Pediatric zirconia crowns were first introduced in 2010 and are aesthetic dental crowns that can be used for children in place of the traditional stainless steel crown. Unlike stainless steel crowns, zirconia crowns are ceramic crowns with a natural appearance. Because of this, zirconia crowns are often used to restore tooth decay in the front teeth. They have been successfully used on adults for years and offer the following benefits: 

zirconia crown on a black background
  • Aesthetics
  • Durability
  • Biocompatibility
  • Cause less wear on opposing teeth
  • Cause less gum irritation

Did You Know?

In 2013, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry did a study that found the number of cosmetic dental services was steadily increasing each year. As a result, pediatric dentistry has also started to offer more aesthetic restoration options. 

before and after dental crowns

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is a zirconia crown right for my child?

Your child may need to have a dental crown placed if they have a significant amount of tooth decay that cannot be safely restored with a dental filling. If your child is in need of a dental crown, then a zirconia crown may be right for them if they have a metal allergy or if you simply prefer their smile to have a natural appearance. However, zirconia crowns may not be an ideal option if your child has severe crowding in their mouth or if there is little remaining tooth structure. 

To find out if zirconia crowns are the best dental crown for your child, schedule a consultation with your San Antonio pediatric dental office today. 

What can my child expect when having a zirconia crown placed?

In order to place a dental crown, you can expect that your child will likely require dental sedation to keep them calm and still during the procedure. They will also receive dental anesthetics to ensure they don’t feel any pain or discomfort while having their dental crown placed. 

Cartoon of a tooth being prepared for a dental crown

The first step to placing any dental crown is to remove any decayed tissue. Your child’s dentist will use a dental drill to remove decayed tissue, as well as to reshape the remaining healthy tissue. When having a crown placed, the tooth will need to be reduced in size so that the crown can be placed on top without looking bulky or causing problems with the bite. 

After the tooth has been prepared, the next step is to determine the correct size of dental crown. Pediatric dental crowns, whether made from stainless steel or zirconia, are pre made into a range of sizes per tooth. In the case of zirconia crowns, the crown itself cannot be altered in size, meaning the tooth will need to be adjusted. Your child’s dentist will slip on a few sizes to determine the best fit. In some cases, additional tooth reduction may be needed to achieve a secure fit. Once the proper-fitting crown has been determined, it will be permanently adhered to the surface of the tooth. 

How do I help my child after having a zirconia crown placed?

After your child has a crown placed, they may experience some soreness while their mouth adjusts to the restoration. You can manage this with over the counter pain medications if needed. Until their mouth has adjusted, it is advised to provide them with a temporary soft foods diet to avoid further irritation. Within a few days, they should be able to return to their usual diet. 

 Depending on the level of dental sedation used during the procedure, your child may also experience some residual sleepiness the day of their procedure. This is normal and should fade in a matter of hours or by the next day. If deep sedation was used, you will want to monitor them closely throughout the day. 

Finally, to care for your child’s dental crown it is important to encourage them to practice good oral hygiene. They should brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes and floss once a day. Make sure they are also brushing and flossing around the crown. Additionally, be sure to bring them into your San Antonio pediatric dental office for their semi-annual checkup and cleaning. These habits will keep the crown in good condition and prevent future decay from occurring.