Posterior Stainless Steel Crowns

Dental restorations can be widely classified into two major categories - Posterior restorations and Anterior Restorations. There are many other kinds of categories as well which may be sub-categorised below these two restorations such as Permanent or Temporary Restorations, based on the type of technique or the dental restorative method such as RCT, Pulpotomy, Pulpectomy or techniques such as Dental Implants, Dental Crowns, Dental Bridges or Dental fillings. But in essence, all of these sub-categories are primarily formed within Posterior or Anterior Restorations.

Posterior Restorations refer to the treatments and dental procedures or techniques that are done on the teeth that are inside the mouth and not apparently visible. These include the Molars and the premolars and sometimes the wisdom teeth as well. Anterior restorations refer to the restorations that are done on the front teeth that are visible when a patient smiles or talks. There are major differences in the procedures, restorative materials and the techniques that are used in both these categories as the requirement criteria differs.

Posterior Restorations in Children


In Pediatric Dentistry, treatment for caries and dental cavities is one of the most common routines. These are the two major procedures done on the posterior teeth for children between the ages 4 and 15. Primary teeth are vulnerable and can easily become infected when exposed to excessive bacteria and germs. These germs and bacteria settle down around the teeth when proper hygiene is not maintained and with excessive intake of sugary diets such as sweets and beverages. Due to the thin enamel on the primary teeth, they become excessively prone to early age caries and cavities.


Most children are not brought in for their dental needs and for fixing such issues as parents do not know the importance of primary teeth in the childs’ dental health. Primary teeth have a predominant role in ensuring that the secondary teeth or the permanent teeth are formed properly. Infact, there is a whole list of roles that primary teeth play in a childs’ dental health:

1. Mastication

The primary role of teeth is chewing up food and this is essential as kids learn how to chew and ingest solids in the first few years of life. Retaining a healthy set of primary teeth is essential for proper mastication and nutrition in kids.

2. Speech

Although most people are unaware of this, Primary teeth help children enunciate and provide proper speech as the child learns to talk more fluently in the early ages. Teeth provide shape and help the child to enunciate clearly and so, healthy primary teeth are essential.

3. Confidence

As a child grows older and enters school, a good and healthy set of primary teeth helps them build confidence and studies have noted that lack of teeth can infact affect their self confidence levels. Instead of letting a child miss a tooth, parents can choose to have a crown affixed.

4. Holding Space

It is a well known fact that primary teeth hold space for the secondary teeth to grow in place of the former when they exfoliate naturally. A lack of tooth can cause improper growth of permanent teeth often causing lack of shape and form.

Most children are seen without a tooth or two because parents choose to remove the teeth when they decay or get infected and do not opt for crowns. A dental crown can protect from complete extraction of teeth which may cause many disadvantages including the lack of shape when permanent teeth kick in. When a child comes down with early age caries or dental cavities, parents must immediately seek dental aid and opt for dental crowns so that the original teeth can be preserved and the natural functions of a teeth can be recovered using the crown.

Stainless Steel for Pediatric Restorations

Stainless steel has been in use for many years now and was first officially used in 1947. Soon after, many dental researchers and practitioners took up stainless steel crowns as the primary dental restoration material as it offered unmatched qualities at the time including strength, durability, cost effectiveness and reliability. This in turn marked the rise of stainless steel crowns in pediatric dentistry as stainless steel tooth crowns were most effective for children. There are many factors why Pediatric stainless steel crowns and stainless steel crowns for adults, especially for older adults were preferred over other dental materials such as:

1. Lack of Patient Cooperation

This is perhaps the biggest factor. Young children and older adults or special needs patients are the ideal candidates for stainless steel crowns. This can be attributed to the fact that these categories of patients often have low oral hygiene, do not cooperate in dental procedures and are also hard to provide dental care after a procedure is completed. Stainless steel crown tooth needs very less maintenance and can easily last upto 10 years or more without any supervision.

2. Durability

As we mentioned earlier, this type of restoration made from stainless steel can last a long time and is suitable for children who would need them only until their natural primary teeth exfoliate and secondary teeth come in. This means that stainless steel crowns often last longer than they are required in most children where the restoration is provided.

3. Prefabricated Stainless Steel Crowns

Another great advantage with stainless steel crowns is the fact that they come in a prefabricated manner, also referred to as preformed stainless steel crowns. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes providing dentists with quicker chair side restorative time. With just a few minutes of adjustment based on the patient's requirement, the crowns can easily be affixed and the patients are good to go!

4. Low Cost

Another important factor in Dental crown for kids and older adults is the cost factor. Because spending too much money on dental crowns makes no sense in children and older adults, stainless steel crowns are the best options as they cost very less and can be easily switched if they are broken or lost, which again is very common with both these kinds of patients. If the crown can be brought into the dentist's office, they can be recemented within no time or a new crown can be affixed just as easily. Since most medical health insurances do not cover dental crowns or the procedure especially when it comes to young kids and older adults, stainless steel crowns make a lot of sense.

5. Safe and Compatible

Stainless steel alloys contain nickel in majority and are safe to be used for children. Except for those who have nickel allergies, most children are not irritated or sensitive to the elements present in stainless steel crowns. They rarely cause any allergies or damage the soft tissue that is present in the gums. They also are very thin and therefore do not cause much wear and tear in the opposing teeth. Many studies have been done on patients with stainless steel crowns and the same has been in use for many years now with a high percentage of success rate, more than any other type of crown in medical history.

Posterior Restorations using Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are majorly used in posterior restorations as they provide high strength and durability which is required for posterior teeth. Since most of the biting force and load bearing is done by the posterior teeth, it makes sense to choose a strong dental crown such as stainless steel dental crown. Another important factor is appearance. Given all the benefits of stainless steel crowns, many patients may not prefer its metallic color which gives away the fact that a crown has been placed in the mouth. Even children these days do not want metallic restorations in the front as they look jarring. This is why stainless steel crown restorations are more popular for posterior teeth.


Posterior teeth are more prone to early age caries and cavities than anterior teeth. In most cases, children come in with infections in their molars or premolars and rarely ever in the front teeth. In such cases, the dentist can look into the extent of the infection and remove any infected part using either Pulpectomy or Pulpotomy procedure. In adults, an RCT may be done to remove the decay or the infected portion. Once the unhealthy portions are removed, a mold can be used to check the size of the crown that needs to be used.


Either a custom made crown using stainless steel can be developed which is mostly done in case of adults, or a preformed stainless steel crown can be used here. The size and the shape of the crown is selected and cemented using an appropriate luting agent. Post this, the patient is asked to bite down with full force to ensure proper fitment. Any additional adjustments will be made at this point of time. Once the fitment is perfect, the patient is now good to go.

Stainless steel crowns are also used as temporary crowns while the patient waits for a permanent crown to be made using other materials of choice such as Ceramic, Porcelain Fused to Metal, Zirconia etc. The same procedure that is stated above is followed and the patient can use the stainless steel tooth crown up until the permanent crown is prepared. The temporary crown is then removed and the permanent crown is cemented in its place. This is another useful application of stainless steel crowns in patients.


In conclusion, it is safe to say that the application of stainless steel crowns in the dental world, especially with pediatric dentistry is especially high. It is important to provide dental health measures to kids in order to protect their teeth until they naturally exfoliate. This can be done using Stainless steel crowns as they provide strength, durability and cost effectiveness all of which are important for posterior restorations in children and in older adults/special needs patients.