Maintaining Space As the Final Frontier…of a Kid’s Mouth

Captain Kirk may have talked in his Captain’s Log about space being the “final frontier,” but when parents are waiting for a kid’s permanent tooth to erupt space isn’t the final frontier, space is a necessity. Maintaining space.

That’s why, at the Doctors of Dental Medicine, we offer space maintainers as one of our services.

Keep the space

Space MaintainersSometimes a kid loses a baby tooth early. It can be that extensive decay has required the tooth to be extracted. It can be that the tooth was knocked out on the playground. Or sometimes teeth simply come out before the permanent tooth that is usually coming in right behind it is ready.

When this happens, there will be an empty space where the baby tooth was and the permanent tooth is supposed to be. But until that permanent tooth erupts, that space will be a problem. Why? The adjacent teeth will want to slide over to fill the gap, creating all sorts of alignment problems with the teeth.

The answer is a space maintainer from the Doctors of Dental Medicine.

Space maintainers

A space maintainer is a custom-made appliance whose goal is to keep that space open until the permanent tooth comes down to fill it. Space maintainers are made of either acrylic or metal and can be fabricated like a retainer.

Types of space maintainers:

  • Removable — A removable space maintainer is similar to a retainer used in orthodontics. Usually, an artificial tooth will be on the maintainer that fills the gap when the appliance is inserted.
  • Fixed — There are four different kinds of fixed space maintainers: unilateral, crown and loop, distal shoe, and lingual. Each of these has different properties based on the need of the patient.

In our regular care of your child’s teeth we will know if circumstances dictate the need for an early extraction or other issue that can create the need for a space maintainer. Call to schedule your child’s next checkup, 732-329-3113.

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