Space maintainers are orthodontic devices that replace the position of a primary tooth after it has been lost, preventing the surrounding teeth from shifting into the space. Space maintainers consist of a small metal band that the dentist attaches to your child’s molar or premolar tooth and a wire that extends to the area, holding the space open until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge. There are four different forms of space maintainers Brea each with unique characteristics, although they all aim for the same result.
Band and Loop Space Maintainer
A Band and Loop Space Maintainer refers to a dental appliance in pediatric dentistry that preserves the space of a missing primary tooth. The wire loop helps to keep the surrounding teeth from shifting into the open space, maintaining the proper alignment of the permanent tooth when it eventually comes in.
Your provider might recommend this space maintainer if your child lost a primary tooth due to injury, decay, or extractions. The Dental Kidz Club team may design it as a temporary solution until the permanent tooth emerges. The metal band is usually made of stainless steel and is custom-fitted to your child’s tooth for maximum comfort and stability.
Lingual Arch Space Maintainer
A Lingual Arch Space Maintainer is a metal wire attached to the molars and runs along the inside of your child’s front teeth (tongue-side). This type of space maintainer is typically used when multiple baby teeth are missing, as it helps to maintain the proper spacing and alignment of the remaining teeth. By preventing the surrounding teeth from shifting into empty spaces, the lingual arch space maintainer helps to preserve space for the permanent teeth to come in correctly.
Distal Shoe Space Maintainer
The Distal Shoe Space Maintainer consists of a metal band cemented to the primary molar tooth and a wire that extends from the band to the tooth furthest from the molars. The wire sits on the outer surface of the teeth and provides support to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting into the space. This type of space maintainer is often used when a primary molar is lost early, and there is a risk of the surrounding teeth shifting and causing crowding or misalignment of the permanent teeth. It is custom-made for each patient based on the specific needs of their mouth and is typically made of stainless steel or other biocompatible materials.
Removable Space Maintainer
You can remove this space maintainer for cleaning and maintenance, making it a more convenient option for your child. Typically, a removable space maintainer is made of acrylic or similar material and is custom-fit to your child’s mouth. The appliance is designed to be lightweight and comfortable, making it easy for children to wear. The team recommends removable space maintainers for children who have only lost a single baby tooth or for children who cannot maintain a fixed space maintainer due to difficulty with oral hygiene or behavioral issues.
However, as with any orthodontic device, it is important for the child to follow proper hygiene practices and to keep the appliance clean to prevent any potential complications. For more information about space maintainers, call the Dental Kidz Club office or schedule an appointment online.