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Dental Space Maintainers

If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, a dental space maintainer will save room for the permanent tooth below it to erupt properly.

A Simple Solution

Even though the primary teeth, or baby teeth, will fall out eventually, they have a number of important jobs to do while they’re in place. One of their main functions is saving space for the permanent teeth to erupt in their proper positions. If your child loses a baby tooth before its natural time, whether because of injury or decay, the other teeth can shift, blocking the permanent tooth from coming in correctly and possibly causing issues with tooth alignment. A dental space maintainer is an effective, simple appliance that prevents this shifting and makes sure the permanent tooth has room to make its debut.

Benefits of
Dental Space Maintainers

Maintains Space

Dental space maintainers save room between two or more baby teeth, allowing the permanent teeth to erupt properly.

Well Tolerated

Kids get used to the appliance quickly. Once the permanent tooth is ready to come in, we remove the space maintainer.

Prevents Orthodontic Problems

By stopping shifting and helping to guide the permanent tooth into place, a space maintainer prevents the orthodontic complications that would have occured.

Getting a Dental Space Maintainer

If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, you should schedule a visit with us to have it evaluated, so we can determine if they need a dental space maintainer. There are several different types of space maintainers and the specific one used will depend on your child’s needs.

Generally, the space maintainer is attached to a tooth on one side of the gap and has a wire that extends into the space and presses against the tooth on the other side of the gap. This keeps the teeth from drifting into the opening and preserves the eruption path for the underlying permanent tooth. Once we see that your child’s permanent tooth is coming in correctly, we’ll remove the dental space maintainer.

Dental Space Maintainers


Most kids start losing baby teeth at around age 6.


Tooth decay is the leading cause of premature primary tooth loss.


The majority of children will have 28 permanent teeth by age 13.