Stainless steel crowns are silver in color and made out of stainless steel, just like silverware, making it very safe to use in the mouth. A crown, or cap, covers the entire visible portion of the tooth. Stainless steel is strong enough to hold up to the chewing and grinding forces of the back teeth even with teeth that are severely broken down. The crown is cemented underneath the gum line, which also protects the entire tooth from future decay. These crowns in the vast majority of cases will be able to be placed one time and last until the tooth is ready to come out naturally. When the baby tooth gets loose, the tooth and crown will come out together. Teeth with crowns do not harm the permanent teeth underneath, but can actually help by saving a baby tooth longer so that the teeth do not shift around because a baby tooth had to be extracted early. Crowns are the longest lasting restorative option for baby teeth, and many times can be faster to place than fillings. Because of that, crowns many times can be the treatment of choice for a child that is at a very high cavity risk or where cooperation may be a concern for future retreatment of failed restorations or new cavities.
Crowns are much stronger and harder to come off than fillings are, but it is still important to avoid eating very sticky/tacky candies which can pull a crown off. If a crown does come off, it is very important to call your dentist to have a new crown cemented as soon as possible.