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Space Maintainers


Display of Mouth with Space MaintainerThe process of correcting a bad bite can include many steps, including the extraction of teeth to create space and the placement of space maintainers to hold the space. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, we specialize in a wide variety of orthodontic appliances to improve your smile. Working together, we can correct or even prevent potential problems and improve your long-term oral health. Many of our children and adolescent patients have the most to gain from orthodontic treatment.

A space maintainer, or spacer, is a dental appliance that we can use to hold the space and prevent neighboring teeth from drifting while permanent teeth are growing. If your child lost a baby or primary tooth early, due to trauma, decay, injury, or any other unexpected reason, a space maintainer can be used to hold the space until the permanent tooth comes in. Using a spacer can help establish a strong foundation for your child’s oral health, allowing adult teeth to have the space they need to come in correctly, this is a benefit that follows them into adulthood.

Premature Tooth Loss


Oral injuries and proper tooth care are problems for children. They can cause a tooth to be broken or fractured from falls, sports and other accidents, or a child may experience severe decay due to improper care. Unexpected tooth loss is an unfortunate part of life for many children. Regardless of why, it is important to act immediately following premature tooth loss. We can help.

If your child has lost a primary tooth prematurely, or we have seen through x-ray that they do not have a permanent tooth growing, it can lead to secondary complications including:
•  Shifting: Open space leaves room for neighboring teeth to shift. This can lead to severe bite issues.
•  Inadequate Space: Following the shifting of neighboring teeth, there may be inadequate room for permanent, or adult, teeth to erupt. Inadequate room can cause growing teeth to be impacted, to move out of alignment, or disrupt eruption altogether.
•  Congenital Defect: Some patients may be missing a permanent tooth developing. This can affect their bite; we may want to examine alternatives to placing a false tooth when age appropriate. A space maintainer will hold the space until a decision is made.

Types of Space Maintainers


Generally speaking, there are two types of space maintainers: removable and fixed. We will examine, review and discuss with you the options, including which one is appropriate given the situation. The type of maintainer we recommend will depend on factors such as the location of the missing tooth and how long your child will need it.

Removeable


A removable space maintainer has an acrylic base that is attached to one or more artificial teeth. This type of space maintainer is used when discussing dental implant treatment. Often, we suggest this type of space maintainer for missing anterior (front) teeth when aesthetics is a concern.

Fixed


Most often, the patient will need a fixed, or permanent, space maintainer. This type is attached to the teeth surrounding the open space. We typically use this type of space maintainer for younger children who are missing posterior (back) primary teeth. In most cases, a fixed maintainer is a metal appliance bonded to the enamel with dental cement.

Schedule Your Consultation


If your child has lost a primary tooth prematurely, we can help. Call Dr. Seth Senestraro at (503) 446-5815 or use our online appointment request form to schedule their consultation appointment now!

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