When your child has missing baby teeth due to trauma, injury, defect, or decay, a space maintainer protects the shape of their bite until their permanent teeth fill the space. Deborah Troy, DDS, and Charles Yau, DDS, of RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry in Downtown Rye, New York, offer space maintainers and other fixed and removable appliances to support your child’s healthy dental development. To schedule a consultation, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
A dental space maintainer is a fixed or removable device that helps protect your child's bite and alignment when they have missing baby teeth. These devices hold space in the gums and bone for permanent teeth when your child has missing baby teeth due to:
RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry practices phase one interceptive orthodontics, which means they offer early intervention for children with significant dental issues. They utilize various fixed appliances, including, spring-loaded appliances, and space maintainers, in addition to other orthodontic services.
Under normal conditions, an adult tooth is ready to erupt and fill in the gap immediately when a baby tooth is lost. When your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, adult teeth aren't ready to come in yet. When there is significant time between tooth loss and when an adult tooth erupts, your child's teeth move and shift to fill the gap.
This natural movement can cause significant alignment issues later, including:
Space maintainers keep surrounding baby teeth in place by keeping pressure on the teeth, not allowing them to shift as your child grows. They keep the gap open for their permanent teeth to develop and avoid problems and expensive dental work later.
RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry offers both fixed and removable space maintainers.
Customized fixed space maintainers are semi-permanent; they hold space for an extended time until an adult tooth begins to grow. The dental team removes the device when the permanent tooth erupts, and the appliance is no longer needed. Different types of fixed devices include band and loop, distal shoe, bilateral and unilateral appliances. Each holds space for an adult tooth in a slightly different way using wires and other materials.
Removable space maintainers are also customized to fit your child and may include a false tooth. These are typically acrylic and removable to help maintain good oral hygiene. They are ideal for short-term treatments and older children and may not be as effective as a fixed device for some patients.
RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry discusses the most effective option and helps determine which device fits your child's needs best.
To see how a space maintainer can help protect your child's long-term dental health, call RyeSmiles Pediatric Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today.