What is the Importance of Space Maintainers?

Pediatric dentistry is an important part of dentistry that helps children enjoy the highest quality of dental health. That said there are occasions when a child may lose a tooth earlier than it should happen. The importance of space maintainers to children’s dental health comes into play when this occurs. It is simply a type of oral appliance that is custom and unique and crafted by an orthodontist or dentist. The device is usually made of either acrylic or metal and is similar to a retainer. A space maintainer prevents surrounding teeth from shifting or moving. 

Helps to Keep Teeth Properly Position
Helps to Keep Teeth Properly Position

In short it helps to preserve the space between baby teeth so that a permanent tooth can emerge, develop and grow normally. It is important to note that not in every case where a child loses a baby tooth early is it required to have a space maintainer. The best way to know for sure is to consult with your professional dental care provider to determine if treatment is necessary. Space maintainers play an important role in children’s health because they help to keep teeth properly positioned. Nothing can be more troubling than seeing healthy normal teeth shifting and moving because of a space. 

A Metal Loop That is Affixed Under a Crown 

There are several different types of space maintainers that are important to children’s health. Understanding the importance of space maintainers and their health benefits helps parents make aa more informed decision. One kind of maintainer is known as a unilateral type. This one is often used to maintain space when a single tooth has gone missing. Conversely, a crown and loop type maintainer will use a metal loop that is affixed under a crown, ensuring that there is adequate space when a new tooth emerges. In addition, something known as a distal shoe is a space maintainer that is made of metal and designed to work specifically with slow-growing molars. 

Lingual Space Maintainer
Lingual Space Maintainer 

Finally, something known as a lingual space maintainer is necessary when several teeth are missing. This is especially true with regard to treating this type of condition when it is at the front of the mouth. The device is attached on both sides of the mouth using molars as an anchor. One of the best ways to help children understand the concept of space maintainers is to involve them in the discussion with your dental care provider. Children are inquisitive and eager to learn and will be much more at ease by taking this approach. Contact your Stockton pediatric dentist, Sajjad Rizvi, DDS at Happy Kids Dental today for more information about the importance of space maintainers.

[1] Orthodontics: What is the Specialty of an Orthodontist?

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