Does your child have pediatric dental crowns on one or more teeth? You may be wondering if the crowns in pediatric dentistry can be removed or upgraded as your child gets older.
While some of the crowns in pediatric dentistry are permanent, others simply provide temporary protection until kids grow up and need something different.
Types of Pediatric Dental Crowns
Before we discuss how to remove or replace crowns in pediatric dentistry, it’s important to understand some of the common types of crowns used on children.
Stainless steel—The most popular pediatric dental crowns are made from stainless steel. Stainless steel crowns are affordable, durable, and help protect primary (baby) teeth until those teeth are set to fall out later on. They can also be used on top of decayed permanent adult teeth (usually back molars) until the child is older, when they are removed and replaced with something else.
Strip crowns—A strip crown is essentially a clear, see-through shell that’s filled with composite resin and then placed over the tooth. These types of crowns in pediatric dentistry are more aesthetic. As such, parents typically prefer them for their child’s upper front teeth.
Porcelain pediatric crowns—Although they’re fairly newer, porcelain pediatric crowns as well as those made from zirconia, are gaining popularity. These “caps” are white in color, so they blend in for aesthetic purposes, but they are also more durable than strip crowns.
Why Remove Pediatric Dental Crowns?
There are only a few reasons why our Wheat Ridge dentist might recommend removing pediatric dental crowns. Such as:
A stainless steel crown over a permanent molar.
Stainless steel crowns are solely for temporary purposes. They are not meant to last for several years. Since permanent molars can take some time to erupt, a stainless steel crown can protect those developing teeth while they’re still developing. If your child has severe decay and a crown is needed, the stainless steel version will need to be removed once the tooth fully erupts and then replaced with a permanent crown.
New decay developing under the crown.
Because some temporary dental crowns do not have a tight margin around the tooth like permanent adult crowns, bacteria may leak in around the edges if home care is inadequate. Recurring decay can easily spread deep under the crown. As a result, the crown will need to be removed, the cavity cleaned out, and a new crown put in its place.
The tooth requires pulp therapy.
If your child is exhibiting symptoms of an abscessed tooth, the pediatric dental crown will need to be removed so that the nerve of the tooth can be treated. At that point, our Wheat Ridge dentist would either perform a pulpotomy, pulp cap, or something similar. After the nerve treatment is completed, a new crown is placed over the tooth.
There are concerns over aesthetics.
Although aesthetics are discussed prior to treatment, parents or children may decide later on that they would like a stainless steel crown removed and replaced with something more aesthetic. If that is the case, the temporary crown is removed and updated to something else.
How the Crowns are Removed
Most of the time a pediatric dental crown needs to be removed, it’s already slightly loose. Either because something has seeped under the crown, causing decay, or because the pediatric dentist used a temporary cement that differs from the bonding agent used on adult crowns.
In either scenario, our kid’s dentist will use a special instrument to hold the crown on either side, then slightly wiggle it or rock it in a way that separates the cement from the tooth structure. You can think of it similar to how braces are removed from teeth at the end of orthodontic treatment. It’s safe for the tooth and won’t cause any unnecessary discomfort!
Need a Pediatric Dentist? Wheat Ridge Families Call Now
Kid Focus Dentistry offers complete pediatric dental care in Wheat Ridge, CO. Call our kid-focused dental team today to request your child’s next visit.