What are silver teeth? Silver teeth are a type of dental crown that is used to replace missing or damaged teeth. They are made of stainless steel metal, which gives them their distinctive silver color. Silver teeth are often used for kids, but how come? In this post, we will discuss the benefits of silver teeth, what they are, and why they are often a common option for children.
What are Silver Teeth?
Silver teeth are what dentists call prefabricated dental crowns. A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that covers the entire tooth above the gum line in order to protect and strengthen the tooth. It is most commonly used to restore a tooth that has been severely damaged by decay or trauma and a filling is not possible.
Prefabricated crowns are crowns that are mass-produced in advance and can be fitted onto the tooth without having to be custom-made for each individual patient. Typically, there are many different sizes and shapes of prefabricated crowns available to choose from. Your dentist will select the size and shape that best fits your tooth.
While crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, and gold, prefabricated silver teeth are given their color by the stainless steel metal that they are made of. These are one of the older forms of dental crowns available.
Why Do Dentists Often Offer Silver Teeth for Kids?
There are a few reasons why silver teeth are often used for kids. The biggest reason is that prefabricated silver teeth are much less expensive than other types of dental crowns. The fact that they are prefabricated means that the cost to manufacture them is much lower than if they were custom-made. This also makes it possible to put them in during a single visit rather than multiple. Additionally, the material that they are made of, stainless steel, is also less expensive than other materials such as porcelain or gold.
Because children’s teeth, also known as primary teeth, are still growing and changing, silver teeth are often used because they are likely to need to be replaced as the child’s mouth grows anyways. Primary teeth naturally fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, so it is not uncommon for kids who have silver teeth to grow out of them when the tooth falls out. They’ll then be replaced by their brand-new adult teeth.
In cases like these, silver teeth are often a more affordable option for parents since they know that the dental crown will likely only need to be in place for a few years anyways. The main disadvantage of silver teeth is that they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of dental crowns.
Silver teeth are also an option for adults, however, they are not as common.
Silver Teeth vs Filling vs Doing Nothing
Many parents are often worried about what to do when their child’s tooth gets a cavity, also known as a dental carry. Ideally, taking preventative measures is the number one thing that parents should encourage their kids to do to help decrease the likelihood of costly procedures down the road. This includes:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flouride helps to remineralize your teeth and prevent cavities. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including near the gum line, and pay attention to your back teeth. These are the most commonly missed spots
- Floss ATLEAST every day (But recommended twice a day). Flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, helping to prevent cavities. Make sure to floss following the curve of your tooth, hugging its surface and going under the gumline.
If a child’s tooth gets a cavity, there are three main options that parents believe they can choose: a silver tooth, a filling, or doing nothing. One of those options is a bad idea, which we will discuss in more detail below.
Many parents believe that doing nothing during this scenario is a good option since their kid’s teeth will fall out anyways. However, this is a very bad option if the cavity has already reached the dentin part of the tooth. When it comes these types of cavities, they will only get worse over time. The decay will spread and the tooth will become more and more damaged and painful. Eventually, the tooth may even fall out.
Children’s teeth are vital for their development. They are used for eating, speaking, and smiling. Additionally, primary teeth help to guide the permanent teeth into place. If a child loses a tooth too early, it can cause problems with the development of their permanent teeth. Additionally, losing a tooth can also affect a child’s confidence and self-esteem.
So, doing nothing is not an option if the cavity has reached the dentin part of the tooth.
The next option is to get a filling. A filling is when the dentist removes the decay from the tooth and then fills the space with a material, often times made of metal, porcelain, or resin. Fillings are a great option because they can help to restore the function and strength of the tooth. On top of the cost of a dental filling is less than the cost of a dental crown they are often less noticeable than crowns which is an added bonus.
Fillings are used when the cavity is small which is why it is important to catch cavities early on. The earlier a cavity is caught, the less damage it will do to the tooth.
If a child has a large cavity, a filling may not be the best option. In these cases, a silver tooth or dental crown may be necessary.
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No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.