If a child loses a baby tooth earlier than expected or their adult tooth is late in erupting, they may benefit from space maintainers to hold the place for the incoming tooth or teeth. Space maintainers are orthodontic appliances that help ensure that adult teeth come in where they should. They can be fixed or removable and they are custom-made for each child.
A few of the most common types of space maintainer appliances are the band-and-loop device, the lingual holding arch, the transpalatal arch, and the distal shoe appliance. Which appliance a child uses is determined by the missing tooth or teeth. They can be fitted to either the upper or lower jaw, on one or both sides, as needed. For children with several missing teeth, partial dentures can be effective space maintainers.
Whenever a child loses a tooth before it was loose, or if they lost it normally but the adult tooth is taking a long time to come in, it’s a good idea to bring them to see us so that they can determine whether a space maintainer is necessary and what type to use. If you have any questions about space maintainers or think your child might need one, give us a call at (815) 363-0103 or send us a email.