Space Maintainers

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Space Maintainers

Why are dental space maintainers a good idea? When your teeth decide to start growing inside your mouth, they will grow into areas where no other teeth are occupying the space. If a tooth is lost prematurely another tooth may grow into space where that tooth once was, regardless of whether or not it is the right space. To prevent this from happening,  your dentist can place a space maintainer in, to ensure the teeth grow into their allotted area. Children are susceptible to losing baby teeth before their permanent teeth come in, so often they are the ones who benefit most from this type of treatment.

When Adults lose a tooth, a space maintainer is a good way to keep the space open until a replacement tooth can be made. Replacement teeth can be in the form of a bridge, implant or partial denture. Either way, you want to make sure there is the proper amount of room to fit in the correct replacement thus the use of a space maintainer is required.

Children's Treatments

Children’s permanent teeth will grow into spaces where a tooth is missing. Normally a baby tooth is replaced by the permanent tooth shortly after the baby tooth falls out. When a longer period exists between the loss of the baby tooth and the growth of the new tooth, the space left behind can be taken by other teeth shifting into that spot. To avoid this from happening a space maintainer can be used.
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Types of Space Maintainers

Removable and fixed space maintainers are available: 

Removable Maintainers

A space maintainer can be either fixed or one that can be removed. A removable maintainer is usually only recommended for older children or adults. Removable space maintainers require the ability to care for the device with proper cleaning when taken out of the mouth. These devices are made from acrylic and if several teeth are missing a partial denture may be required. Younger children may find it difficult to adjust to the routine of removing and replacing this type of device.

Fixed
Maintainers

When your dentist recommends a fixed maintainer, it is fitted directly to the adjacent teeth where space is. It will hold the space available until the new tooth is ready to grow in or a replacement tooth is ready. Fixed maintainers are cemented to the teeth on either side of the space with a special dental product. When there is no back tooth to attach the maintainer to, a lingual arch-wire may be used. This wire encompasses the other teeth to prevent shifting. Your dentist at Stoney Trail Dental will require an impression of your existing teeth to custom design a space maintainer. Once the impression is formed it will be sent to the lab where your space maintainer is constructed. These maintainers are constructed using a combination of acrylic and metal wires.

Types of Fixed Space Maintainers

1

Distal Shoe Appliance:
Used when baby teeth are prematurely lost to hold the space for permanent molars to grow in.

2

Band-And-Loop Device:
Usually used when more than one molar is lost within the same dental arch. Held in place with bands and stainless steel wires.

3

Lingual Holding Arch:
Attached to molars to hold the space for the bottom teeth.

4

Transpalatal Arch:
Used on your upper molars held in place by a dental wire.
Stoney Trail Dental can insert space maintainers to help your teeth grow into the spaces where they should. Once you have a space maintainer placed in your mouth you should take extra caution to avoid foods that can dislodge or shift your maintainer. Hard sweets and thick sticky foods should be avoided so you won’t have any problem with your maintainer coming loose.
Think you might be a good candidate for this treatment or do you have a child who has lost some teeth prematurely? Come visit our professionals to get a complete evaluation to determine if you need a space maintainer to keep your teeth on the right track.

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