A stainless steel crown may be placed on a child’s adult tooth if the tooth has not yet fully erupted in order to protect it. Long term, an adult crown will be required but before this can be placed it is important that the child’s teeth have stopped growing so the margin (base) of the crown can be placed in the correct place. This is particularly important, as you can imagine, in visible areas of the mouth. Acrylic or 'Directa' crowns are temporary white crowns that can be placed in teeth at the front of the child's mouth. Sometimes simply bonding in white composite filling
material will do as a temporary measure.
Placing a crown
(or a veneer
incidentally) during a growing phrase, will mean the margins, instead of sitting at the gum, will move up as the tooth continues to erupt and the aesthetics will be compromised after just a short period of time. It is for this reason, that cosmetic fixed dentistry – such as veneers, crowns and implants should not be done until teeth maturity, generally at about 17/18 years of age.
When the tooth is fully erupted there is also more height and therefore more retention for placing the adult crown- meaning a better longer lasting crown and the older they get, the more tolerable of longer treatment they tend to become.