Children's primary and permanent teeth sometimes need restoration. There are several reasons this might be needed:
Also, remember that tooth decay is an infection. If a primary tooth is decaying, this infection may also spread to other teeth, including adult teeth that are developing or already in the mouth. Infection can also affect the child's general health.
A primary tooth can be restored with a filling or a crown. Which one is used depends on how much of the tooth is still healthy.
Primary teeth are more likely than permanent teeth to need a crown if they have a lot of decay. That's partly because primary teeth are smaller. They also have thinner layers of enamel (the outer surface) and dentin (the layer beneath enamel). Large fillings in primary teeth tend not to last as long as crowns. Stainless steel crowns are the crowns of choice for primary teeth.
A primary tooth with a filling or crown will still fall out when it is time for the permanent tooth to come in.
Until the early teens, a permanent back tooth that needs a crown typically is covered with a prefabricated stainless steel crown. Some dentists also are now using zirconia crowns (which are tooth colored). Either of these types of crowns can be placed in a single visit. Adult crowns usually require two visits.