Parent Resources: Pediatric Crown FAQ

If your child has cavities or loses a tooth, the dentist might suggest a type of restoration called a dental crown. If your child’s dentist has recommended that your child get a pediatric dental crown, you will probably have some questions. Find the answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about dental crowns for children below.

How common are pediatric crowns?

Dental caries, commonly called tooth decay, eat away at the protective enamel on teeth, resulting in cavities. This disease, caused by bacteria, is one of the main reasons why a dentist might recommend a crown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2015 and 2019, 13.2 percent of children ages five to 19 had untreated caries.

Preformed pediatric crowns have been widely used for the past 50 years. Their use is growing as more and more parents come to understand that pediatric crowns can play an important role in supporting their child’s health. A crown can prevent further decay of the treated tooth. If a tooth is missing, it can hold space for the permanent tooth. A crown provides a stable chewing surface. Perhaps most important—it can give the child the confidence to smile.

How long do pediatric crowns last?

Crowns can last from five years to 25 or 30 years. How long a crown lasts depends on several factors, including the type of crown material, how well the crown is cared for and what kind of wear-and-tear it’s exposed to. Pediatric crowns are meant to replace primary teeth, or baby teeth, until the permanent teeth grow in. Most children have the majority of their permanent teeth by the time they are 10 or 12 years old—so chances are excellent that your child’s crown will last through their childhood.

To help ensure that the crown lasts, ask your dentist about crown materials. For example, zirconia crowns have been shown to offer several benefits, including outstanding wear and corrosion resistance, high resistance to cracking and lower chance of restoration loss than some other types of crowns. They are less likely to get plaque build-up and support better gum health.

After the crown is in place, it’s important to keep up healthy mouth habits, like regular brushing, and to avoid sticky foods.

Are pediatric crowns safe for toddlers and children?

Pediatric crowns are not only safe, they are also often the best choice to protect your child’s dental health. As with any medical or dental procedure, you and your dentist should weigh any risks against the benefits— benefits can include eliminating areas of decay, stopping enamel loss, and restoring tooth structure. An American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry paper on treating tooth decay notes that crowns are better at preventing the need for additional treatment than other restorative approaches, such as sealants and composite fillings.

One potential risk that can sometimes arise is an allergy or sensitivity to the restorative material, particularly the nickel/chromium (Ni-Cr) used in some types of crowns. Tell your dentist if your child is allergic to metal or has other allergies. Zirconia crowns are an excellent option for patients with metal allergies.

At what age can you get a crown?

Your child will start to get baby teeth between six months and a year old, and will have most of their permanent teeth between ages 10 and 12. Any time in between, your child could develop tooth decay or softening of tooth enamel, or could accidentally lose a tooth—all situations that might require a crown. Crowns are routinely used for children as young as two to four years old. Your dentist should have a wide selection of pediatric crowns in various sizes to match your child’s tooth. The right-sized tooth can ensure that your child can speak and chew properly. It will also hold a place to prevent crowding or shifting of the other teeth, and will restore the natural look of your child’s smile.

Which baby teeth can be crowned?

Crowns are available to fit all front and back baby teeth. Although any type of crown can be used in any position, “white” crowns are usually preferred over stainless steel crowns for front teeth as they closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Zirconia crowns provide the most natural-looking restorations and are more resistant to staining than plastics or composites. Zirconia is also an excellent choice for back teeth because it is resistant to fracture and withstands high bite forces, making it the most durable of all ceramics used for crowns.

Pediatric dental crown takeaways

Pediatric dental crowns are often used to restore front and back baby teeth. They are a safe and long-lasting option for children of all ages. Since 1987, Cheng Crowns has pioneered many innovations in pediatric crowns. Their crowns are designed and engineered for durability and easy placement, so your child spends less time in the dentist’s chair, has outstanding flexural strength, and has excellent aesthetics. If your child’s dentist recommends a pediatric crown, you can trust Cheng Crowns.

To learn more about restorative options for your child, read our article on different types of pediatric crowns.