When is a Stainless Steel Crown recommended?
Dr. Meggan follows the recommendation for use of stainless steel crowns as set by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. These guidelines are the following:
• If a pulpotomy (nerve treatment) is indicated.
• The tooth has such a large area of decay
• The remaining tooth structure is insufficient to hold a traditional filling.
• A tooth that has formed incorrectly or has fractured.
But, our general dentist said the tooth could be filled?
Dr. Meggan has undergone specialized training to treat primary (baby) teeth. They are treated differently than permanent teeth and not all dentists follow the AAPD recommendations. The stainless steel crowns are the best treatment for your child, when indicated. If a filling were to be done on the tooth after Dr. Meggan has recommended a stainless steel crown, the filling could fail. Your child might need to have the tooth retreated in the future (which might not be covered by your insurance), or extracted. In most cases, the stainless steel crown should last until the tooth comes out naturally.
Are there any alternatives (white crowns)?
At this time, there are white crowns for the front teeth. Some companies are starting to make stainless steel crowns with a white coating on the cheek side for the back teeth (molars) or all white crowns. We keep up to date on the current materials on the market and look for esthetic alternatives that will match the superior functional qualities that the stainless steel crown offers. In select cases, an esthetic crown may be an option for a back tooth. Ask Dr. Meggan if esthetic crowns are an option for your child.