Why Would You Crown a Baby Tooth? 4 Reasons It Is Important to Save Baby Teeth

It's important to save baby teeth

Retaining primary teeth is important for oral health.

Has your Kearney dentist told you your child needs a dental crown? You may wonder, “Why do they crown baby teeth when they only fall out, anyway?” 

While the tooth and crown, are temporary, placing a crown on a baby tooth will help support your child’s long-term oral health.

When a child loses a primary tooth before it is ready to come out, other teeth will shift to fill in the gap. And when a baby tooth is missing, the permanent tooth doesn’t know where the exact spot to erupt to replace it. 

By preventing these concerns, dental crowns for baby teeth help preserve your child’s oral health.

Why do they crown baby teeth? 

A dental crown covers a damaged or decayed tooth to protect it. It restores the tooth’s size, shape, strength, and function. There are many reasons your child may need this restorative procedure, even for their baby teeth.

Teeth have three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. Enamel is the outermost layer. 

Primary teeth have a thinner layer of enamel than permanent teeth. As decay progresses through the enamel, it eventually reaches the second layer, dentin. Because this layer is softer than enamel, it decays faster and can extend to the innermost layer, the pulp.

A cavity is usually treated with a filling when caught early. When left untreated, the decay spreads to the pulp, leading to a tooth infection. An infection can cause severe discomfort for your child or even affect other teeth and parts of the body.

Once infected, the best treatment for a tooth is often a baby root canal and crown. This stops the spread of decay and restores the function of the tooth. 

What is a baby root canal?   

A baby root canal involves removing the infected pulp inside the baby tooth. The primary goal of this procedure is to preserve the tooth to prevent it from falling out, ensuring the permanent tooth comes in correctly. This procedure is also called a pulpectomy.  

Another option to treat an infected primary tooth is a pulpotomy. This differs from a pulpectomy because only a portion of the pulp is removed. Both procedures save the baby tooth.

After the procedure, a crown will be placed to protect the fragile tooth. Crowns for front teeth are generally tooth-colored, while silver crowns are commonly used for back teeth.

Why it is important to save baby teeth. 

Even though you may brush and floss your child’s teeth, tooth decay is still possible. Many children experience their first cavity before their fifth birthday! 

While you might think losing a baby tooth early is no big deal, it’s better to save the tooth for several reasons. 

1. Missing teeth prevent permanent teeth from growing in properly.

When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, it leaves an open space. Nearby teeth shift to fill in the gap. These subtle shifts can prevent permanent teeth from coming in correctly and require orthodontic treatment in the future.

2. Baby teeth help with speech development.

The teeth, tongue, and lips work together to manipulate air to form words. When they have all of their baby teeth, it’s easier for children to pronounce words correctly. 

Early tooth loss can set back speech development, causing articulation delays that impact a child’s daily life and self-confidence.

3. Primary teeth help with the digestion process.

Your child may have trouble chewing without healthy baby teeth. They might find it difficult to eat certain foods, or they might swallow larger pieces of food that are harder to digest.

4. Removing baby teeth can frighten your child. 

Severely decayed teeth may need to be removed by the dentist. Pediatric dentists do everything possible to make children feel at ease. However, these procedures can be uncomfortable and frightening for children, even with sedation and an understanding dentist. 

Cavity Prevention for Baby Teeth 

Brushing is the best defense against cavities at any age. It removes plaque and food particles before they can damage teeth. Using a soft-bristled brush twice daily for two minutes is crucial in preventing cavities.  


Placing a dental sealant offers an additional layer of protection for primary teeth. This material forms a thin covering over the tooth to help prevent decay. It protects areas difficult to reach with a toothbrush, like the tiny grooves on the chewing surface. 

Six-Month Checkups 

Brushing, flossing, and sealants can only take your child’s teeth so far in the fight against tooth decay. Routinely visiting a pediatric dentist allows the dentist to detect cavities early and may prevent the need for a baby root canal and crown. 

Dentistry for Children in Kearney 

We want you and your child to feel comfortable at Pediatric Dental Specialists. We’ll care for your child’s unique oral health and help you understand “Why do they crown baby teeth?” Our services include sedation dentistry and accommodations for patients with special needs, including pre-procedure visits to meet the dentist. Contact us today to become a member of our dental family.