Stainless steel crowns are the treatment choice when a primary molar (back tooth) has two or more decayed surfaces. They have been used over 50 years to save teeth that otherwise would be lost or when other treatments would fail. One of the strongest and most durable services in dentistry, they last longer than fillings. Despite many advances in pediatric dentistry, there still is not a better treatment for primary teeth with larger cavities, or a crown that is the color of a tooth instead of silver. It is commonly misunderstood that a large filling would be much better for a baby tooth than a crown. However, both scientific research published in peer reviewed journals and practical clinical research show that stainless steel crowns used on baby teeth with significant decay are three times as successful as using tooth colored fillings. Further, the AADP practice guidelines cite potential for tooth fracture, postoperative sensitivity, nerve sensitivity, and abscess as potential outcomes for the use of fillings in primary teeth with substantial decay and only recommend a full coverage crown for a successful restoration. If you have questions about the use of stainless steel crowns please talk to your pediatric dentist. They will be happy to discuss your child's specific situation and why a stainless steel crown has been recommended.