Stainless Steel Crowns: A Stronger Way to Repair Decayed or Underdeveloped Back Teeth
Stainless steel crowns are metal caps made from a combination of stainless steel, nickel, and chrome. These crowns are often used to treat back teeth (molars) that have either decayed or not formed properly due to hypomineralization. They are a more durable option than traditional fillings and offer stronger protection to the tooth.
Pre-made in the shape of the tooth, stainless steel crowns come in a range of sizes. Our dental team selects a crown that will fit over and cover the entire tooth that sits above the gumline.
Crowns can help protect the tooth from further decay and create space in the mouth for adult teeth to grow. Children who need stainless steel crowns typically fall into one of the following categories:
Stainless steel crowns have a shiny, silver appearance and are commonly placed on back molars, making them less noticeable than you might expect. Children are often pleased to have a “pirate tooth,” “princess tooth,” “transformer tooth,” “silver cap,” or “hat.”
In general, the crown should remain in place until the baby tooth falls out naturally as the adult tooth erupts. However, in rare cases, the crown may need to be removed or replaced before the tooth falls out.
The procedure for placing a stainless steel crown may or may not require local anesthesia. In some cases, the crown can be slotted over the tooth without extensive decay removal. If the crown does not fit properly, the tooth will be shaped to fit the crown. If nerve/root treatment is required, extensive decay removal and local anesthesia will be necessary before crown placement. Elastic bands are sometimes used to create a small space between the teeth, which allows the crown to be properly seated without shaping the tooth.
After the crown is placed, it should be treated like a normal tooth. Children should brush it twice a day along with their other teeth to maintain proper oral hygiene.
Overall, stainless steel crowns offer a strong and durable solution for repairing decayed or underdeveloped back teeth in children. Talk to your dentist if you think your child might benefit from this treatment.
It’s an exciting time when your child gets their first tooth, but all of a sudden there is something else to look after. Along with the sleep deprivation and copious amounts of drool due to teething we start worrying about their teeth. Is it coming through in the right position? What is that weird looking spot? Why is my child shoving their whole fist in their mouth?
Here is some information to try and ease your mind.
All About Baby Teeth
Generally your child will develop their first tooth by the age of one, although this can vary from not yet having any teeth to being born with their first tooth already. The baby teeth continue to come through until the age of 3 having a total of 20.
Around the age of 6 is when the first adult tooth starts to come through and baby teeth start to fall out. This will continue until around the age of 10-12 where all the adult teeth bar the wisdom teeth will have come through and the last of the baby teeth will have fallen out. Normally there will now be a total of 28 teeth.
Please have a look at this baby teeth eruption chart prepared by the American Dental Association:
Cleaning baby teeth
Start with a washer over your finger on the gums. When teeth first appear brush twice a day using a soft tooth brush and low fluoride kids toothpaste. (eg. Milk teeth, Colgate first). Since babies naturally swallow the toothpaste do not use adult toothpaste. Start flossing once the teeth are touching, often when molars are through.
Early loss of baby teeth can be from anything such as decay or trauma and can result in orthodontic concerns. Decay can be prevented by fluoride application which helps strengthen the enamel. It should be introduced to the enamel from about 6 months old through tap water and low fluoride toothpaste. If a baby tooth does fall out the space can be maintained to allow the adult tooth to come through properly.
Their first dental visit can start from when the first couple of teeth come through when you have your appointment. Getting them used to the sounds and environment, maybe sitting on your lap and letting the dentist have a quick look at their teeth and slowly progressing to them laying back in the chair and have a clean done. If at first they won’t allow this try not to stress, they will eventually. What’s most important is that they leave with a positive experience and have enjoyed their visit.
A visit to the dentist is a fun and important adventure where you will get your teeth counted and cleaned. Your child’s first dental visit is a milestone like your first words, your first haircut, or your first day of school. We are going to have a fun time which will set you up for a lifetime of excellent dental care and habits!
Your child’s first dental visit
At the dentist, you will be greeted by our front office girls who will be eagerly awaiting you and your family. While your parent fills out important information about you on our iPad, you can play on our duplo wall or read a book. Keep an eye out for the tooth fairy’s front door and letter box!
When we are ready, the dentist will take you through to their room. You get to sit in a special chair called the golden marshmallow and interact (play?) with some of our high tech equipment. We have an air and water pistol and a sucker. We will even use the air pistol to make you a balloon animal!
Just like a fireman wears a helmet, and a doctor wears a white coat and a stethoscope-the dentist has a uniform. We put on a mask, some gloves and glasses with small magnifiers on them. You get to wear a bib and some sunglasses.
With the push of a button, the chair lies back and becomes a bed. When you lie back, there is a TV on the roof playing a movie or a show on animals. Next we will count your teeth with a tiny mirror and counter. Did you know children have 20 teeth and adults have 32 teeth? Sometimes we take pictures or radiographs to check your teeth for cavities and see how your permanent teeth are growing in your jawbones.
We then clean your teeth with a special dentist toothbrush that spins around and around and tickles your mouth. After you sit up and rinse your mouth, we paint on some fluoride. Fluoride is a special foam that you swish around in your mouth-it makes your teeth very strong and protects you from cavities. It comes in a few yummy flavours that you get to choose from: mint, grape or even marshmallow!
We will have a chat about healthy foods that are good for your teeth, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and yoghurt. We will talk about which foods cause cavities like lollies, chocolate and soft drink.
The last thing that happens is that you get a goody-bag, which has a toothbrush, toothpaste and sometimes floss. We make sure you are an A+ expert at cleaning your teeth. High five! We can head back to the front office to make your next appointment.
Congratulations! You did really well. Wasn’t that fun? I can’t wait to see you again in 6 months!