Sometimes even baby teeth can experience extensive decay. When this happens, the tooth can often be saved by using a crown. Crowns in young children are not permanent. When the permanent tooth is ready to erupt then the stainless steel crown will fall out and the permanent tooth will take its place. A crown for a young child will cover and protect what is left of a badly decayed tooth that is now holding the crown. In many cases this will give a child a tooth to eat with until they are old enough to have their permanent tooth erupt.
In permanent teeth, crowns can be used to protect teeth when they become cracked or chipped, have gone through a root canal, show signs of decay, or are noticeably discolored. Crowns can be tooth-colored, which are ideal for teeth in the front of the mouth that will be seen when smiling. For molars that do a lot of chewing and grinding, a stainless steel crown may work better.