Stainless steel crowns are metal caps used by dental professionals to repair a decayed baby molar (back tooth) and prevent it decaying further.
They are made to fit the exact size and shape of a child’s molar, and are used to cap teeth with large or deep cavities.
Why use stainless steel crowns?
Stainless steel crowns are used as an alternative to silver and tooth-coloured fillings. These strong metal caps cover the entire tooth and are hard to lose or damage. They have a smooth polished surface which makes them easy to clean and most last four years or more.
Stainless steel crowns:
- may offer an alternative to removing a decayed tooth
- keep a space in your child’s mouth for a permanent tooth
- will fall out naturally when the baby tooth falls out
- contain only safe metals
- are simple to apply (similar to a regular filling).
What happens after the crown has been applied?
After the procedure:
- your child will need to be careful not to bite their numb lips and cheeks (until the local anaesthetic has worn off)
- your child may find that biting feels unusual but the feeling will return to normal in a few days
- your child’s gums may appear blue - this is due to the colour of the metal under the gum tissue
- it is important that your child brushes their teeth as usual, even if the gums start to bleed slightly
- avoid giving your child sticky foods which may move the crown out of place.
Will capping my child’s tooth prevent further tooth decay?
A stainless steel crown will not protect the rest of your child’s teeth from decay. It will protect only the tooth it covers from further decay. So making sure your child continues to take good care of their teeth is still important.
Parents and carers play an important role in teaching children to look after their teeth
You can help your child to maintain good oral health by:
- providing them with a healthy, nutritious, low-sugar diet
- ensuring they brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day
- regularly taking them to visit an oral health professional.