Paediatric Crowns

Occasionally - for example when a baby tooth is badly broken or decayed - a Composite Filling may not be the best long term solution. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend a paediatric stainless steel crown to cover and protect the remainder of the tooth restoring its normal function in the mouth.

Paediatric Crowns help to withstand the forces associated with biting and chewing, and significantly reduce the risk of tooth pain and infection. This type of crown is highly durable and is designed to last until the final baby tooth falls out at around 12-14 years of age.

Unlike the traditional Crowns used in adult dentistry, paediatric crowns are ready made and come in a number of shapes and sizes which can easily be adjusted to resemble the natural tooth. This means that the crown can be placed without the need to drill any tooth structure, making the procedure pain and stress free for your child - in many cases your dentist won’t even need to place local anaesthetic.

Book online

Benefits of Paediatric Crowns

  • Avoid the need for difficult tooth extractions
  • Preventing early tooth loss will maintain space in the jaw and reduce the risk of tooth crowding
  • Preventative treatment early on reduces the need for complex orthodontic treatment in the future
  • Halt the process of decay and greatly reduce the risk of tooth infection and pain
  • Promote normal speech development
  • Maintain optimal chewing ability
  • No need for drilling of the tooth or anaesthetic
  • Long term treatment option that will last the life of the baby tooth

The procedure

Your dentist will first take the time to describe the crown procedure to your child - ensuring to put them completely at ease and make the procedure entirely anxiety free. In most cases local anesthetic is not required. This decision can be made by both you and your dentist, keeping in mind that the end goal is always to provide maximum peace of mind and comfort for your child throughout.

A number of different crown shapes and sizes will be tried on the tooth to get the best possible fit. The crown will be dried and a dental cement will be applied. The crown will then be placed onto the tooth and your child will feel little more than gentle pressure. They may be asked to bite down hard on a piece of cotton to ensure it has been fully seated. Any excess cement will then be removed.

It is very common for children to complain that the new crown feels ‘funny’ or that their bite is off. You can rest assured that this is completely normal and will correct itself within 1-2 weeks.

Questions? Answers.

Is it really necessary to get a paediatric crown? Why don’t we just pull the tooth?

When your dentist recommends a paediatric crown the alternative option is usually to extract the tooth in order to prevent pain and infection. Since Baby teeth play a vital role in the development of the jaw, we will always recommend saving your child’s tooth and avoiding an early extraction. They act as space maintainers to ensure there is adequate room available for the permanent teeth to emerge (or 'Erupt') so maintaining this as a function is a priority. 

By using a crown to prolong the life of your child’s tooth we can maintain its placeholder function, significantly reducing the risk of developing crooked teeth requiring more extensive orthodontic treatment later in life. Baby teeth are also esstential for proper speech development and adequate chewing ability, so preserving their health and function will ensure the optimum quality of life for your child.

How long does a paediatric crown last?

Paediatric crowns are designed to last until the tooth naturally falls out (or 'Exfoliates'), usually at around 12-14 years of age. The crown will still be attached to the tooth when this happens.

Why might my child need a paediatric crown?

Crowns are recommended to treat a number of dental issues in children. A crown may be placed where

  • Decay is extensive and a filling will not be able to repair the damage
  • A child suffers from extensive tooth wear as a result of erosion or grinding habits
  • A child has had nerve treatment carried out
  • Teeth haven’t properly formed due to conditions such as Amelogeneis imperfecta
  • A temporary treatment is required until the child is old enough for an adult crown
What if my child’s adult tooth needs a crown?

In some rare cases your child’s adult tooth may need a crown. On these occasions a stainless steel crown may be placed before the tooth has fully erupted to protect it. This will be done as a temporary option and once the tooth has completely grown and developed a permanent adult Crown can then be placed.

Why should we place a crown and not a filling?

Unfortunately large fillings in baby teeth are still prone to getting decay, so they have a much shorter life span and risk falling out prematurely. This is where a stainless steel crown will come into play. Once placed they don’t require any further maintanence and will last until the tooth falls out naturally, usually between 12 - 14 years of age. Unlike a dental filling, no anesethetic or drilling is required when placing a stainless steel crown, making this procedure a pain-free and comfortable experience for your child.

What should I do if my child’s crown has come off or feels loose?

If your child’s crown comes off don’t panic – call us at your earliest convenience so we can examine and fix your problem. Most of the time when this happens we will simply be able to re-cement the crown in place. Your dentist will discuss all the options available to you.

Is having a paediatric crown placed painful?

Since no drilling is required for the placement of a paediatric crown the procedure is completely pain free. Many children prefer having this treatment carried out compared with a Dental Filling. The most they will feel is some gentle pressure as the crown is put in place, and they may experience some bitter or unpleasant tastes from the dental cement.

Often your child will complain that their bite feels funny after the crown has been placed. This is completely normal and will self correct in 1-2 weeks. Most children will have gotten used to their new crown 1-2 days after the procedure.