At Hall Dental in Lethbridge, our dentists sometimes recommend a space maintainer when children's primary teeth fall out too early, in order to prevent the other teeth from shifting our of position, and to give the erupting permanent teeth room to grow.
Making space for permanent teeth.
Usually only necessary when a baby tooth has been removed or fallen out prematurely, a space maintainer is a small dental appliance that holds the space left by the missing baby teeth, until the permanent teeth grow in.
Are there different types of space maintainers?
There are several different types of space maintainers. They can either be fixed (non-removable) or removable. While space maintainers can be made from metal, acrylic, or a combination of materials, one of the most common space maintainer designs is a simple metallic band with an attached wire.
What is the procedure for inserting a space maintainer?
Inserting a fixed space maintainer is a two-step process.
Step 1: During the initial appointment, impressions will be taken of your child's teeth. The impression will be used to create a custom space maintainer.
Step 2: During the second appointment, we'll attach the space maintainer. We will check the fit, and make any adjustments necessary so that it fits snugly and is comfortable.
How will I know when the space maintainer needs to be removed?
The space maintainer needs to be removed at the optimal time so it doesn't interfere with the arrival of the permanent tooth. So, it is very important to bring your child in for regular check-ups where we'll check the status of the space maintainer.