Elk Grove, CA
Though small, your child’s baby teeth have some big responsibilities. Until their permanent teeth come in, it's up to these baby teeth to help kids get adequate nutrition, speak clearly, and even guide the permanent teeth into their proper place. When a child loses a baby tooth before its intended time, it can create lasting issues. That’s why we at Laguna View Family Dental offer space maintainers for our young patients. Space maintainers, or “space maintenance appliances” do just what the name suggests- they reserve the spot for the intended permanent tooth.
Why would my child need Space Maintainers?
If a child loses a tooth before its natural time, as a result from sickness, injury, or another unforeseen incident, the permanent teeth that are coming in beneath the surface may shift. The teeth on either side may drift into the space that was meant for another tooth. Without the benefit of space maintainers as a child, adult teeth may grow in overcrowded, crooked, or be blocked entirely. If the loss of a baby tooth is not treated, it can have lasting consequences that would require further dental and orthodontic care.
We may recommend space maintainers if one or more permanent teeth are congenitally missing, or never existed in a child. These cases are not uncommon, and ultimately a permanent dental implant should be considered when the time is right. However, a growing child isn’t a good candidate for a dental implant, and so a space maintainer with a false tooth might be the best solution. Space maintainers are a simple, non-invasive way to avoid a misaligned bite and many other dental issues down the line.
Fixed and Removable Space Maintainers
There are a few different types of space maintainers that we may recommend to our patients, and these typically fall into two categories: fixed and removable.
A fixed space maintainer is cemented onto your child’s adjacent teeth. This makes them a great option for younger children since they won’t be able to play with, break, or misplace the space maintainer. Fixed space maintainers can be made in a variety of designs dependent on your child’s need.
A removable space maintainer resembles a retainer that might be worn at the end of orthodontic work. The removable maintainer may have a false tooth on it, which can be especially important to patients and their families if the tooth is visible in the mouth. Removable space maintainers are recommended for older children who are better equipped to take on the responsibility of caring for and wearing the maintainer properly.
Wearing and Caring for the Space Maintainer
Whichever kind of space maintainer you choose, it will be custom-made for your child. The maintainer will be worn until a future x-ray reveals that the permanent teeth are ready to come in.
It’s important that children with space maintainers keep up an excellent oral hygiene routine with regular visits to our Elk Grove, CA office. Call us at (916) 683-1335 to schedule a consultation for your child today!