Pediatric Fillings and Crowns


For a small to medium sized area of decay (cavity), a filling is usually the restoration of choice. Generally there are two types of filling options, silver or tooth colored.  At Children’s Dental Care we always have a discussion with you about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of filling so you can make an informed decision on which type of filling you would like for your child based on personal preferences, what you value, and your child’s needs.

Silver Fillings 

The advantages of silver fillings include most closely mimicking the properties of teeth like hardness and response to hot and cold, being the most durable and longest lasting, having the least complications and need to be replaced due to recurrent decay, being the quickest and easiest to place, and being the most economical.  For these reasons silver fillings are a good choice for young children on back baby teeth that will eventually be lost, and for back permanent teeth that aren’t visible when smiling.  The main disadvantage of silver fillings is that they are not as esthetic, thus are not used on front teeth.

Tooth Colored Fillings

The advantages of tooth colored fillings include being durable and long-lasting, and being highly esthetic. For these reasons tooth colored fillings are an obvious choice for front permanent teeth and permanent tooth surfaces that are visible when smiling.  They are also a reasonable choice for fillings on back teeth. Compared to silver fillings the disadvantages of tooth colored fillings include complications a little more often-like cold-sensitivity, needing to be replaced a little more often due to recurrent decay, being a little more technique sensitive thus taking longer to place, and being more expensive.

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Stainless Steel Crowns

Pediatric Fillings and Crowns on a child's upper mouth

A stainless steel crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that fully covers the portion of the tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.  It is a hallmark restoration used by pediatric dentists, usually to treat a baby tooth that has a larger cavity, or to manage extensive decay where many baby teeth are affected.  In the case of a baby tooth that has a larger cavity, a crown that covers the whole tooth is much more stable than a large filling in a small tooth.  In the case of extensive decay, crowns cover the decayed teeth, thereby removing all decay and not allowing new decay to happen in prone teeth. Stainless steel crowns are considered a good restoration to save a primary tooth until the permanent tooth can erupt and take its place. Keeping the primary tooth if at all possible is very important. A primary tooth can be restored with a stainless steel crown during one appointment. A crowned tooth must be brushed and flossed just like other teeth.  

before and after Pediatric Fillings and Crowns

Occasionally stainless steel crowns are needed for children who experience a larger cavity in a permanent molar.  This treatment serves as a good interim restoration to protect the tooth until the child is older and can get a more long-term usually porcelain crown.  

In esthetic zones of the mouth stainless steel crowns are available that have a resin veneer on the front surface (NuSmiles).  

NuSmile pediatric crowns

NuSmile – The World’s Most Trusted Esthetic Pediatric Crown

  • State-of-the-art pre-veneered crowns. Made with the highest quality surgical grade materials, latest-generation proprietary processes, and proven durability since 1991.

  • Excellent form and function. Esthetic pediatric crowns that look natural and provide confidence for a child to smile again.

before and after NuSmile pediatric crowns