Oh No! My Child Needs Crowns! Here’s Why It’s NOT The End Of The World
There’s no denying it – your child has a tooth cavity and the damage looks pretty bad.
You can’t help but feel terrible. Weren’t you doing everything to help keep their mouth healthy? Brushing, flossing, reducing sugar: you did all the right things, but your child still managed to get a hole so big they now need crowns on their baby teeth.
Well, you can set aside the parental guilt, as tooth decay in children is incredibly common – the World Health Organization estimates that between 60-90% of school-aged children worldwide have cavities. And while it sounds like a crown is an extreme course of action for a tooth that will fall out soon anyway, it’s actually quite necessary.
Why would a child need crowns?
There are several reasons a child would need a crown on their baby teeth rather than just a filling or removing the tooth altogether.
The tooth may be so damaged that a filling is not enough to save it, or it is broken, making filling it impossible. In these cases, it is important to have a crown fitted so the tooth remains strong, durable, and the decay does not spread further into the tooth or the surrounding teeth.
Baby teeth are essential for the healthy eruption of adult teeth, and a tooth that is weakened or removed will interrupt the growth of the permanent tooth, impacting the child’s oral health, speech development and ability to chew.
A crown on baby teeth will protect the tooth that is left and will fall out naturally when the time comes. It will also help preserve the space for the adult teeth, which may not come through until their teens (depending on the tooth).
What’s involved in fitting crowns on baby teeth?
Putting crowns on baby teeth is a relatively simple procedure, but it can take a little while. We first numb the area, isolate the tooth to protect the surrounding teeth, gums and cheek, and then remove the decay using a special drill.
During this time, we will shape the tooth and prepare it for the crown. We then fit the crown snugly on top so that it is stable.
What to expect after the crown is applied
After the procedure, the child must avoid sticky food but can otherwise eat normally (being careful not to bite their numb lips and cheeks!), and it’s perfectly fine to brush their teeth as usual.
During brushing, the gum may bleed slightly or even appear blue: this can be the shadow of the metal under the gum tissue and not a cause for concern.
The area will regain normal feeling in a few days.
For crowns on baby teeth or other dental concerns, book a free consultation with Robert Duhig Dental.