Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless Steel Crowns

There may be a few reasons why we have advised a stainless crown. Your child may have decayed teeth, brittle/broken enamel and/or in some cases your child may not be cooperative enough to sit through a dental filling procedure.

Each case is unique. We will thoroughly explain your options to fix a baby tooth and explain any risks involved with ignoring the tooth.

What is a dental stainless steel crown?

Often with paediatric dental patients, we may advise for your child to have stainless steel crown(s) placed, as treatment for various dental conditions. Most often these conditions are concerned around dental decay within baby teeth, in which case a crown offers a complete coronal seal for the tooth and ultimately attempts to save the baby tooth from further complications. The crown placed is silver in appearance.

Do adults get stainless steel dental crowns?

A stainless crown is considered a temporary fix therefore commonly used for baby dentition. Adult teeth require crowns with stronger durability and longevity and are not advised stainless steel crowns. In some instances a child may be advised a stainless steel crown for a developing adult tooth, where the stainless steel crown is replaced with a permanent crown (e.g. porcelain crowns) when the teeth have matured.

Are dental stainless steel crowns painful?

There are alternative ways to place a stainless steel crown. In some circumstances the tooth requires ‘prepping’ and removal of tooth decay, in which case local anesthesia will be advised to avoid pain (a conventional crown). Alternatively, the condition of the tooth may be superficial and a crown may simply be placed over the tooth without the need for any prep or local anesthesia (a hall crown). You may not be advised both options from the dental practitioner as hall crowns are subject to the condition of a tooth. Mild localised tenderness around the gumline may occur after a crown placement.

How long does a dental stainless steel crown last?

Stainless steel crowns are made to last long enough to protect a baby tooth its entire lifespan. A child will sprout and lose teeth according to their own timeline and generally the stainless crown exfoliates with the tooth attached when the tooth is naturally ready to do so. It is important to keep up regular check-ups at the dentist to ensure these crowns are intact and sound as well as maintaining overall dental well-being.

What procedure is involved with placing a stainless steel crown?

A hall crown requires minimal intervention; at the first appointment two pieces of elastic bands will be placed to sit in between the affected tooth and the opposing teeth. At the second appointment the elastic bands are removed and the crown is cemented directly over the tooth. A conventional crown requires one appointment; local anesthesia is administered (i.e. via injection) to numb the tooth, the four walls and biting surface of the tooth are trimmed (i.e. drilled) and any decay involved is removed after which the crown is cemented.

More Frequently Asked Questions about Stainless Steel Crowns

  • What other options do I have for my child if I do not wish to go ahead with a stainless steel crown?
    Generally, an alternative to a stainless steel crown is a filling. Dental fillings are carried out to seal cavities or fractures within a tooth and require professional cleaning (i.e. drilling) around the affected region to engage a strong adhesive bond between the tooth and filling material. Due to this, dental fillings usually require local anaesthesia. The colour of the filling is white as opposed to a silver stainless steel crown.
  • Is my child going to be cooperative for a dental stainless steel crown?
    Your dental practitioner is highly skilled and will advise you the best option for your child. If your child is generally someone who is anxious a hall crown may be advisable however subject to the condition of the tooth, if the tooth requires a conventional crown and your child is not compliant it may be advised for you to seek a consultation with a paediatric dental specialist to consider dental treatment for you child under relative or general anaesthesia.