Stainless steel crowns have long been the only option for children but a new innovation in crown technology provides durable, precise results that are natural in appearance.
Last year I received an email from a concerned parent, she asked some interesting questions about innovation in paediatric aethestic dentistry.
She wrote: “The dentist here has informed me that stainless steel is our only option. I have since contacted a number of paediatric dentists in the area and have been informed that stainless steel crowns are the only crown product available for children in Australia… While stainless steel crowns have obviously benefited dental practices since being introduced over sixty years ago, that paediatric dentistry has not seen the same advances as adult dentistry is a disservice to our children.”
What would have motivated a parent to email a dentist from across the country about stainless steel crowns?
Recent studies have shown that both parents and children have a preference towards tooth restorations that are natural in appearance. Some examples are:
- Children in age groups 5-8 and 9-12 preferred “natural” color tooth restorations €‹(Study: Children’s Selection of Posterior Restorative Materials, Fishman R, Guelmann M, Bimstein E. J Ped Dent. 31(1): 1-4, 2006€‹)
- Aesthetics is the chief concern of 87% of parents when restoring their child’s molars, followed in decreasing order by Cost, Toxicity and Durability. (Study: Parental Attitudes on Restorative Materials as Factors Influencing,€‹ Current Use in Pediatric Dentistry – Zimmerman JA, Feigal RJ, Till MJ, Hodges JS. €‹Ped Dent. 31(1): 63-70, 2009€‹)
In a world where Dr Google is only one click away, parents are more educated about their options for their children and the materials available must evolve to meet the expectations of a new generation of parents and patients.
But what practical options are available for aesthetic paediatric dentistry?
A new product is now available in Australia has allowed dentists to fulfill the wishes of parents with a practical solution. These are preformed Zirconia crowns.
Zirconia has been used as endodontic posts, implant abutments, and crown and bridge frameworks and now it is paediatric dentistry’s turn.
- Although stainless steel crowns are still used in certain circumstances; there are a several advantages of Zirconium Primary Crown, including:
- Lifelike aesthetics to rival custom labratory fabricacted crowns
- Proven durability in adult dentistry for more than 10 years
- Good alternative for patients sensitive to nickel
- Full coverage protection
- Minimal chair time
- Tooth reduction similar to SSC but they are more precise
- Can be autoclaved when required
As with many new technologies the Zirconium crowns do come at a higher cost but the results speak for themselves.