Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crown restorations

Stainless steel crowns (SSCs), sometimes called chrome crowns or silver crowns are prefabricated crown forms that are adapted to individual teeth and cemented with a biocompatible cement. The SSC is extremely durable, relatively inexpensive, subject to minimal technique sensitivity during placement, and offers the advantage of full tooth coverage. SSCs have been indicated for the restoration of primary and permanent teeth with caries, cervical decalcification, and/or developmental defects (eg, hypoplasia, hypocalcification), when failure of other available restorative materials is likely (eg, interproximal caries {between the teeth} extending beyond line angles, patients with bruxism), following pulpotomy or pulpectomy, for restoring a primary tooth that is to be used as an abutment for a space maintainer, or for the intermediate restoration of fractured teeth.

In high caries-risk children, definitive treatment of primary teeth with SSCs is better over time than multisurface intracoronal restorations. Review of the literature comparing SSCs and Class II amalgams concluded that, for multisurface restorations in primary teeth, SSCs are superior to amalgams. SSCs have a success rate greater than that of amalgams in children under age.

The use of SSCs also should be considered in patients with increased caries risk whose cooperation is affected by age, behavior, or medical history. These patients often receive treatment under sedation or general anesthesia. For patients whose developmental or medical problems will not improve with age, SSCs are likely to last longer and possibly decrease the frequency for sedation or general anesthesia with its increased costs and its inherent risks.

SSCs can be indicated to restore anterior teeth in cases where multiple surfaces are carious, where there is incisal edge involvement, following pulp therapy, when hypoplasia is present, and when there is poor moisture control.85 Where esthetics are a concern, the facing can be removed and replaced with a resin-based composite (open-faced technique). Several brands of primary SSCs are available with preformed tooth-colored veneers. These veneered SSCs can be more difficult to adapt and are subject to fracture or loss of the facing.


1. Children at high risk exhibiting anterior tooth caries and/or molar caries may be treated with SSCs to protect the remaining at-risk tooth surfaces.

2. Children with extensive decay, large lesions, or multiple-surface lesions in primary molars should be treated with SSCs.

3. Strong consideration should be given to the use of SSCs in children who require general anesthesia.

**This material was adapted from the clinical guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry ( )





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