One of the most precious things you will ever see in your life is your child’s innocent smile. When a child smiles, it starts from their heart, reflects in their eyes, and blooms on their face in a wide, toothy grin. To save their beautiful smile, parents must teach their kids to brush and clean their mouth thoroughly. You should help your little one follow an ideal dental and oral care routine.
Many children sip on liquid foods like milk or juice all day long and may fuss or refuse to brush their teeth and wash their mouths after meals, leading to tooth decay and cavities. While it may be surprising to hear from your pediatric dentist that your child has cavities, it’s nothing to worry about.
According to a study by The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42% of children between the ages of 2 to 11 were found to have incidences of dental caries or tooth decay. This shows that decay and dental cavities are more common among children than many parents believe. And for the same reason, kids’ dentists in Dubai and across the globe are ready with several treatment options to combat this issue.
In this blog, we will be discussing two of them- the white crowns and stainless steel crowns- to help you make an informed decision when choosing a treatment option for your child.
Why treat cavities in children?
More often than not parents wonder why their children should get treated for cavities, especially if the decay is on their primary or milk teeth. While primary font teeth start falling out around the age of 6, the back teeth or molars fall between the ages of 10-12 years of age. This means they have an essential role in a child’s overall health and oral development. These first teeth serve so many purposes for a child. Studies show that milk teeth play a key role in speech development and maintaining good nutrition by allowing your child to chew properly. Baby teeth also function as a placeholder for permanent teeth, creating a pathway for the new teeth to erupt when milk teeth fall off. So if a child loses his or her milk teeth prematurely due to cavities and tooth decay, it can lead to pain, nutritional deficiencies, delayed speech development, dental misalignments and bite issues which will require braces at a later age. Furthermore, the child will miss the tooth they use for chewing and grinding foods they enjoy.
For smaller cavities, pediatric dentists usually recommend a simple filing procedure. Here, the cavities are cleaned to remove plaque buildup and then filled using a composite filling and then sealed off closed using a dental sealant. In case the decay has progressed significantly, it is necessary to place a crown over it to protect it from further decay, breakage and eventual tooth loss. A crown is a small tooth-shaped cap that is placed over the decayed tooth, covering the area of the teeth and holding its place. In young children, the crown placed over their milk tooth will stay on until it’s ready to fall off by itself.
Two common crowns are used in pediatric dentistry. Here is what you need to know about them-
- Stainless steel crowns
Stainless steel crowns are one of the most common types of crowns used by pediatric dentists in Dubai. They have a shiny silver sheen and are very strong and durable as they are made of stainless steel alloy. These crowns are usually used in areas that are less visible as they are not aesthetically pleasing. Although they are more cost-effective in comparison to other types of crowns, stainless steel crowns are more prone to plaque build up and will require extra care while brushing.
Stainless steel crowns are pre-designed and are fitted onto your child’s tooth after removing decay and some much of the enamel. As they come in ready made boxes, your pediatric dentist will fit one right after your child receives a root canal in the same appointment. This procedure is so much simpler and quicker than fitting a crown for an adult tooth. Children are sedated gently using laughing gas or nitrous sedation by an experienced pediatric dentist before undergoing this fairly easy and quick procedure.
- Zirconia crowns
Zirconia crowns are prefabricated crowns made of a biocompatible material which is zirconiumzirconial. It is a tooth-colored material that is hypoallergenic and impermeable to staining. The look and feel of zirconia crowns are very similar to that of natural teeth, making them seamlessly blend with the surrounding teeth when placed in your child’s mouth.
Zirconia crowns do not stain, chip or break and provide a natural look to your child’s smile. If you or your child feels awkward or feels conscious about how they look with dental crowns, zirconia crowns are the way to go. Prefabricated Zirconia crowns are easy to fix and are not bulky, giving more space to fit back to back crowns if needed. With that said, do note that they cost more than stainless steel crowns.
Stainless steel or Zirconia crowns: Which option is right for your child?
The choice of crown for treating your child’s tooth decay is more or less dependent on you and your child’s requirements, preferences, and treatment budget. If the decay is on a less visible tooth where aesthetics doesn’t come to play, then stainless steel crowns are a viable choice. On the other hand, if your child has tooth decay that is easily visible when he or she smiles or if they are conscious about how they look with the crowns, Zirconia crowns are the best choice. Talk to your kid’s dentist in Dubai to know more about the treatment and its outcomes for making the right choice.
Cavities are common in children and parents tend to overlook them if it’s affecting their baby teeth. As discussed in the blog, your child’s dental health and well-being is largely dependent on their milk teeth, which is why they should be well cared for. So if your kid’s dentist recommends getting cavity treatment for your little one’s milk teeth, do not hesitate to get it done. A small step today to treat and prevent dental caries in children can go a long way to ensure proper oral development and keep away other dental issues as they grow up.
For more information on pediatric dental care, book your appointment with Dr Yasmin Kottait, one of the best dentists for kids in Dubai.