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.
Dental Space Maintainers
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.