For two days, seven-year old Lexi has been looking forward to her crown appointment at Dentistry for Children. Dr. Troy King has promised her that three of her baby teeth will get princess hats.
Lexi chipped, cracked and broke three teeth in a dramatic skate board fall.
As her bruised swelling went down, she has been drawing crayon portraits of silver crowns and princesses with big smiles for two days, ever since she learned she would be getting princess hats on her broken teeth.
A Crown That Will Fall: Repair for Baby Teeth — and Why?
Her mom was surprised and concerned about dental crowns, mainly because the affected teeth are simply baby teeth.
As we have stated many times previously at Dentistry for Children, baby teeth must receive protection and attention. Many parents need better understanding of the critical role of baby teeth.
Baby or “primary” teeth are space holders which help to guide the growth of permanent teeth into their proper place and position. Without baby teeth, children cannot chew or speak appropriately. You can see more information about primary teeth in a previous Dentistry for Children article.
Crown: Royal Treatment to Save a Tooth
To put it simply, “A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the surfaces of the tooth.”
It is often composed of a silver-colored or a tooth-colored resin.
In Lexi’s case, trauma has mandated the treatment of three teeth with crowns. However, dentists place crowns on baby teeth for several conditions:
1. Placing a Crown could be the ideal treatment for severe decay. This is especially true if it has spread over several large surfaces of the tooth. A filling just would not be sufficient protection.
2. Likewise a crown can prevent deeper decay and infection in a child who is prone to high levels of caries (tooth decay.)
3. If the dentist finds an irregularly developed tooth, it’s often best to re-shape and crown it.
4. Crowns cover and protect a baby tooth after root canal therapy.
5. As in Lexi’s case, dentists must protect teeth that have been broken, chipped or cracked.
With the crowns in place, Lexi’s teeth will look and act exactly like her natural teeth. It is true the crowns will fall out with the baby teeth at their natural and appropriate time.
A Regal Range of Crowning Choices
Each new crown will surround, encase and becomes the shiny new outer surface of each tooth.
The dentist will give Lexi a stainless steel crown for her broken back molar. As he explained to Lexi, Dr. King’s silver princess hats are not really made of silver, but stainless steel–or “Thainless Theel,” as Lexi says, due to her newly broken teeth. Here in Orlando, at Dentistry for Children, Lexi is a member of our dental home and we see her regularly.
We know she was talking clearly before her little skateboard accident. As she struggles to speak with her accustomed diction, charm and wit, she looks uncomfortable and ashamed at what she hears.
There are many types of dental crowns available. Tooth-colored crowns have become most popular, and might be made of resin, metal, ceramic, porcelain, or composite materials.
Some crowns incorporate a thin veneer of porcelain over metal. If the teeth had been permanent ones, the dentist might have chosen Zirconium crowns, which are famous for extreme hardness, high quality and beauty.
1. Stainless steel crowns have the reputation of being the strongest type of crowns and they are built for endurance. Molars take the most punishment from chewing, and she needs the strength to properly chew her food. For this reason, Dr. King will crown Lexi’s broken molar with stainless steel.
2. For her front teeth, Dr. Troy King will use crowns of white composite material because they are more esthetically pleasing. They will match the shape, size and color of Lexi’s natural teeth. She will avoid chomping down on ice or hard candy. She knows they are pretty, but not quite as stong as the stainless steel caps for back teeth. Find out about more types of dental crowns at this reliable online resource.
Lexi’s Royal Recovery: All About the Crowning Procedure At Children’s Dentistry in Orlando
Crowning demands three steps: The dentist will deaden the tissue around Lexi’s teeth, shape the teeth, and place the crowns.
As Lexi enters the dentist’s office, she carries her crayon art with pride and presents it to Dr. King and his staff. In her picture, in bright purple letters, a big smiling tooth wearing a crown proclaims, “Thank You for fixing my Princess Smile!”
However, when Lexi reads it aloud for us, she says, awkwardly,“Sank you for fithing my printheth smile.”
We of Children’s Dentistry cannot help but smile, for we know she will be speaking normally again after getting her “princess hats” on the traumatized teeth!
By the way, we also have prince hats for the guys!