When we see a child in our Phoenix, Arizona dental office that has severe decay on a baby tooth, parents often question why we recommend saving the tooth rather than just removing it. After all, the tooth is going to fall out eventually, right? So why go through all the trouble of treating it? This is a very good question, let’s find out the answer.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, all hold a specific purpose in your child’s growing mouth. Baby teeth allow your child to learn to speak properly and help with proper digestion by breaking up foods the right way. Primary teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth, meaning that each baby tooth should stay in place until the permanent one is ready to come through and replace it. This can be as late as the age of 13.
If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the ones that remain begin to shift and naturally close in the gap. As a result, when it’s time for the permanent tooth to come in, there may not be enough room for it to do so.
Therefore, if your child has a severely decayed or broken tooth at a young age, our family and children’s dentist will likely recommend that we save the tooth, as well as prevent the decay from spreading to neighboring teeth, by covering it with a stainless steel crown.
What Is A Stainless Steel Crown?
A stainless steel crown is a metal cap that’s placed over a baby tooth. Stainless steel crowns are stronger and more durable than large fillings, making them ideal for molars, which must withstand a substantial amount of chewing pressure. However, this treatment is not a good choice for front teeth since the silver color will show too often.
The Stainless Steel Crown Procedure
Getting a stainless steel crown is done in one appointment. Your child’s mouth will be numbed so that they don’t feel any pain throughout the process. Certain sedation methods may also be available to make them less anxious.
To begin the procedure, we’ll first remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Often, the decay extends past the nerve pulp chamber of the tooth, causing infection. If so we’ll perform an additional step known as a pulpotomy which is where we remove the pulp and place a medication in it.
After the tooth is cleaned out, we’ll prepare it to fit the crown by reducing the height and roundness of the tooth. Once complete, we’ll select which crown to use from a variety of sizes of pre-formed stainless steel caps, make any adjustments to it if necessary, and then cement it in place over the tooth.
Child Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona
Dr. B of Central Valley Dentistry always has the best interest of every patient in mind. If you want an experienced and highly reputable family and children’s dentist, then come to see us at our Phoenix, Arizona practice. We look forward to meeting you and your entire family