What are stainless steel crowns??

  • These are prefabricated crown forms that are adapted to individual teeth and cemented with a biocompatible luting agent . Hence, stainless steel crowns have become popular in rehabilitation of grossly lost tooth structure in primary young permanent teeth.
  • It was introduced as chrome-steel crown by Humphrey and Engel in 1950 ; with significantly improved crowns by Unitek in 1960s. A number of literature researches have been carried out and the results however were in favor that stainless steel crowns are superior to amalgam restorations for multi-surface cavities in primary molar teeth.
  • The following article will make an attempt to enlighten the indications, contraindications, composition,advantages, disadvantages, and techniques for use of stainless steel crowns.
Pre-formed Stainless Steel Crown Kit 

When are stainless steel crowns given??

  • Extensive caries
  • Extensive decalcification
  • Rampant caries
  • Recurrent caries
  • Following pulp therapy
  • Inherited or acquired enamel defects. Eg:- hypoplasia, amelogenesis imperfecta
  • Severe bruxism
  • As an intermediate restoration
  • As a part of space maintainers
  • In children with high caries rate
  • As an abutment teeth to prosthesis
  • In case of fractured young permanent teeth

When are stainless steel crowns not given??

  • Primary molars close to exfoliation
  • Molars with more than half the roots resorbed
  • Mobile teeth
  • Teeth that are not restorable
  • Patients with known nickel allergy

Why are stainless steel crowns used ??

  • Very durable and less prone to fracture
  • Cost effective and comfortable to the patient
  • Protects and supports the remaining tooth structure
  • Can be completed in a single appointment
  • No need for laboratory procedures
  • Less time consuming than cast restorations

Risks in the use of stainless steel crowns.

  • Significant amount of tooth structure is removed
  • Unaesthetic
  • Poor marginal adaptation may cause gingivitis
  • Gingival inflammation due to excess unremoved cement
  • Requires patient co-operation
  • Cannot be used in case of nickel allergy

How to use stainless steel crowns? (Procedure)

  • Select an appropriate size crown.
  • Local anesthesia and isolation.
  • Occlusal reduction of 1.0 - 1.5 mm.
  • Proximal reduction to establish 2 to 5 degree taper.
  • Reduce and round of all line angles.
  • Trial fit- Festooning
  • No more than 1 mm of crown should be sub-gingival; so trim the excess with scissors and smoothen the edges.
  • Cement with glass ionomer cement. Seat the lingual aspect first.
  • Allow to set. Remove the excess.
  • Polish the crown with acidulated phosphate fluoride prophylaxis paste.