Sometimes, a child’s baby tooth may be lost prematurely due to disease or injury. In such a case, the permanent teeth that are coming in on both sides of the lost tooth can drift into the space created, causing the permanent teeth to erupt out of position or be blocked entirely. This, in turn, leads to crooked or crowded teeth. Dental spacers, also known as space maintainers, are used to hold open the space for a permanent tooth at the site of a prematurely lost baby tooth. At Celebration Family Dental, we can provide quality spacers that prevent the need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
Dental spacers are custom-made after taking impressions of your child’s mouth, and they need to be worn until the underlying tooth is ready to erupt naturally. These are two types of dental spacers:
Fixed spacers are cemented onto the adjacent teeth at the site of the lost baby tooth. They are made in a variety of arrangements to create enough space at the site of the lost tooth. One type has a band that goes around the adjacent tooth and a wire loop that extends out from the band to make space. A second type consists of a loop attached to a stainless steel crown, which fits over a nearby tooth. Fixed space maintainers are often given to younger children as they are resistant to fidgeting, breaking, and cannot be misplaced.
Removable spacers look like retainers that are worn after orthodontic treatment. These may have a false tooth on them, to cover up the tooth that has been lost.