Baby Root Canals & Crowns
If your child gets a cavity, our pediatric dentist needs to fill it promptly to protect it, whether it's a baby tooth or a permanent one. However, our pediatric dentists may recommend placing a crown on the tooth instead of filling it in some instances.
When Do You Recommend Crowns for Kids?
We typically recommend a crown because the tooth is severely decayed or has suffered dental trauma in a way that leaves it vulnerable to decay or further damage. Some examples are:
- A tooth is so severely damaged or broken that a regular filling won't be enough to protect it.
- A tooth has suffered extreme decay, and there isn't enough structure left to fill.
- A tooth has had a root canal or "pulpotomy" to remove the nerve, and a crown is needed to prevent it from breaking.
How Does a Crown Benefit My Child?
A crown is simply a piece of porcelain material shaped like a tooth and fits over the top of the damaged tooth. You should be aware that a composite crown is not as strong as your child's natural tooth, so its strength and longevity depend on several factors. If your child bites down on something like hard candy, the force placed on the crown could cause it to break.
You also need to treat a child's dental crown just as you would a regular tooth and make sure it stays clean and healthy.
Process for Getting a Child's Crown
Preparing your child's tooth for a dental crown is similar to adults because we have to remove some tooth enamel to ensure that the prosthetic fits comfortably. To prepare the tooth for the crown, our pediatric dentist will start by gently numbing the tooth so your little one won't feel anything. The next step is to remove any decay and contour the tooth to make room for the new crown to fit perfectly.
However, unlike an adult crown that requires at least two visits, we can typically complete the entire process in one appointment at our Corona dental office. The final step is to bond the crown to the tooth using strong dental cement.
Baby Root Canal: What It Is and Why We Recommend It
A cavity located close to the nerve of a baby tooth can be very painful as the nerve becomes irritated. Because placing a filling or crown on the tooth won't heal the damage—and may even make the pain worse—our dentists must remove the damaged nerve first.
The treatment to remove a damaged nerve is called a pulpotomy or a baby root canal. Tooth extraction may be an option in this case, but we do not recommend it unless absolutely necessary.
A baby tooth that's lost too soon for any reason leaves an opening between teeth. This becomes a problem as neighboring teeth drift toward the opening and close the space where the permanent tooth will eventually emerge.
Preserving the baby tooth with a pulpotomy is the healthiest approach because it relieves your child's pain and prevents spacing and alignment issues that occur with premature tooth loss.
What Happens During a Pulpotomy?
First, we use strong local anesthetics and ensure that the area is numb and your child doesn't feel any pain. Next, Dr. Nguyen carefully removes the decay.
If he finds that removing the cavity exposes the nerve or the nerve has been damaged by the cavity, Dr. Nguyen takes out the infected portion of the nerve. After ensuring that the rest of the nerve is healthy, he places medication on the nerve to heal it.
After a root canal, a tooth becomes brittle, so we recommend placing a crown to support it and protect it from fracturing.
Call Our Pediatric Dentist in Corona, CA
If we recommend a crown or a baby root canal for your child, rest assured that our pediatric dentist will thoroughly explain why and how it benefits their long-term oral health. While it may seem a little intimidating to you as a parent, placing a child's dental crown is a straightforward process.
If you worry that your child will have difficulty with the procedure, please let us know. We offer safe nitrous oxide sedation for kids that will help them relax but won't cause any drowsy side effects.
Call All Smiles Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry today to schedule a convenient appointment.