When a primary tooth is damaged, from decay or trauma, the nerve can become affected. Primary teeth are important for speech, space maintenance and function. If the nerve of a primary tooth is affected, we take all or part of the nerve out and the tooth can remain in place without becoming infected until it is ready to fall out naturally.
When a baby tooth has been affected by decay on many surfaces, a filling restoration is not adequate to keep the tooth from breaking prematurely. A stainless steel crown can be placed on the baby tooth to reinforce and protect it until the permanent tooth is ready to come in. The stainless steel crown is fitted and cemented in the same appointment and does not need to be fabricated by a lab like a crown on an a permanent tooth would be.
If a primary tooth is lost prematurely, the space can close leaving the permanent tooth impacted in the bone due to lack of space for eruption into the arch. This situation will cause a very complicated orthodontic problem in the future. In the above picture, you can see a space maintainer placed at Bosma Dental after a primary tooth had to be extracted early. The space maintainer is now ready to be removed as the permanent tooth has erupted into the arch with plenty of space.