide to those who experience dental anxiety or need help remaining still and calm throughout the procedure.
After completing the procedure, your child will need to wait about an hour before eating. The numbing of the oral cavity makes it possible for the child to bite their lip, cheek, or tongue until it passes.
Moving Forward With Pediatric Crowns
Receiving a pediatric crown is an important part of preserving the health of your child’s future teeth. You can speak to your dentist to better understand how this procedure helps and why it’s important for your child.