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Space Maintainers

When milk teeth are extracted for any reason (extensively broken down teeth) the space has to be maintained until the permanent teeth erupt into that position. Occasionally it may take upto 5-7 years. There are different types of space maintainers. If these appliances are not used, alignment of teeth may be severely hampered in the future.

Space Maintainers - Faqs

What are space maintainers?

Space maintainers are appliances made of metal or plastic that is custom fit to your child's mouth. It is used to maintain the space and to facilitate the eruption of the permanent teeth.

When should it be given?

Primary teeth stay in place until a permanent tooth comes in from underneath its position and pushes it out, taking its place in the mouth. Some children lose their primary teeth too early due to accidents or dental disease. When this is the case, a space maintainer may be recommended by your dentist to prevent space loss and future dental problems. It is important to remember the fact that some teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old.

What will happen if it is not given?

The new permanent tooth might either get trapped inside the gums or might erupt in abnormal position since the required space is lost. Without a maintainer, the adjacent teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked.

What does it do?

Space maintainers hold open the empty space left by a lost tooth. They steady the remaining teeth, preventing movement until the permanent tooth takes its natural position.

Should it be removed later?

Yes. Once the permanent teeth have started to erupt in the mouth, the space maintainer will be removed.

Will it cause any trouble to the child?

No. The child might find it new for a day or two. The child will get used to it in a week.

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