Why Stainless Steel Crowns Are Used In Pediatric Dentistry

There are many types of crowns that may be used to restore a tooth. Crown materials include porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, stainless steel, and resin. Many adults prefer tooth-colored crowns for their teeth, especially if a crown will be displayed near the front of the mouth. However, in pediatric dentistry, stainless steel crowns are often used. Here are a few reasons why.

Low Cost

Stainless steel crowns are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of crowns. This is important for a child's teeth because the primary teeth are eventually lost to shedding. If the crown used to cover a baby tooth is expensive, a hefty financial investment could be lost with the tooth. 

For adult teeth, the benefit of having an aesthetically pleasing result likely outweighs any cost associated with the dental restoration. 

One Visit

For other types of crowns, the patient may need to visit the dentist twice. During the first visit, an impression of the mouth may be made, and a temporary crown may be placed.

The impression is sent to a dental lab to guide the fabrication of the permanent crown. Once the lab has completed the permanent crown, a second visit is scheduled for its placement.

With a stainless steel crown, the device can be placed during one visit. The dentist mechanically molds the crown around the tooth. No additional steps are needed.

No Patient Color Preference

Unlike adults, many young children may care little about the color of their crown. Additionally, in pediatric dentistry, a crown is often used to cover a back tooth, since the deep grooves of the molars make them more likely to incur decay. Thus, the crown may not even be easily viewed in the child's mouth.

Adequate Protection

Even though a stainless steel crown may eventually be lost as the covered tooth sheds, the crown should still protect the tooth sufficiently to prevent further decay. If a tooth continues to decay, it may become unsalvageable. A primary tooth that is lost before its time to shed could result in the migration of the other teeth, causing a dental misalignment.

Stainless steel is quite durable and the protection that it provides should be sufficient as long as the tooth is still in the mouth. Additionally, the stainless device is not overly abrasive and should not damage neighboring teeth.

For more information about dental crowns and available crown materials, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.

Contact a company like Four Corners Dental Group to learn more.