Help for moms. My child needs dental crowns. What options do we have? Learn valuable information, including both the pros and cons, about the most common pediatric dental-crown options available for children.

Some of the most perplexing words you can hear from your pediatric dentist are, "Your child has cavities." Sometimes you already know, and sometimes you are taken off guard; but regardless of the circumstances, these words can often leave a parent feeling guilty and uncertain about what comes next.

If the cavity is still small, your pediatric dentist can fix the tooth with a small simple filling. However, if the decay has significantly damaged the tooth, it is often necessary to place a crown "cap" on the tooth. Crowns are placed on teeth that have large areas of decay that could possibly break if restored with a simple filling material.

So your child needs crowns, and you are asking, "What choices do I have?" Some of the most common options in pediatric dentistry are listed below.

  • Stainless Steel Crowns

    Stainless steel crowns are the most common type of crown used in pediatric dentistry. These are what many people call "silver" crowns. These shiny silver crowns are very strong and durable and are a great option if you aren't concerned about esthetics or, in other words, good looks. On rare occasions they can cause localized tissue irritation and have been known to be a contributing factor in metal allergies.

  • Stainless Steel Crowns With White Facings

    To make the stainless steel crowns look more esthetic, especially on the front teeth, stainless steel crowns are available with a pre-veneered plastic facing. These crowns look better, because from the front they look "white." In order for the white facing to adhere to the metal, extra bulk must be added, making these crowns look bulbous or rounded. The white facing also has a tendency to chip off over time, exposing the silver crown underneath. Chipping can occur when children grind their teeth or as a result of chewing forces on back teeth.

  • Composite Strip Crowns or Resin Crowns

    This type of crown is very esthetic when prepared correctly by your dentist. Installing these crowns demands skillful technique and often requires more time to perform. Because of the time required, these crowns can be dificult to place on small, uncooperative children; and general anesthesia sedation is often recommended. Strip crowns are entirely made of composite "white" "lling material. This filling material looks very natural; but over time, it does have a tendency to absorb stains and discolor. It can also attract plaque if not kept clean. Resin crowns are also much weaker than stainless steel crowns, and there is an increased chance that a piece or corner of the crown may fracture off.

  • EZ-Pedo All-Ceramic Zirconia Crowns

    EZ-Pedo is the first company world-wide to offer fully-"white," prefabricated, ceramic crowns especially designed for children. These crowns are made of solid Zirconia, a biocompatible material that, until now, has only been used in high-end, adult cosmetic dentistry. Composed entirely of one solid tooth-colored material, they look extremely esthetic, both from the front view and on the inside of the mouth. Each crown is glazed with a hint of natural color, making them very smooth, shiny, and impermeable to staining. They are exceptionally strong, and their unsurpassed esthetics allow them to blend in seamlessly with surrounding natural teeth.

Finding out your child has extensive tooth decay and needs crowns can be disconcerting. But having the option available to restore your child’s teeth with NEW, state-of-the-art, natural-looking, all-ceramic crowns will put your mind at ease. In fact, neither you nor your child's friends will even be able to tell that there are crowns in your child's mouth. As one mother remarked, "A smile that doesn't encourage teasing is a wonderful gift for any child." So give your child that gift, and ask your dentist today about the EZ-Pedo crown option. Every time you look at your child, you'll be glad you did.

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