What Are Space Maintainers?
Baby teeth are expected to fall out, but occasionally an infant or a toddler may lose teeth before the appearance of their permanent teeth. While it might not seem like a significant issue at the time being, it could cause some serious problems in the future. This is why pediatric dentists recommend space maintainers for kids. But let us learn what is meant by a space maintainer.
In simple terms, space maintainers can be defined as specific dental appliances, that are used to protect and maintain proper space inside a kid’s mouth. This type of dental appliance is needed when one or more molars have been lost too early, due to some oral disease or injury. There are various kinds of space retainers available nowadays. Therefore, you must consult your pediatric dentist before investing in this treatment option.
Different Types of Space Maintainers
There are diverse kinds of space maintainers. They are as follows:
- Removable Space Maintainers: A removable space maintainer is a preventive dental appliance that prevents space loss and preserves enough room for the emergence of an adult tooth in the place of the lost tooth. However, it is not an active tooth-repositioning device.
- Fixed Space Maintainers: Fixed space maintainers cannot be removed at will. They are usually permanently attached to one or more teeth with help of dental cement.
- Crown and Loop Space Maintainers: These types of space maintainers consist of a crown placed over a specific tooth and a wire loop made of stainless steel. The wire loop plays a crucial role in keeping the gap open.
- Unilateral Space Maintainers: A unilateral space maintainer is very similar to the crown and loop option. This maintainer uses a wire that is wrapped around the teeth and on the two sides of the gap.
- Lingual Maintainers: A lingual space maintainer makes use of crowns and wires to maintain and protect the spaces of several gaps.
- Distal Shoe: A distal shoe is only used for permanent first molars that have not appeared yet. However, this type of space maintainer needs to be regularly checked and maintained by the pediatric dentist.
Is This Treatment Option Safe For Your Kids?
If your child has lost a tooth, it does not always mean that he or she needs a space maintainer. There are some teeth in a kid’s mouth like the four upper front teeth. If one or more of those teeth is lost prematurely, then space will stay open on its own. Your pediatric dentist will inform you when your child needs a space maintainer. There are enough pieces of evidence that prove that space maintainers are perfectly safe for your kids.
We hope our blog has helped you in understanding whether space maintainers are safe for kids. If you need the best pediatric orthodontic services in Spanaway, WA, then please visit us at Spanaway’s Children’s Dentistry. Our team of pediatric dentists makes your kid’s dental care their top priority.