What are Pediatric Crowns?
Like crowns for adults, pediatric crowns are full-coverage tooth-shaped ‘caps’ that are placed over existing teeth to restore their shape, size, and strength, and to improve their appearance. They are primarily used for the restoration of decayed, discolored, misshapen, or broken teeth in children.
Design and placement of custom (i.e. non-prefabricated) crowns in children can be problematic, as adolescent behavior can pose a barrier to taking a dental impression and requires a subsequent dental office visit for crown placement. Prefabricated pediatric crowns can help overcome these problems, as they are designed specifically for children and can typically be installed in a single office visit.
History of Pediatric Crowns
Although advances in preventative dentistry techniques, community-fluoridated water, and increased dental education have reduced the incidence of caries (tooth decay) in children, early childhood caries is still highly prevalent in the U.S. and worldwide. This is the predominant indication for pediatric dental crowns use.
In the past, extraction was the primary course of treatment for extensively decayed primary teeth. With advances in dental materials, however, many cases became amenable to restoration. Early restorations of the middle 20th century consisted of the placement of stainless steel crowns. While functional, these crowns’ poor aesthetics limited their use primarily to posterior teeth. With innovations in manufacturing processes and dental materials, there are now a variety of prefabricated crowns available, fabricated from a variety of materials, that provide a more aesthetic restoration.
Preparing and Applying Pediatric Crowns
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