Space maintainers are orthodontic pediatric devices that help to prevent malocclusions and overcrowding of the teeth. Learn more about these devices in our latest blog.
The primary teeth play a vital role in the overall development and health of the children. Primary teeth perform all the functions of permanent teeth, from smiling to talking and chewing the food. Teeth play a significant role in aesthetics, and poor oral hygiene can lead to premature teeth loss.
Modern dentistry has taken a giant leap in the last few decades with specialization in each field. Preventive dentistry focuses on proper oral hygiene to avoid dental ailments, while cosmetic dentistry aims to increase the aesthetic value of teeth and oral cavity.
As the name suggests, the dental space maintainers are orthodontic appliances that find application in pediatric dentistry. The primary aim of these dental appliances is to prevent tooth loss among children. Dental space maintainers aim to prevent malocclusions and overcrowding of the teeth. They help to maintain adequate distance among adjacent teeth and provides a healthy oral cavity.
The pediatric dentist uses a space maintainer to ensure eruption and permanent teeth development in the correct alignment. They are essential when you have lost one or more primary molars due to dental trauma. If used properly, space maintainers can prevent movement of the first molas and avoid loss of space for the eruption of adjacent teeth.
Depending on the teeth’s location and the patient’s need, the dentist decides on the type of space maintainer. Space maintainers are broadly divided into fixed and removable appliances. The fixed space maintainers are further divided into unilateral and bilateral.
These are used to maintain spaces on only one side of the mouth. The standard fixed unilateral space maintainers are:
The band and loop space maintainers are positioned on only one side of the mouth by dentists and are among the most commonly used space maintainers. The band and loop space maintainers are used in children when they lose their primary teeth or after their first molars are visible around the age 6 to 7.
The distal shoe is another type of unilateral space maintainer. These space maintainers are also applied to children when they reach the age of 6 to 7 and maintain spaces after the child loses primary second molars and before the first molar appearance.
Bilateral space maintainers are placed on either side of the mouth after the teeth are lost. The common types of fixed bilateral space maintainers include:
The Transpalatal arch is a bilateral space maintaining appliance applied on the upper jaws after teeth are lost on both sides to maintain space. The Transpalatal arch contains a 36-mil palatal wire extended above the roof of the mouth and connects molars on either side.
The lingual holding arch connects two primary molars in either of the jaws. This orthodontic pediatric appliance creates spaces in the upper and lower dental arch, facilitating proper eruption of permanent molars.
The Nance arch comprises an acrylic button that is placed on the roof of the oral cavity. Because of its unique feature, this space maintainer can only be used for the upper dental arch and prevents the molars’ misalignment.
After a child loses its temporary teeth, the removal space maintainers maintain space to develop permanent teeth. The primary difference from the customary space maintainers is that the removable ones have artificial teeth attached. Removable space maintainers are applicable when multiple teeth are missing and serves the function of a denture.
Space maintainers have multiple benefits.
Golnick Pediatric Dentistry in Bloomfield Hills is expert in space maintainers procedures. We provide pediatric dentistry services for infants, children, and teens in state-of-art clinics. All our staff are family-friendly and take utmost care to ensure that they feel at ease while undergoing pediatric treatments. We operate 6-days a week, and you may book an appointment to know more.