According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42 percent of kids between the ages of two to eleven have tooth decay on at least one tooth. If your toddler was recently at the dentist and you were told they require a crown, you might be wondering if this is the right choice. Just because your toddler has a mouth filled with baby teeth that will eventually fall out doesn't mean they don't require the protection a crown will provide. If you're on the fence about your toddler undergoing this procedure, here are a few frequently asked questions you might have about dental crowns:
Does My Toddler Really Need a Crown?
When it comes to your toddler's teeth, you might have an opinion that is shared by many parents: Why bother? They are going to fall out anyway. However, before you dismiss this common and safe procedure, there are many reasons why you should protect your toddler's teeth with a dental crown:
- Your toddler's baby teeth might not be permanent, but they help them learn how to chew food properly. Healthy teeth are also able to break-up food, making it easier to digest.
- Healthy, strong teeth help your toddler learn how to speak correctly.
- Your toddler's baby teeth act as a place holder for their permanent teeth, which are lying just under the surface in their gums. The baby teeth help ensure their jaw is in proper alignment when their adult teeth finally do erupt.
- Finally, having dental crowns placed in your toddler's mouth helps them learn about the importance of proper oral hygiene.
What Happens During this Procedure?
After speaking with your child's dentist, you are now in agreement that your little one requires one or several dental crowns. Your next question is probably: What will happen during the procedure? The process of fitting a dental crown can take at least two visits to the dentist, but it is well worth the effort.
Typically, during the first visit your child's dentist will take several X-rays of the tooth and the surrounding gums to determine the amount of decay. Next, the dentist will numb the tooth and the surrounding gum before carefully filing down the surface and the sides of the tooth. This will ensure there is enough room to accommodate the crown.
The dentist will then take impression of both your child's lower and upper teeth. The impressions are critical because they will be used to make exact casts that the crown's manufacturer will then use to fabricate the crown. Next, your dentist will fit a temporary crown over your toddler's tooth to protect it from bacteria and further decay.
This temporary crown will remain until the permanent crown is fabricated by the manufactured and mailed to your dentist. Once it arrives, the temporary crown is removed and the bonding agent that was used to adhere the temporary crown to the tooth will be dissolved. Finally, the dentist will isolate the affected tooth and cover it with the bonding agent before fitting the permanent crown.
How Can I Prepare My Toddler for the Crown Procedure?
If your toddler is nervous about visiting the dentist to undergo the procedure, there are several simple things you can do to prepare them. For example, make sure to schedule the appointment first thing in the morning. This will help ensure your child isn't cranky from hunger and the desperate need for a nap.
In addition, you can play pretend dentist. Set up a make-shift dental office in your home to reassure your toddler that the dentist isn't a scary place. Additionally, if your toddler has had issues staying calm in the past, you might want to discuss any sedation options with your dentist prior to the appointment.
Your toddler's teeth need to be cared for a protected, and this might unfortunately involve a dental crown. If you have any additional questions about the procedure, don't hesitate to contact your dentist at a place like the Pittsburgh Dental Spa.