3 Top Reasons Why Your Child May Need a Dental Crown


Dental crowns can save kids’ teeth.

Dental crowns are a popular restorative dental treatment for adults, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also ideal for helping kids. In fact, functional and cosmetic dental crowns can save your child’s decayed or damaged teeth to prevent premature loss of important baby teeth. Best of all, if you go to Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry, your child won’t be stuck with conspicuous stainless steel crowns.

Here’s when we would recommend dental crowns for children and how our dentists can help.

1. The tooth has a large or complex cavity.

Baby teeth have thinner enamel than adult teeth, making them especially vulnerable to the rapid spread of decay. This, coupled with children still learning healthy dental care habits, make tooth decay the most common dental problem for kids.

Dentists can treat most cavities with a dental filling, but if your child has a tooth with a large or complex cavity, this might not be an option. Rather than risk a dental filling failing, their dentist will instead recommend a dental crown. They’ll remove the decay, fill the hole with a special material, and then place the crown over top. The crown completely encapsulates the tooth to strengthen and protect it from future damage.

2. Tooth pain or infection required a root canal.

Toothaches from severe decay or an abscess often require root canal therapy. Baby root canals (pulpotomies) permanently stop the pain because the dentist removes the inflamed and infected pulp inside your child’s tooth.

Modern root canals are usually very simple, and treatment is painless. Dr. Cooper and Dr. Day even use dental lasers to ensure your child has minimal swelling and faster healing. Most kids will only have some minor, temporary discomfort once the numbing wears off.

Dental crowns are necessary after a root canal or pulpotomy because the procedure removes the innermost tissues of the tooth. Your child’s dentist will fill the hollow space with a durable material, but the tooth itself will still be vulnerable without extra protection. The crown will add stability to your child’s tooth, ensuring it remains functional and strong like a healthy, natural tooth.

3. Trauma to the tooth left it damaged or weak.

Children are much more likely to suffer from dental trauma than adults. Playing sports and roughhousing—something as simple as tripping and falling—can break teeth.

Broken, chipped, or fractured teeth should always be treated, even if the damage appears small. These issues can cause a future toothache, and the rough enamel edges surrounding the damage will trap plaque and encourage tooth decay.

Our dentists will carefully evaluate your child’s tooth to determine the best treatment option. Dental crowns are most often used for teeth with fractures or significant chips that still have enough enamel to support a restoration but are too involved to restore through simple fillings.

Why crown a baby tooth that will eventually fall out anyway?

A popular query we hear from parents is “Why does my child need a dental crown on a baby tooth?” Baby teeth will eventually fall out, so this question is valid.

Baby teeth may be temporary, but they serve important functions. First, they help your child speak and chew their food easily. Second, baby teeth shed on a specific schedule that matches the arrival of adult teeth. Premature loss of baby teeth leaves gaps in your child’s smile and can lead to misalignment of their adult teeth.

If a baby tooth is beyond saving, it will need to be removed, and it can be replaced with a space maintainer. However, if possible, the best solution is always to save the natural tooth with a dental crown rather than go through with an unnecessary extraction.

Pediatric Dental Crowns at Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry

Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry is a modern pediatric dental practice, and that means our dentists offer the very best in functional and cosmetic dentistry for kids. There are several types of dental crowns for kids, but we primarily use EZCrowns by Sprig.

EZCrowns are tooth-colored crowns specifically made for pediatric use. They’re made of zirconia, a beautiful, ultra-durable material that’s also hypoallergenic since they contain no metal elements. Our Dr. Cooper is adept at placing these crowns on back teeth, a skill not all pediatric dentists have.

To learn more about our zirconia crowns or schedule a dental crown consultation with the best pediatric dentists in Salem, Oregon, call our office or use our online request form.