While it's a well-known fact that baby teeth eventually give way to their adult counterparts, premature loss of these teeth can lead to future complications. Thankfully, the introduction of space maintainers offers a solution by preventing undesired shifts in your child's dental alignment. With the assistance of these devices, their smiles can continue to flourish and mature naturally, ensuring optimal growth and development.
Space maintainers are semi-permanent dental devices dentists install in the gap left by missing teeth to allow proper growth of permanent teeth. They help occupy the gap left by missing teeth until the permanent ones come in. In doing so, they prevent the teeth neighboring the gap from shifting into it and preventing the proper growth of adult teeth.
Live Oak Pediatric Dentistry is a judgment-free establishment, with particular attention to your child’s comfort and calmness. Our family-centric approach ensures children feel right at home in our offices. Plus, our board-certified pediatric dentist will be friendly and cheerful to calm their nerves and ensure a pleasant dental experience. Contact us today and experience pediatric dental care with a difference.
Dental space maintainers are custom-made devices used in pediatric dentistry to preserve space for permanent teeth when a baby tooth is lost prematurely.
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These maintainers consist of a crown and a loop made of stainless steel. The loop goes over the crown, pressing the teeth adjacent to the gap so they don't grow into it.
Dentists insert these maintainers into the gums after the molars fall out prematurely. It then guides the adult molars to grow correctly and uninterrupted.
Lingual space maintainers consist of crowns and wires that maintain space across several missing tooth gaps. They’re especially ideal for children with missing teeth from congenital defects.
These maintainers consist of wires that sits in front of the unerupted tooth to guide growth. They’re installed on one side of the mouth and are recommended for kids with missing molars.
Hospital sedation provides a safe, anxiety-free option for pediatric dental care. Administered by an anesthesiologist, sedatives allow kids to fully relax through procedures. Vital signs are monitored ensuring optimal levels are maintained. With fewer traumatic memories, hospital sedation can build a lifetime of positive dental experiences for children.
The space maintainer process will start with an evaluation by our Slidell pediatric dentist, Dr. Mesa. He’ll check the gap left by the missing tooth and decide whether a space maintainer is necessary. He’ll then develop a personalized treatment plan outlining the type of space maintainer required, the duration of the treatments, and other specifics regarding the procedure.
Dr. Mesa will use 3D scanning technology or a putty-like material to get impressions of your teeth. He’ll then send these impressions to a lab to fabricate the space maintainer to your child’s specifications. After two to three weeks, we’ll call you and your child in to fix your space maintainers.
The fitting process first involves cleaning and shaping the teeth adjacent to the gap to accommodate the space maintainer. Dr. Mesa will then place the maintainer between the gap and cement it in place with dental cement.
Your child’s space maintainers might need slight adjustments to ensure they fit snugly and comfortably. Dr. Mesa will also check your child’s bite to ensure the space maintainer doesn’t interfere with feeding. Afterwards, he’ll provide instructions on caring for the space maintainer, including how to maintain your child’s oral hygiene even with the space maintainer.
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No, space maintainers aren’t necessary for every child with a missing tooth. They’re unnecessary for children whose teeth have naturally fallen out to pave way for permanent adult teeth. However, these dental devices are necessary for children with gaps left by teeth that have fallen out prematurely.
Any child that has undergone premature tooth loss is a good candidate for space maintainers. The problem is that there’s no one-size-fits-all calendar for children to lose their primary teeth. As such, it’s important to consult with a certified pediatric dentist to determine whether your child really needs a space maintainer.