Indications for Full Coverage

Indications for full coverage of anterior teeth are:
  • Incisors with large interproximal lesions.
  • Incisors with hypoplastic defects.
  • Unaesthetic incisors due to discoloration.
  • Incisors that have undergone pulp therapy with significant loss of tooth structure.
  • Incisors with significant tooth loss due to trauma or caries.
  • Incisors with small carious lesions and with large areas of cervical discoloration.
ce379 fig01 lesions defects
ce379 fig02 lesions defects

The types of full coverage for anterior primary teeth currently available are:

  • Stainless steel crowns.
  • Open faced steel crowns.
  • Resin (composite) strip crowns.
  • Pre-veneered steel crowns.
  • Zirconia crowns.

Table 1 summarizes the properties and selection criteria of various full coverage techniques currently available to practitioners.

Table 1. Comparison of Full Coverage Techniques for Primary Teeth.
Restoration and
placement area
AestheticsDurabilityTime for
Stainless steel crowns.
(Posterior teeth)
PoorVery good.
Very retentive.
Wears well.
Aesthetics not
a concern.
Aesthetics not involved.
Severely decayed teeth.
Use when unable to control gingival hemorrhage or moisture and lessthan ideal patient cooperation.
Open faced stainless steelcrowns.
(Posterior and anterior teeth)
Metal shows through facing.
Crown retentive but facing may dislodge.
Two step process:
- Crown
- Composite
Severely decayed teeth.
Good durability and retention needed (bruxism, trauma prone child).
Parent concerned about aesthetics.
Resin (composite) strip crowns.(Anterior teeth)Very good.Requires adequate tooth structure for retention.
Easily fractured with trauma or traumatic occlusion.
Will vary with ability to isolate teeth and control moisture.
Most technique sensitive.
Aesthetics are of great concern.
Adequate tooth structure.
Patient not prone to trauma.
Patient cooperative.
Pre-veneered stainless steel crowns. (Posterior and anterior teeth)Good.Limited shades.Good.Crown retentive but facings may break.Moderate.
Longer than SSC due to more tooth reduction and adaptation.
Severely decayed teeth.
Good durability and retention needed.
Child is trauma prone or bruxes.
Parent concerned about aesthetics.
More expensive than other restorations.
Zirconia crowns.
(Posterior and anterior teeth)
Very goodRequires adequate tooth structure for retention.
Less prone to fracture than composite strip crowns.
Not as technique sensitiveas composite strip crowns.Aesthetics are a greatconcern.
Adequate tooth structure.
Patient cooperative.