In paediatric dentistry, crowns can be used to restore childrens’ teeth, and are a little different to what you may be familiar with as an adult.
Adhesive crowns are often used to restore baby front teeth affected by decay. The thin adhesive layer bonds to and “wraps around” the existing tooth structure to provide extra strength to the restoration. The final restoration has contours that follow the natural shape and size of your child’s teeth.
Sometimes stainless steel crowns are required to restore molars that have deep, extensive decay, or that have not formed properly (“chalky molars“). A stainless steel crown is shaped like a normal tooth, and is bonded to the damaged molar. If it is used for a baby tooth, the tooth will still fall out when the permanent tooth is ready to grow.
Fillings can be used to restore teeth with a small amount of damage from decay or trauma. An adhesive, tooth coloured material is often used. Decay is removed from the tooth prior to placing a filling. The filling will help to build the tooth back up to the original shape and size.
A space maintainer is an appliance that can be placed on a tooth to “save” the space for a developing permanent tooth. Sometimes this is required when a baby molar is lost early due to infection, decay or trauma. It helps to stop the surrounding teeth from drifting or tilting into the empty space, and can prevent complicated orthodontic correction in the future.