What Are the Types of Tooth Space Maintainers for Kids?

What Are the Types of Tooth Space Maintainers for Kids?

Nov 01, 2022

It may not seem a big deal if a child loses their baby teeth prematurely. This is because the lost teeth will be replaced with permanent ones. Some parents may also not worry if their child’s permanent tooth takes too long to erupt. After all, it will eventually come in.

However, both issues are cause for concern and need the attention of a pediatric dentist near you. If the child has a gap in their teeth for longer than necessary, the dentist may recommend using a space maintainer. Continue reading about the types and uses of space maintainers in Columbia, SC.

Why Are Space Maintainers Used?

A space maintainer is an oral appliance designed to preserve the space in the jaw created by missing teeth. It is usually custom-made of metal or acrylic and can be permanent or removable. They are used when a child has lost teeth early due to decay, disease, or trauma. Since it will take longer for the new tooth to erupt, the pediatric dentist in 29223 will recommend the devices.

One important function of baby teeth is to reserve space for the adult tooth. If it falls out prematurely, the rest of the teeth will move in the gap. Space maintainers prevent adjacent surrounding teeth from shifting into the newly created space.

Therefore, they maintain the space preventing overcrowding and bite issues. In addition, if the teeth move into the gap, they will stop the permanent teeth from erupting properly. This may lead to impacted teeth which are painful and can cause oral infections. Space maintainers help prevent speech impediments and orthodontic treatments in the future.

Types of Space Maintainers for Children

There are two main categories of pediatric space maintainers, fixed and removable.

  1. Fixed space maintainers

These are semi-permanent space maintainers. They remain in the gap until the permanent tooth grows, then the dentist removes them. There are several types of fixed space maintainers. The pediatric dentist in Columbia will recommend a style depending on the child’s oral health needs. They include:

  • Crown and Loop

They consist of a crown placed over a tooth adjacent to the gap and a stainless wire loop. This wire loop presses against the tooth on the other side of the hole, keeping the gap open. Your pediatric dentist removes the device when the permanent tooth grows in properly.

  • Distal Shoe

A distal shoe maintainer is used for permanent first molars. The dentist will insert the appliance into the gum line when the child loses a primary tooth. It helps guide the new molar as it erupts and grows in. These maintainers require care and regular checkups by the pediatric dentist in 29223. The expert will ensure the treatment works properly.

  • Lingual

These maintainers are used if the child is missing several teeth. This may occur due to congenital disabilities or severe dental trauma. They use wire and dental crowns to preserve the space across many tooth gaps.

  • Unilateral

This space maintainer is similar to a crown and loop device. However, it uses a wire wrapped around the teeth on either side of the gap. They maintain the space between two teeth.

  1. Removable space maintainers

Removable space maintainers are used if the child’s permanent tooth is almost ready to grow. They resemble lingual fixed space maintainers but consist of artificial teeth. The devices may require a clasp to maintain good retention. In addition, they are customized to fit into the kid’s tooth gap preventing adjacent teeth from shifting.

If your child needs removable space maintainers, the pediatric dentist in Columbia will make them. They will scan the child’s teeth and the gap and then use the images to create the device. The material must be durable but inexpensive as the child may misplace the appliance.

These maintainers are designed to restore the natural tooth function as much as possible. The child can easily remove these orthodontic appliances. This ensures they can brush and floss, maintaining good oral hygiene habits.

Are you looking for a dentist who provides space maintainers or an emergency pediatric dentist in Columbia? Then schedule a consultation appointment for your child at We Care Dental SC. We specialize in providing dental care in a comfortable, fun, and friendly environment.