Smile City Orthodontics

Space Maintainers

A space maintainer is an oral appliance to maintain space left behind by missing baby tooth. If a child looses a baby tooth prematurely due to decay, trauma, or extraction it is important to maintain the space for future teeth to erupt. If space is not maintained, teeth adjacent can shift into the missing tooth space and create lack of space for future permanent teeth. This can lead to permanent teeth come in crooked and in some cases, teeth can get impacted in the bone which can increase treatment complexity and cost. Hence, we will recommend a simple passive space maintainer in these cases.

What is the process to obtain a space maintainer?

The process of space maintainer is simple and easy. First, Dr. Jacob will evaluate your child’s teeth and determine if the missing tooth requires a space maintainer. The need for space maintainer is also based on your childs age and position of the permanent teeth which will be determined using our 3D X-rays. Using our 3D X-rays we will be able to exactly determine the position of the permanent teeth and need for type of space maintainer. If your child is recommended space maintainer, we will scan the teeth using our 3D scanner. The scans are sent to a digital lab that will create a custom fitted space maintainer that will hold the abutment teeth into place. The space maintainer will be cemented into place with minor adjustments.

What are the types of space maintainer?

There are two types 1) Removable and 2) Fixed spaced maintainer. We strongly recommend the fixed space maintainer as it requires less patient compliance thus effectively maintaining the space. They are also available in unilateral and bilateral space maintainer meaning they can maintain space on one or both sides of the mouth. During your consultation, Dr. Jacob will discuss different designs of space maintainers which can vary based on treatment needs.

How often do I see the Orthodontist?

Your child will return for dental check ups (once every 3 months). Depending on how early the tooth was lost and based on position of the permanent tooth, the space maintainer may be worn for a few years. When the permanent teeth erupts into the space that was maintained, Dr. Jacob will remove the space maintainer.

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