Space Maintainers

Space Maintainers in Scranton Wilkes-Barre, PA

When your child loses their baby teeth, it’s essential to see a dentist find out if they need a space maintainer. At Casey Dental, we provide space maintainers to our pediatric dentistry and orthodontic patients. This can help to keep the gap open so the underlying permanent tooth can grow properly.

What is a space maintainer?

A space maintainer is a custom-made dental device used to preserve the space of a lost tooth. The maintainer is necessary when the primary tooth is lost before the adult tooth beneath it has erupted. Without a space maintainer, the teeth adjacent to the space can begin to drift into it. This can cause problems with the proper eruption of the adult tooth and may result in crowding or misaligning the permanent teeth.

Types of Space Maintainers

There are two common types of space maintainers: removable and fixed. Removable space maintainers are easy to put in and take out, making them a good choice for younger children who are still learning to take care of their teeth. Fixed space maintainers are more permanent and are usually only used when baby teeth are present. No matter which type you choose, it is essential to brush and floss regularly to keep your mouth healthy.

Removable Space Maintainers

You can take out a removable space maintainer for cleaning and at night. They are usually made of stainless steel or acrylic and have one or more “wings” that fit around existing teeth. It is essential to clean the space maintainer regularly, just as you would brush your child’s teeth, to avoid a build-up of plaque and bacteria. If the space maintainer becomes loose or broken, please bring your child to our office so that we can make any necessary repairs.

Fixed Space Maintainers

Fixed space maintainers are fastened to the teeth with cement, and only a dentist can remove them. There are four different kinds of fixed space maintainers:

  • Unilateral space maintainer: This type of space maintainer is wrapped around the tooth and connected to a metal loop, which holds the space open.
  • Crown and loop space maintainer: This type of space maintainer is held by a dental crown placed over the tooth and coupled to the loop to ensure enough space for the emerging tooth.
  • Distal shoe space maintainer: A distal shoe is used for the unerupted first permanent molar teeth and has a metal end inserted into the gum line to keep the gap open.
  • Lingual space maintainer: This is often applied when multiple missing teeth exist. It’s bilateral and cemented to molar teeth on the inside. A wire runs from one molar through the lower front teeth to connect it to the molar on the other side.
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The Risks of Using a Space Maintainer

Although space maintainers are generally very safe, some risks are associated with their use. The most common complication is irritation of the gum tissue around the maintainer. We can usually resolve this by adjusting the fit of the device. In rare cases, space maintainers can cause infection or damage to the surrounding teeth, but staying on schedule with follow-up visits will allow us to see any issues before they become advanced. With proper care and monitoring, space maintainers can be an effective way to preserve the space for adult teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

Casey Dental is a trusted dental office that provides high-quality dental treatment for patients of all ages. When your son or daughter loses baby teeth, ask us about space maintainers to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and properly aligned. So if you’re looking for exceptional dental care in a comfortable setting, call our office today to set an appointment!

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Consultation

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