It’s been just about two years now since I sat front row in a lecture, completely captivated by the dentist who was speaking about minimally invasive dentistry for children. The speaker had such a passion for the subject, her eyes shiny and bright with enthusiasm. It turns out, I was just as enthusiastic listening to her, my ears hanging on to every bit of information she was providing, and my heart swelling with hope.
You see, it is absolutely no surprise that children don’t love getting dental cavities treated, and that is something that weighs on me emotionally. Yes, pediatric dentistry is my passion, and I would not want any other career, but at the end of the day I am still the person that makes some children cry and the person that some children fear. And although sometimes this is an unavoidable occurrence, I have always wondered… “Is there another way??”.
As I listened to Dr. Jeanette MacLean speak, I realized there was another way. Two years ago my eyes were in fact opened to other avenues of pediatric dentistry that were far less invasive if cavities were caught in the beginning stages (more on that later). These techniques include the use of Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF), Icon Resin Infiltration, and the Hall Crown Technique that I will discuss a little bit more today. These lesser invasive options are certainly not always the answer, but I am proud to be able to provide this alternative to traditional dental treatment when the situation is right for it.
The Hall Crown technique has been gaining popularity in pediatric dentistry in the last few years, yet is a technique that has actually been around for several decades. Learning a little more about this technique can help parents to become more informed regarding the benefits of this procedure as well as the correct indications for its use.
What Is The Hall Crown Technique?
The premise of the Hall Crown technique is placing a stainless steel crown over a baby molar that has a cavity. As opposed to a traditional stainless steel crown treatment, in the Hall Crown method, the child does not have to be anesthetized and little to no drilling is required.
How Is The Hall Crown Technique Effective If The Cavity Is Not Removed?
When caught early enough, sealing a cavity off from the oral environment oftentimes is enough to keep the cavity from growing. So while this treatment method does not remove the cavity, it attempts (and often times is successful at) to freeze the cavity in time so that it does not get bigger. If the cavity is not too large to begin with, and the treatment prevents the cavity from growing, a child can remain symptom free until the tooth falls out like normal.
When Is The Hall Crown Technique Not Effective?
If the cavity is too close to the nerve of the tooth (a large size cavity), or if the child is already experiencing symptoms with the cavity, then the Hall Crown technique will likely not be effective. Even for a small or medium sized cavity this technique is not 100% effective and does rely upon the patient/parent keeping the crown and gum tissue clean and free from plaque, bacteria, and food debris.
Has Research Shown The Hall Crown Technique To Be Successful?
Several studies have shown success rates of over 90% with using the Hall Crown Technique, with several studies showing it to be similar or more successful than the traditional stainless steel crown technique. Success has been shown to typically be dependent upon the depth of the decay as well as the oral home care and diet of the patient.
Where Can I Learn More About The Hall Crown Technique?
To learn more about the step by step procedure of the Hall Crown you can view this article or watch the video from Dr. Jeanette MacLean below.
While the Hall Crown Technique is not indicated for every patient, it is absolutely a great option to have, especially in children who are anxious or fearful. As it is critical to catch the cavity early on to utilize this method, regular visits to the dentist along with routine xrays are so important!
If you are in the Mission Viejo or Orange County area and would like a consultation regarding Hall Crown treatment, give our office a call at 949-951-0951, or schedule a visit online!
Dr. Mikaeya Kalantari has been a practicing pediatric dentist for over 7 years working in both the children's hospital setting and private practice. She has had a wealth of experience treating children of all ages, and medical conditions. When it comes to serving children, she feels the importance of communication between the dentist and parent can not be emphasized enough. Dr. Kalantari practices in her family owned dental office in Mission Viejo, California.