Baby (primary) teeth are placeholders for the adult teeth, ensuring the adult teeth fit and grow in where they belong while enabling the function of eating. When a primary tooth is decayed or damaged, it may be necessary to put a crown on the tooth to keep it in place until the adult tooth comes through. Depending on the location of the tooth, two types of crowns are available:
- Stainless steel. The back teeth need extra protection from chewing. Stainless steel crowns are stronger than tooth-colored crowns and normally last until the teeth naturally fall out.
- Esthetic. For most children, the front teeth can be covered with a tooth-colored crown. Options for tooth-colored crowns for the back teeth are available; however, may not have as long term success as with the stainless steel option.