Space maintainers: “Smile insurance” in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Insurance is protection against a possible future event with unfortunate consequences. That is a good description for how space maintainers help to avoid problems when adult teeth begin to emerge. Many parents in the Ontario, Montclair, and Fontana area have not heard of this option. However, the dentists at Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry in Rancho Cucamonga, CA may recommend a dental space maintainer when a baby tooth is lost prematurely.
What is an orthodontic space maintainer?
A pediatric dental spacer is a custom-made appliance positioned in the mouth when a baby tooth is extracted. The device prevents the space where the baby tooth was from closing so that when the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, it has room to come in straight.
Types of kid’s tooth spacers
- A tooth spacer for a child is usually fixed, cemented in place.
- Unilateral space maintainers and a distal shoe space maintainers are made of metal wire. It wraps around a tooth adjacent to the gap, with a loop that holds the space open. It’s like a miniature retainer.
- A bilateral space maintainer is used when more than one tooth is extracted on one side. It looks and functions similarly to a traditional retainer with the exception that no wires are visible on the outside of the teeth.
- A removable space maintainer is made of acrylic and holds an artificial tooth. This type may be suitable for an older child with a missing front tooth.
Why is a tooth space maintainer so important?
Although baby teeth are shed naturally, they serve important functions for the time they are meant to be in place. One of those functions is to develop bone and muscle that guides adult teeth into position. When a baby tooth is lost too early, its companions may shift, blocking normal eruption of the secondary tooth and potentially causing other dental problems. Without a space maintainer, your child is more likely to need orthodontic treatment when secondary teeth come in.
Parents in Rancho Cucamonga, CA trust us for space maintainers because at Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry, orthodontics is not an afterthought. We are attuned to oral development and understand the benefits of interceptive treatment to keep teeth in alignment.
If your child is missing a tooth, please do not wait. Call 909-675-0550 for an appointment.