Your child’s baby teeth allow them to eat and chew. These primary teeth guide in the permanent teeth so that they erupt properly. Sometimes children lose their baby teeth too early. If this happens, the permanent tooth no longer has a guide. As a result, the permanent tooth may drift or erupt in the wrong position. This can cause adjacent teeth to tilt or shift into the space that should have been reserved for the permanent tooth.
There are several reasons why children lose their baby teeth too early:
- Falls or other accidents
- Severe tooth decay and infection
- Diseases or other conditions
- Teeth missing at birth
If this happens to your child, the dentist may recommend a space maintainer. Our skilled dentist can provide a space maintainer to prevent other teeth from shifting. This space maintainer will hold the place for the permanent tooth. To learn more about this dental procedure, call Pop Smiles Dentistry at (703) 844-0404. Contact us to make your child’s appointment with Dr. Jamil Sowan and learn more about space maintainers in Manassas, Virginia.
What is a Space Maintainer?
Baby teeth are important to your child’s mouth. When they are lost, a space maintainer may be needed to guide permanent teeth into position. A space maintainer is an appliance made of acrylic or metal. Space maintainers are custom-made by the dentist to fit your child’s mouth comfortably. It works by keeping the space open so that the permanent tooth can erupt in the right place. If space is not maintained, orthodontic treatment may be needed in the future.
Keep in mind that a space maintainer may not be necessary for every child who loses a baby tooth. Consult with our dentist to determine whether or not treatment is needed.
Types of Space Maintainers
There are two main types of space maintainers available: removable and fixed. Removable ones look like orthodontic appliances. They are made of acrylic and sometimes use artificial teeth to keep the space open.
Fixed space maintainers cannot be removed. There are four types that fall under this category. The unilateral and crown and loop types are both placed on one side of the mouth to hold the space open. Unilateral ones wrap around the tooth and connect to a metal loop. With crown and loop space maintainers, a crown covers the tooth and attaches to a loop.
The distal shoe space maintainer is more complicated and typically reserved for the first permanent molar tooth. The end of the metal is inserted into the gum line to prevent the space from closing. A lingual space maintainer is cemented to the molars and connected by a wire. This option works best for multiple missing teeth. Our dentist will choose the right type of space maintainer to best fit your child’s unique needs.
Space maintainers can help permanent grow inside the mouth properly. Are you concerned about your child’s teeth? Contact our office to learn more about the types of space maintainers and their benefits. To schedule an appointment for your child, call Pop Smiles Dentistry at (703) 844-0404.