White zirconia dental crowns are a stainless steel crown alternative for children. The white zirconia dental crown is a metal-free esthetic crown that is certified biocompatible, extremely esthetic, and is the most durable material used in dentistry today. Although zirconia resembles the traditional porcelain dental crowns that have been used for years, zirconia is more durable. Pediatric dentist, Dr. Paul I Rubin, at Frisco Kid’s Dentistry recommends zirconia dental crowns (caps) for primary (baby) teeth in children who require a more reliable, stronger dental crown.
White Zirconia Dental Crowns for Restoring Children’s Teeth
Fortunately, advances in this innovative technology with ceramics produced an alternative to the stainless steel crown. These crowns are options for use in restoring primary teeth which are chipped, damaged, or broken, are not developing properly, or with areas of decay too large to fill without the risk of breaking a tooth. Extensively decayed primary teeth can often cause great concern for patients and parents, especially when anterior (front) teeth are affected. In the past, dentists often treated extensively decayed primary teeth with extraction, however, with new innovations, such as the zirconia crowns, they can now focus on aesthetic restoration of the damaged teeth as the main course of treatment.
The Progression to Zirconia White Dental Crowns for Children
Restorative dentistry used to consist primarily of placing stainless steel crowns or bands on the decayed or damaged tooth. These crowns were typically utilized for posterior (back) teeth and were for functional, not aesthetic, purposes.
With the dental advances made in the last 20 years, adult aesthetic dental restoration has been on the rise and preferred, in many cases, over other available methods. This interest in aesthetic dental restoration naturally carried over into pediatric dentistry, and in 2010, primary zirconia crowns became available for children.
What is Zirconia?
Zirconia is a biocompatible material which has been used in high-end cosmetic dentistry for over 15 years in adult procedures, such as:
- Implant abutments
- Endodontic posts
Due to its high durability, zirconia has been utilized in hip replacement surgeries for decades. Recognizing the growing need for pediatric aesthetic dental restoration, zirconia was specifically designed for pediatric dental patients.
Common Crown Options in Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dental crowns are generally used when treating severe dental caries (cavities). Several crown options are available should your child need dental restorative care, including:
- Stainless steel crowns (also called silver crowns): These strong, durable crowns are commonly used when aesthetics are not a concern, such as molars that are out of sight.
- Pre-veneered stainless steel crowns: Stainless steel crowns can have a white facing adhered to the metal surface that makes teeth look more natural. Pre-veneered crowns are typically used on teeth which show more prominently, however, the stainless steel can sometimes show through, especially near the gum line.
- Bonded resin composite strip crowns: One of the more aesthetic, natural-looking crowns available, these crowns are made of a composite resin material. They can be difficult to place on the damaged teeth due to the length of time required to perform the technique, especially on small children. Resin crowns may also discolor over time and are not as strong as other options.
- EZ-Pedo All Ceramic Zirconia Crowns: These are prefabricated, ceramic crowns designed specifically for children and made of zirconia (zirconium dioxide). They are extremely natural-looking dental crowns which are aesthetically pleasing from all sides. White zirconia dental crowns are composed of one solid tooth glazed with natural color and are exceptionally durable.
Using Zirconia Crowns to Restore Teeth
Zirconia crowns are aesthetically one of the best dental restorative options available, as they seamlessly blend in with your child’s other teeth. Because they are constructed of a solid monolithic zirconia ceramic, they do not chip, discolor, or breakdown over time.
The zirconia crown kits contain various pre-made crowns in different sizes. After preparing a tooth to receive a crown, your dentist will select the appropriate size crown, which is then passively placed on the tooth and cemented in place. Zirconia crowns are typically cemented in place with:
- Resin cement
- Resin-modified glass ionomer (RMGI) cement
- Bioactive RMGI cement
Because zirconia crowns are pre-made, they can be fitted and placed on the patient during one visit, rather than using a temporary crown until the permanent one is made, and then returning at a later date for placement. Zirconia crowns also require no dental impressions and are not technique sensitive, making the experience more comfortable for the child.
Benefits of white zirconia dental crowns include:
- Aesthetically superior
- Highly durable
- Resistant to plaque, accumulation, and decay
- Performed in a single office visit
Zirconia crowns can be used in most cases in which a crown is recommended. Cases not recommended for zirconia crowns include those involving:
- Significant crowding
- Little tooth structure remaining
- Space loss
- Patients with heavy bruxism (teeth grinding)
Finding out that your child needs a crown due to dental decay, dental developmental problems, or damage can be a time of unease. With many options available for restoring your child’s teeth, the task can seem overwhelming. Dr. Rubin recommends using EZ-Pedo white metal-free aesthetic crowns. Choosing these state-of-the-art zirconia crowns will set your mind at ease knowing that your child’s smile will look healthy and natural, while raising your child’s confidence and self-esteem.