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Space Maintainers


Even though your kid will use milk teeth for chewing, they have an additional, very vital function. As you may be aware, milk teeth offer critical direction for permanent teeth. Therefore, when a milk tooth comes out pre-maturely, the permanent tooth may shift, and finally erupt in the incorrect position. Apart from this, neighbouring teeth may drift into the space and avert the exact tooth from erupting into position.

Why Space Maintainers?

There are many reasons why milk teeth may come out pre-maturely. This includes physical injury as well as severe erosion. In some cases, milk teeth missing may never have evolved. In each of these circumstances, space maintainers can be installed to guarantee that optimal gap exists for permanent teeth to erupt.

Patient Concerns

Depending on the position of the tooth, you need not worry about needing a space maintainer. For example, if the four incisors erupt pre-maturely, the gap will stay open on its own accord. If a kid requires a space retainer, proper oral hygiene is vital. In majority of the cases, our dentist will also suggest avoiding chewing gum and candy bars. Our dentist will also need to examine the space maintainer semi-annually. Unluckily, without observation, gum tissue may nurture over the maintainer, and lead to a higher risk of infection.


Space maintainers are typically manufactured from stainless steel or plastic. Some are removable, while others will be glued to the mouth. Semi-permanent space maintainers will appear much like a typical retainer. It may also have false teeth to plug in the gaps. Normally, this type of space maintainer is installed for the sake of look as well as to permit permanent teeth to erupt. Unfortunately, your kid may not qualify to have a semi-permanent retainer if he/she does not follow instructions precisely.

If your kid requires a permanent space maintainer, a metallic band will be installed around teeth neighboring the gap that is desired to remain open. Our dentist will then take an impression of the teeth in a bid to model the space maintainer. From there, the metallic band and the models will be shipped to a laboratory, where the retainer will be created. Once our dentist gets the space maintainer, he/she will glue it to the kid's mouth.

Types of Space Maintainers are as listed below:

  • Band-and-Loop type - a stainless steel band is installed around the crown of a neighboring tooth. A loop is then affixed to the band and then extended across the gap that is desired to remain open. The accessory will just contact the other side of the open gap.
  • Lingual Arch type - An inferior wire may be required when rear teeth on both sides of the jaw are infected. Bands are packed around teeth on all sides of the mouth, as well as behind the teeth. The band that generates the space is normally installed on the interior, or lingual side of the mouth, or underneath of the crown.
  • Distal Shoe type - These space maintainers are installed underneath the gum. A distal shoe device will have to be observed carefully. Regrettably, growing teeth can be obstructed by this category of wire.

If many teeth are missing, our dentist my suggest using a partial denture. This includes genetic issues present. Amongst other things, kids suffering from ectodermal dysplasia may be required to get a partial denture. Once a kid with this disease reaches adulthood, he/she may also require bridges or dental implants to replace the permanent teeth.

Post-Surgery Concerns

Some kids are too young and may not qualify as candidates for having a space maintainer. Kids with swallowing and breathing issues cannot be given space maintainers. In addition to having difficulties with the actual process, there is also a chance of trauma if the space maintainer fractures or comes off.

When the space maintainer is fitted, it will feel weird. It has been observed that most kids do not pay attention to it after a couple of days. If the kid gets a space maintainer with teeth, it can also influence talking ability till the kid adapts to it. Regrettably, if the space maintainer comes off, the kid may ingest it. These appliances may enter into the lungs. Therefore, not fiddling with the space maintainer is very vital.

Dangers of Disease

Normally, a dentist will record when teeth are on the verge of eruption by taking of x-rays. Once he/she observes that a tooth is about to erupt, it will be time to uninstall the space maintainer. If there is no fixed tooth existing to reside in the space, the maintainer will be in place till kid comes off age. Then, the dentist will install a dental implant or a bridge in order to form a complete set of teeth.