Stainless Steel Crowns Primarily for Children
Stainless Steel Crowns used on Baby Molars
A stainless steel crown (SSC) becomes necessary when a badly decayed or broken baby tooth needs repair. SSC’s are preformed and designed specifically for each back tooth, right and left, and in many sizes. They will perform successfully in the mouth for many years on baby teeth until they exfoliate and are replaced by the permanent tooth. A stainless steel crown may be used to restore a permanent molar tooth until the patient is 17 years old and can have an adult crown of gold or porcelain which will last many years or even a life-time. The stainless steel crown is an extremely reliable restoration.
Any tooth which can be properly restored by bonding in a filling with minimal tooth reduction should not be restored with a stainless steel crown. Only those with significant decay or loss of tooth structure require an SSC. This type of crown is placed in one dental appointment. They are only used on the back teeth since now there are more esthetic acrylic crowns for the front teeth.
However, there are some that believe that the stainless steel crown is the most conservative treatment due to the replacement filling which might be required should the patient have recurrent decay. A stainless steel crown rarely has to be replaced.
This may be controversial, but the need for a stainless steel crown on a child is often caused by a well-meaning parent who allows too much sugar, extends the bottle habit too long, and does not clean the child’s teeth on a daily basis. Certainly the child does not understand this. Decaying of teeth is not inherited, only malaligned teeth are. The environment is often the same, however.
Sometimes a stainless steel crown is utilized as temporary crown for a few weeks while the permanent one is being fabricated.
A baby tooth which has been treated with a stainless steel crown exfoliates normally after its roots resorb and the permanent tooth will erupt in its place. If the permanent tooth below is congenitally missing, the roots of the baby tooth do not resorb and the tooth is kept and utilized as a space maintainer.
American Dental Association-Life Member, Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Implant Dentistry