Pediatric Dentistry

Poplar Bluff Children's Dentistry

Space maintenance

Space Maintainers are a common treatment option in pediatric dentistry.  When a baby tooth is lost prematurely, your child may need a space maintainer to "save" the space until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.  Baby teeth are important because they save space for the permanent tooth, which will erupt into its position when the baby tooth is lost normally.

If a primary tooth (baby tooth), has to be removed early due to say, an abscess, or is knocked out in some kind of trauma, a space maintainer may be recommended to save the space.  If the space is not preserved, the other teeth may drift causing difficult to treat crowding and orthodontic problems.  Space maintainers are routinely used when a posterior (back) tooth is lost prematurely.  If a front tooth is lost too early, then space maintainers are not usually needed.  Parents may have the option to have a "pedi partial" to replace the missing front teeth for esthetic reasons.

Now space maintainers may be in there for a while, but they are not permanent.  They are removed when the new tooth (usually bicuspid) erupts or the abutment teeth get loose.  Space maintainers can be fixed or removable, unilateral or bilateral.