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Are Dental Space Maintainers Necessary?

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Are Dental Space Maintainers Necessary?

Dental space maintainers may be helpful for your child's oral health, so if your pediatric dentist has recommended them and you're wondering whether they're essential or if there are other options, keep reading. 


You might think those baby teeth falling before they should be is not much of an issue initially but ignoring a gap might cause costly complications later. When a minor loses a baby tooth prematurely, the use of a dental space maintainer keeps the gums and jawbone healthy and the jawbone's structure intact for the growth of permanent teeth. 


Working & Options


Dental Space Maintainers might be permanently implanted into the patient's jaw or worn as detachable accessories. The primary role of this appliance is to stop the adjacent teeth from sliding into the gap created by a prematurely lost baby tooth. 


  1. Removable space maintainers resemble orthodontic equipment and may even feature a replacement tooth.
  2. Fixed space maintainers are glued into the mouth. 
  3. Unilateral space maintainers wrap around one tooth in the mouth. The metal loop extends into the gap caused by a missing tooth, preventing it from collapsing.
  4. A crown and loop space maintainer rests on top of the natural tooth as a crown would instead of looping around it.
  5. A lingual space maintainer is essential when more than one baby tooth is missing. They're glued to the molars and wired to the lower front teeth.
  6. Inserting a distal shoe space maintainer into the gum line allows a permanent tooth to emerge. This space maintainer fits the initial permanent molar.


Premature Baby Tooth Loss

The critical responsibility of primary teeth is to retain the space for permanent teeth until they are mature enough to erupt. A kid will have 20 primary teeth by the time they are three years old and usually fall out in the same sequence as they arose. A child's first baby tooth falls out between ages 4 and 7. A child's primary (baby) tooth will get loose and eventually fall out, making a place for the permanent (adult) tooth.

But what to do if your kid loses a baby tooth before they turn 4? For peace of mind that your child's permanent teeth are coming in correctly, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. 


However, it's crucial to remember that there are several reasons a child's primary teeth could fall out before they usually would, such as a fall, an injury, or even just the passage of time. Sometimes extreme tooth decay requires extractions. Moreover, tooth loss in children may be due to a few medical issues, including blood, metabolism, and other systems.


"Healthy living starts with healthier teeth."


The Value of Space Maintainers


Your child's dental health may benefit from using space maintainers since they help avoid many potential problems. For one thing, the primary teeth directly impact your child's permanent teeth, and if they fall out too young, it may lead to problems in the future. If your kid loses a baby tooth before the permanent tooth is ready to emerge, or if a permanent tooth is missing, a space maintainer may be a good solution. Fortunately, your kid will only need to use a space maintainer until their permanent teeth are ready to erupt. 


The following are examples of possible complications:


  • Insufficient room for the development of adult teeth.
  • An increased possibility of impacted teeth and malformed eruption.
  • Crowded, overlapped, or crooked permanent teeth.
  • Communication Impairments.
  • Malocclusion (misaligned bite).
  • A greater need for orthodontic care down the road.


Final Words


With care, your child's space maintainer can outlast an ideal time. Your child will require assistance brushing, flossing, and cleaning their space maintainer. Most Importantly, the plaque should not form around the maintainer. Dentists recommend avoiding food like gum, taffy, or hard candy with dental space maintainers. When your kid is wearing maintainers, pediatric dental checkups are essential. The dentist may monitor your child's development and check the space maintainer. Encourage your youngster to tell you if their space maintainer is faulty. Immediately take your kid to the dentist if their maintainer is broken or loose. Dental space management issues may have severe and far-reaching consequences if not handled properly. As mentioned in the article, premature loss of primary teeth may shorten the jawbone, leading to crowding of permanent dentition and other problems. To avoid future dental problems and maintain a bright, healthy smile, it's essential to act against tooth loss as soon as possible.


 Contact your Pinole dentists, Dr. Azadeh Hosseini and Dr. Ghazal Hosseini, at Top Pinole Dental, to learn more about Dental Space Maintainers.




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This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition.