Space Maintainers

Early tooth loss in anterior and posterior areas of a child can cause various issues during the development stages of a child. The primary concern when an early tooth loss occurs is the space between the teeth where the loss occurred either by extraction due to extensive caries or infection and/or other reasons. If the space is not maintained where a teeth is lost, before the permanent teeth is erupted, this may cause the permanent teeth not to be erupted in the proper position.

Anterior tooth loss (front teeth) may interfere with speech if the tooth loss occurs before the speech development is complete. Missing teeth may also affect the self-image of a child. Posterior tooth loss may result is tilting of teeth next to the primary teeth extracted. Lack of space will prevent the eruption of permanent teeth in the proper position. To maintain the space between the teeth and to allow the proper eruption of the permanent tooth a space maintainer is placed. Space maintainers are left in place until the eruption of the permanent teeth.

Normally when a first primary molar teeth is lost, a band and loop space maintainer is placed. Other types of space maintainers like lingual arch space maintainer, Nance appliance, transpalatal arch appliance are placed based on which teeth are lost prematurely. Please discuss with your dentist which appliance is best suited for your child, if early tooth loss occurs.