When the baby teeth have large cavities or are decayed in areas which will not hold fillings, stainless steel crowns provide an excellent solution. The decay is removed and the tooth is slightly reduced. A crown is then carefully shaped to fit snugly over the tooth. The crown is filled with a special dental cement that helps hold the crown in position. Stainless steel crowns have many advantages over large fillings:
- Unlike fillings, a stainless steel crown is virtually unbreakable and therefore will usually last as long as the tooth. In some cases, this cab be until your child is 13 years old.
- Since the crown completely covers the tooth, there is no part of the tooth left exposed to future decay. In other words, a stainless steel crown is a one-time procedure for the tooth.
The tissue around the crown just placed may be tender when the anesthetic wears off. If necessary, tylenol, or another non-aspirin product may be used. Discolored saliva is quite normal for a period of several hours.
For several days, you may see a grayish-white appearance of the tissue around the crown. We suggest light brushing during this time.
Immediately after a crown is placed the area may be slightly tender, please use a soft diet, such as milk shakes, pudding, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, and apple sauce. Resume a normal diet the following day. Thank You.
Stainless steel crowns require no special care with the exception of the need to avoid sticky foods. This includes chewing gum, bubble gum, caramels, taffy, tootsie rolls, fruity chews and fruit roll-ups. These foods can possibly dislodge the crown. It is rare for a crown to become uncemented, but should this happen, the crown should be saved and you should contact Dr. Girdlestone's office as soon as possible.
Caution Please Following a Dental Procedure:
Your child received local injection of "novacaine" for dental treatment. This makes the lips and cheeks numb on the side it was used. Children who do not always understand the effects of a local anesthetic sometimes may suck or chew on the numb lip or cheek, thereby causing laceration of the tissue. Although this is not a serious thing, it is uncomfortable and we ask that you please watch the child very closely for approximately two hours following the appointment.