Are Stainless-Steel Crowns Necessary For Baby Teeth?


It is still a big question mark, posed in the minds of caretakers or parents regarding the seating of a stainless steel crown on a decay-treated baby tooth. Know that it is completely safe and not at all safe to ignore the baby tooth complications citing their short life in the dental arch- later to be dominated by strong permanent teeth. Dental care in the initial years can save your child from future inconveniences over cavities, and broken, chipped, crooked, and fractured tooth structures. That is exactly why stress is now put upon dental visits in the initial years just to safeguard your baby’s innocent smiles. 

The stainless steel crown for pediatric dentistry is the new favorite that offers unchallenged protection to the afflicted tooth. Its presence hinders the adjacent tooth from pushing in and leaving less space for the permanent tooth from growing to its actual size. Otherwise, the dental arch seems misaligned. So, right from the age of 2 and up your child is perfectly eligible to get the stainless steel crowns. Usually, the non-white gleam of the stainless steel tooth crown is not preferred for front tooth restorations. It is suitable for molar and premolar restorations as they are 99% more susceptible to infections, and decay in children. 

It is a game of precision based upon trial and error as the dentist gets the right fit of pediatric stainless steel crowns from the prefabricated sets. It is hassle-free and comparatively easier than the expensive white crown options for shaping and seating. In a single dental appointment, you can ensure the proper treatment of the affected baby tooth with prefabricated stainless steel crowns. With these minions seated in the right place, it helps the baby to ingest their solid food properly, and learn to speak through imitation as they practice.

Some might suggest a dental filling instead of the crown as it is a lot cheaper. But, for a child under the age of four years, dental fillings do not last unlike for adults having permanent teeth. In toddlers, the primary tooth structure is not strong enough to harbor a filling, after treating the decay. With the stainless steel crown, the tooth structure is immediately reinforced for avoiding further complications. These crowns are highly successful to last for years to come and fall off easily when the real tooth comes off. The dental procedure is also simple compared to other crown types.

Comparison of the Treatment Outcomes of the Conventional Stainless Steel Crown Restorations and the Hall Technique in the Treatment of Carious Primary Molars

Primary molars are regularly affected by caries. The most familiar course of treatment involves the seating of the stainless steel crown (SSC) after the removal of decay. This procedure is not so smooth with toddlers and the use of local anesthesia to numb the region comes to aid. But once its effect wears off, the pain and uneasiness resurface making kids agitated with the SSC. The stainless steel crown for pediatric dentistry has been in use since the 1950s.

The prefabricated stainless steel crowns are an improvement to readily get the match for the affected tooth. For primary molars, there is another technique called the Hall technique which helps to contain caries in the tooth itself, isolating it from spreading out. Looking into the effectiveness of each technique leaves you with both pros and cons. 

Conventional vs Hall Technique

The conventional restorations of the pediatric stainless steel crown have the benefits of being complete, hassle-free, and lasting protection until the primary tooth comes out on its own. The tooth is subjected to pulpotomy or pulpectomy depending on the intensity of caries. Then, the crown is trimmed, contoured to suit the gingival margin, and seated with the help of dental cement. Healing takes over and no repeat visits to the dentist as the tooth is permanently fixed. Here, local anesthesia or general anesthesia is given to the patient. 

Now, unlike the stainless steel crowns for adults, the primary molars are deciduous as they fall out in the course of a child’s growth. The conventional methods can be strenuous only with respect to decay removal. Subjecting a primary or baby tooth to it would bother the child for the rest of their life. Such invasive treatments involving anesthesia might not be received well by children. Here, the Hall technique comes in handy. It seals or arrests in caries and the preformed stainless steel tooth crown is preferably deployed. The use of local or general anesthesia is ruled out. Both the child and the dentist go through this technique with ease. Its simplicity indicates its inexpensive aspect over conventional restoration.

The Hall technique does not offer a permanent solution to caries in children. Sometimes the patient has to come in later in a year or more for a detailed and complete procedure. But this technique has its benefits considering the age of children, tooth size, its primary nature, etc. 

The Bottom Line

As of now, stainless steel crowns are the best options to restore the dental arch in toddlers right from the age of two years old. Some children erupt baby teeth when they are only six months old. The stainless steel crowns can be relied on for the treatment beginning with a two-year-old and also for adults as well. The stainless steel crowns for adults too come in prefabricated sets or manufactured sets for immediate treatment compared to the customized crowns. So who wants to get crowned? For a quick fix and lasting assurance, the stainless steel crowns can assure healthy smiles in all age groups.  

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