Preserving all of your child’s primary teeth is one of our top priorities at Sea of Smiles. However, if your child loses a tooth due to dental decay or a tooth infection, or if a primary tooth is damaged in an accident, we offer space maintainers as a restorative option. With space maintainers, our dentists will keep the rest of your child’s teeth healthy, and this treatment will ensure that their permanent teeth erupt properly.
As the name suggests, a space maintainer is built to preserve the space where your child’s missing tooth used to be. Without a space maintainer, your child’s other baby teeth will shift toward the empty space where the missing tooth once lived. This can cause complications when their permanent teeth begin to erupt. Space maintainers will keep your child’s smile healthy and ensure that their permanent teeth grow in correctly.
If your child is missing a tooth, we will build a space maintainer to help your little one avoid further dental issues down the road. Not every child requires a space maintainer if they lose a tooth early, particularly if they are older and their permanent teeth are starting to grow in. But you should still see one of our dentists for a consultation to make sure your little one’s oral development is not harmed.
Ideally, your child won’t lose any baby teeth before their permanent teeth begin to erupt. But if it does happen, the team at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry can help with compassionate solutions. At your child's appointment, our experienced pediatric dentists will perform a comprehensive oral exam to assess their oral health and recommend the proper space maintainer for their needs. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at our Yardley, Bensalem, Warrington, or Glenside office.
These are sometimes referred to as partial dentures because they are structurally very similar. Removable space maintainers can be used for tooth loss in deciduous and permanent teeth.
However, the use of removable space maintainers is not recommended in young children because of the danger of swallowing, breaking, or removing the space maintainer. A removable space maintainer would most commonly be used in an older child whose permanent tooth is due to erupt soon.
Most space maintainers are fixed in the mouth with dental cement and can only be removed at the dentist. When the permanent tooth is due to erupt, the child will return to the dental office to have it removed.
How long your child will have to wear the space maintainer depends on what tooth was lost, when they lost it, and when the permanent tooth is due to erupt. We will remove the space maintainer used for lost deciduous teeth once the permanent teeth are about to erupt.
If your child loses a tooth years before the permanent tooth will be ready to erupt, then your child will need to wear the space maintainer this entire time. However, if your child loses a tooth that will erupt sooner, they will not have to wear one for very long.
Space maintainers can be used for lost permanent teeth too. It is not advisable to replace these teeth with restorations such as dental implants or bridges until the remaining teeth and jaw has fully developed at around 16-18 years old. The child will wear a space maintainer until this time, then it can be removed for the placement of a dental implant, bridge, or partial denture.