Space Maintainers

Do you know any children who have lost their teeth too early?
Have you heard of using space maintainers that preserve the space early tooth loss leaves behind?

The majority of adults believe that “it will inevitably fall off, so remove it because there is no need in maintaining anything that might go rapidly.”

Do you share similar perspective?

Baby teeth are important for more than just chewing food; they also help your child talk, smile, develop good eating habits, and most importantly, feel confident in themselves.

They also keep the area open and guide the eruption of secondary teeth into the oral cavity.

Cartoon teeth grow funny characters of vector dental health. Baby, milk or primary tooth growing up, happy smiling teeth in gum cheering up the new one, teething stage of kids, dentistry themes

When the time comes for permanent teeth to make their entrance into the mouth, primary teeth typically fall out. Some cases, such as those involving unrepairable cavities, fractures, and infections, call for their urgent removal.

Early removal gives a clear indication that the child will experience space loss in the future because the surrounding teeth have a high tendency to drift and obliterate the newly generated space. Because of this, permanent teeth may eventually erupt in the wrong position.

Furthermore, as they lack room to erupt, many cases demonstrate the presence of impactions (block out teeth).

Hence it is vital to keep an eye on kids during the “mixed dentition period,” when both permanent and baby teeth are present in the mouth. During this time, there is a high risk of developing teeth misalignment.

For kids who lost their baby teeth before the real time of exfoliation, dental space maintainers are recommended. They preserve the empty area in the arch till the arrival of permanent teeth. Also, they permit the proper emergence of permanent adult teeth, preventing future misalignment.

Types of Space Maintainers

Removable Space Maintainers

As the name suggests they can be completely removed and reinserted according to the will of the patient. They consist of an acrylic plate and an artificial teeth to fill the vacant space.

Fixed Space Maintainers

Band and loop space maintainer

Consists of a wire loop that bridges over the empty gap and a band that is placed over the teeth next to the empty space to keep them open until the new adult tooth erupts.

Indicated in unilateral loss of primary first molar.

Loss of second primary molar after permanent first molar arrival.
Crown and loop space maintainer

This is quite similar to the band and loop space maintainer, except that the band is replaced by a crown or cap tooth attachment.

Lingual space maintainer

For those with bilateral teeth loss (Loss in both sides) in lower jaw, Lingual space maintainer serves the purpose. It consists of a band cemented over the posterior teeth connected by a wire on the tongue side of the teeth. Hence, its usually given after the eruption of lower front teeth (lower incisors).
Nance Appliance

Very much like lingual space maintainer ,this consists of an acrylic button that rests directly on the palatal surface  (roof of the mouth in the upper arch) connected to the bands cemented over the posterior teeth via wire.

Distal shoe space maintainer

Here the appliance is placed directly below the gums under professional supervision. This is given for those kids whose 6 year permanent molar hasn’t grown out completely with adjacent vacant space.
Transpalatal arch

This device consists of two bands cemented over the posterior molar teeth with a wire running across the palate. This makes sure that the posterior teeth remains in position during the growth and movement of other teeth.

Does It Hurt ?

Absolutely no!

There is no force applied by these appliances to nearby structures. Initial discomfort will subside in a few days, and your child will soon feel comfortable.

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Shifa Dental Clinic provide team based, comprehensive dental care for children & adults including patients of all age.

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Shifa Dental Clinic provide team based, comprehensive dental care for children & adults including patients of all age.

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