What Is the Role of Space Maintenance in Dentistry?

What Is the Role of Space Maintenance in Dentistry?

Nov 01, 2020

Dentistry employs many different oral devices to enforce treatment for patients. The oral needs that children have are different from those of adults. In that regard, it explains why some of the oral appliances used for children’s dentistry differ from those used in adult teeth treatment. A good example is the use of space maintainers for ​teeth gap treatment.

When your child starts teething, it may not occur to you at that moment that those teeth are temporary. However, in a couple of years, all the primary teeth will fall off, making room for permanent adult teeth. The transition between these two stages is crucial for children, which is why pediatric dentists advocate for fixed space maintenance.

What Are Space Maintainers?

They are oral appliances used in pediatric dentistry to save space for permanent teeth. The teeth space maintainers are used when children start losing their baby teeth. Many times, kids that benefit from space maintainers lose their baby teeth early. This means that they have gaps between their teeth at such an early age. For some, this could happen naturally, while others lose their teeth prematurely due to dental decay or dental traumas. The problem is that it may take some time before the adult teeth start to erupt. The waiting period can have detrimental effects on oral health unless space maintainers are used.

How Do Space Maintainers Work?

The concept behind removable teeth space maintainers is that teeth can easily shift when there is room for them to do so. This is the same concept that makes many orthodontic procedures in dentistry possible. For children, the concept is much more important because their jaws are also changing as they grow up. This means that the changes encountered in the facial bone structures of your child will affect the alignment of teeth, eventually. In that regard, using space maintainers is necessary.

Space maintainers are employed as a temporary tooth replacement solution. This allows the rest of the teeth to remain in their intact positions. Ideally, until a new adult tooth starts to erupt to replace the space taken by space maintainers, you cannot have them removed.

​What Are the Benefits of Space Maintainers?

At face value, you may not appreciate the role of these oral appliances. For the most part, parents view them as a luxurious investment set aside only for those that have money. On the contrary, space maintainers are a necessary tool for excellent oral health for kids. Some of the advantages include:

  1. Eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatments – if you are not willing to invest in getting space maintainers for your kid, you will most likely invest in teeth alignment procedures in the future. As your child grows, the teeth will align depending on the space available in the jawline. In some cases, this means having an overcrowded mouth, when there isn’t sufficient room for all teeth to be aligned properly. By using space maintainers, you ensure that each tooth has ample room to grow without been overwhelmed by adjacent teeth.
  2. Less expensive than orthodontic treatment – most orthodontic processes are expensive because they run for several months for treatment plans to be completed successfully. You can spare yourself the hefty costs by investing in space maintainers today.
  3. It fosters proactivity in dental health – space maintainers are already a proactive decision to protect teeth and keep them healthy. Doing so will foster more proactive measures from you, more so regarding preventive dentistry.

When Should A Space Maintainer Be Placed?

At Kids First Dental, we advise parents to consider getting space maintainers for their kids as soon as they lose the first baby tooth. Having that the goal is to save that room for an adult tooth to grow, a teeth space maintainer must be placed as soon as possible.

Technically, you need to be alert for when the premolars and molars are lost. When the first back tooth is lost, visit a pediatric dentist in ​Greenwood, SC, for advice. Ideally, by the time the second baby tooth is removed, the first one should already be growing. Whether it has erupted or not, your child needs a space maintainer to secure room for permanent teeth.

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