WHAT IS IT?
Sometimes kids lose teeth way earlier than they should due to decay/trauma.
A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made by a dentist or orthodontist to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt and come into place.
WHY DOES MY CHILD NEED A SPACE MAINTAINER?
Baby teeth are important for the development of the jaw bones and muscles. They also help to guide permanent teeth into position when the baby teeth are lost. If a space is not maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and orthodontic treatment may be required.
Not every child who loses a baby tooth early or to dental decay requires a space maintainer. Our experienced dentist will evaluate to determine if using a space maintainer is needed. Placing a space maintainer would help avoid major orthodontic problems in future.
HOW LONG DOES MY CHILD REQUIRE TO WEAR THE SPACE MAINTAINER?
The space maintainer will be removed as soon as the corresponding permanent tooth erupts into the space. Removal of space maintainer is a very simple step that can be accomplished easily with minimum discomfort.
First our dentist will evaluate if a space maintainer is needed.
Next depending upon if it is Unilateral or Bilateral type space maintainer certain steps are followed in sequence to fabricate it.
UNILATERAL: This is a chair side procedure. No numbing is usually required for this procedure.
The correct band size is first selected. Then a few attachments which are readymade are attached to it. The proper fit is achieved and the space maintainer is cemented to the tooth. Excess cement is cleaned.
BILATERAL: This is a two step procedure. Band sizes are selected and fitted on the appropriate teeth. An impression of the teeth is taken with the bands in place.
The bands are then removed to be sent out along with the impression to a dental lab for the fabrication of the space maintainer.
The second appointment is made after 3 weeks. Once the fabricated space maintainer is returned from the lab, it is fitted in the mouth which takes about 10-15mts. It is then cemented to the teeth.
POST OP INSTRUCTIONS
Just like any other orthodontic appliance, Oral hygiene must be maintained with proper brushing and flossing techniques. Avoiding any hard sticky food will also help ensure that the appliance stays put without deformation or breakage.
Excessive salivation and discomfort are normal for a couple of days after cementation.