Space Maintainers at Medicine Hat

Why would you need a space maintainer? All children lose their primary teeth and in the normal course of action, they are replaced with permanent teeth. Sometimes your child may lose a tooth prematurely and this could cause a problem with the alignment of their other teeth. When there is a space left from the lost tooth, the rest of the teeth may shift into the space causing a problem when the new tooth is ready to grow in. A space maintainer can save the space so the new tooth can grow in where it is supposed to.

Space maintainers can also help adults when they have lost a tooth. Perhaps you were showing off your best hockey move and slammed into the boards causing your tooth to break off. When you experience the loss of a permanent tooth as an adult, a space maintainer may be used to keep the space open until a bridge or implant device can be inserted. It’s important to keep the space available to prevent the other teeth from shifting out of place.

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When a child’s tooth is lost prematurely, a space maintainer is used to hold the other teeth in place. If left alone, the other teeth will grow into the area where the tooth loss occurred and could cause a series of issues with the alignment of the permanent teeth later in life. Similarly, in adults, unexpected tooth loss can cause permanent teeth to shift making it difficult to find room for a replacement tooth. Tooth loss should be attended to quickly to avoid dental disaster. What can be done when you lose a tooth unexpectedly? Space maintainers may be the solution to keeping your teeth aligned.

Space maintainers may be fixed or removable depending on your circumstances. Removable space maintainers are made from acrylic and are used with a special dental material or false tooth. Keeping the space available until the permanent tooth is ready to grow in helps the alignment of all the teeth remain stable. Removable space maintainers are usually only recommended for children who are at an age where they can care for them as they require cleaning when taken out.

When a removable space maintainer is not an option

When a removable space maintainer is not an option, a fixed maintainer can be cemented to the adjacent teeth. Using the other teeth as an anchor, the fixed maintainer can prevent the teeth from shifting. What if there are no adjacent teeth? A special wire called a lingual arch can be used as an alternative to the traditional space maintainer. This device gets fitted to the upper or lower dental arch and works well to reserve the space for the replacement tooth/teeth. Space maintainers are created in a dental lab and custom fit to your mouth. Your dentist at Park Meadows Dental will require an appointment to assess your teeth and then make an impression of your mouth to ensure a perfect fit. What kind of space maintainers are there?

Fixed space maintainer types

  • Band-And-Loop Device: Used when one or more primary teeth are missing from the same dental arch. Held in place with orthodontic bands and stainless-steel wires.
  • Trans Palatal Arch: Used to save space on both sides of one dental arch. Placed on the upper molars and fastened with a wire around adjoining teeth.
  • Distal Shoe Appliance: Fitted over your child’s first molar after the loss of their baby tooth. Remains in place until the permanent molar grows in.
  • Lingual Holding Arch: This arch is attached to the molars to reserve space for the lower back teeth on both sides.
Space maintainers can come loose and may fall out if not taken care of

Space maintainers can come loose and may fall out if not taken care of. The best practice is to avoid sticky foods that can dislodge the device. Should the space maintainer become loose, your dentist can correct the issues to help keep you on track with the treatment. Park Meadows Dental wants to help you have a beautiful smile so come visit us today for a complete dental examination.

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