2 Types of Space Maintainers
Fixed – there are four different kinds of fixed space maintainers: lingual, unilateral, crown and loop, and distal shoe.
Removable – removable space maintainers are are usually made of acrylic and are similar to orthodontic appliances. In some cases, an artificial tooth may be used to fill a space that must remain open for the unerupted tooth.
Children may need space maintainers if they lose a tooth early or have a baby (primary) tooth extracted due to dental decay. In either case, it is important to know the benefits of using a space maintainer and how it helps to support your child's dental health.
A space maintainer is a custom-made appliance that is created by a dentist or orthodontist in acrylic or metal material. It can be either removable or cemented in a child's mouth. Space maintainers keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt and come into place. Baby teeth are important to the development of the teeth, jaw bones and muscles and help to guide permanent teeth into position when the baby teeth fall out. If a space is not maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and thus orthodontic treatment may be required later. Not every child who loses a baby tooth early or to dental decay requires a space maintainer; a professional consultation with your dentist or orthodontist should be conducted to determine if your child needs to use a space maintainer.