Space maintainers are beneficial appliances that save your child’s smile if they have lost a baby tooth prematurely. Although not every child needs a space maintainer if they lose a tooth, it is wise to consult with the dentist and decide if this is the best option for your child’s smile.
Space maintainers are small, successful appliances that fill the space that your child’s baby tooth left behind. These appliances are generally needed to keep the space open so the permanent tooth can properly grow into place. If you do not fill the space with a maintainer, there is a high chance that the remaining teeth will gradually move together and close the empty space. If this happens, the permanent tooth will not have room to grow in. The permanent teeth that lie under the remaining teeth can also have the urge to grow into that space without permission. If this happens, the proper adult tooth will not have a place to grow into. It can also cause additional gaps in the mouth once the other teeth fall out.
There are many space maintainers available in the dental and orthodontic world today, and they are usually made of stainless steel or plastic. There are also fixed and removable maintainers. A removable maintainer is often used for the front teeth of the smile and it not only keeps the space open, but it also fills the space with an artificial tooth or plastic block. A fixed maintainer is cemented to one of the two teeth that lie on both sides of the empty space in the smile. The maintainer has a wired loop connected to the side, which successfully fills the space and keeps the two teeth from coming together.
Call our office today if you would like to know more about space maintainers and if they are best choice for your child’s smile. We look forward to teaching you more about this beneficial appliance!