Children may need space maintainers if they lose a tooth too early or have a baby tooth extracted because of dental decay. If either is the case, it is important to know the benefits of using a space maintainer and how it can help support your child’s dental health.
A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made by a dentist or orthodontist in acrylic or metal material. Its purpose is to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt and come into place. Baby teeth are important to the development of the teeth, jaws and muscles and help to guide permanent teeth into position when the baby teeth are lost. If a space is not maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and cause impaction of the permanent teeth. Not every child who loses a baby tooth early requires a space maintainer; however, a professional consultation with your dentist or orthodontist should be conducted to determine if using a space maintainer is needed.
Examples of Space Maintainers: