A crown is a type of dental restoration that completely covers and encircles a tooth. At Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, stainless steel crowns (silver) as well as tooth colored (white) crowns can be provided. The pediatric dentists at Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics can speak with you about which type of crown will be best for your child.

When does a tooth need a crown?
At Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, we provide individualized care for our pediatric patients, however, when a patient presents with the following signs, a crown may be recommended:

  • If nerve treatment is needed (pulpotomy or pulpectomy)
  • The tooth has developmental defects (formed incorrectly)
  • Trauma resulting in a fractured tooth
  • Large area of decay where a white filling may fail

Does the crown have to be silver?
The answer is; it depends. It depends on where the crown is needed and what tooth needs the treatment. Stainless steel crowns are very durable, safe, typically less expensive than white crowns, and have been used for decades. The goal of providing a stainless steel crown, or any crown, is to prevent retreating a tooth; we want your child to keep the baby molar until the permanent tooth is ready to come through the gums. Children typically hold on to their baby molars until they are 10-12 years of age, which is why it is so important to protect them when decay is found at an early age. White crowns for the baby molars have now become more popular due to their esthetic appearance, improvement in ease of application and increased durability; however, they are more expensive and are not ideal for every tooth. The doctors at Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics can provide both stainless steel and white crowns for baby molars and will be able to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

What if my child needs a crown on a front tooth?
Crowns needed on front teeth are typically due to trauma as well as extensive decay. Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics provides white crowns for teeth in the front or anterior area as this is the most esthetic treatment option for these teeth. To enhance the longevity of crowns for front teeth, it is important to avoid habits such as nail biting as this can lead to early deterioration of the crown. Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics will review how to take care of these types of crowns, if needed, at your child's visit.

Do you provide crowns for adult teeth?
Crowns are available for adult (permanent) teeth in a pediatric dental practice. These adult crowns, like the crowns for baby teeth are prefabricated. This means that they are completed in one visit; temporary crowns are not needed. Much more often than not, stainless steel crowns are used for the posterior teeth as a prefabricated white crown is not yet available for the posterior permanent molars. Having a lab processed crown provided for a young adult is usually not advised as this may lead to nerve damage due to the extensive amount of cutting needed on the tooth for a lab processed crown. When dealing with an anterior (front) permanent tooth, the same rules apply; therefore a resin (white) crown is applied which addresses the cosmetic concerns with this area as well as minimizes the amount of cutting needed on the tooth. Resin crowns are not used on posterior molars because they are not very durable and will break down quickly because of the heavy biting forces exerted by our posterior teeth.

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Call (617) 889-KIDS

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