Tooth loss is just an inevitable fact of childhood, right? Most of us would agree that it is completely normal for a child to lose a tooth, and tooth loss for a little one is to be expected. It is a rite of passage as they transition into their permanent, adult teeth. However, sometimes, tooth loss can pose a problem for your child’s mouth. If one of their primary teeth needs to be removed before it is ready to fall out on its own, then we here at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry may recommend a space maintainer to help their permanent teeth develop properly.
What Can Cause Premature Tooth Loss in a Child’s Mouth?
There are many different things that can lead to tooth loss. While a child’s primary teeth are supposed to fall out on their own eventually, sometimes they may fall out too early. This can be caused by several different things. When this occurs, a space maintainer may be necessary. A tooth can become lost for many reasons, but they can include injury to the tooth, infection or an abscess in the tooth or along the gumline, serious tooth decay, and even surgery.
What is a Space Maintainer?
There are two main types of space maintainers. One type of space maintainer is a removable space maintainer. Removable space maintainers are often made out of an acrylic-based material. Sometimes a removable space maintainer may include an artificial, prosthetic tooth. This can improve the appearance of your little one’s smile while they wait for their permanent tooth to arrive.
Another type of space maintainer is called a fixed space maintainer. Fixed space maintainers fall into four subcategories, which include unilateral, crown and loop, distal shoe, and lingual space maintainers. The type of space maintainer that we recommend for your child may vary depending on several different factors. This can include the location of the tooth loss or even the cause of the loss of tooth.
What do Space Maintainers Do?
A space maintainer is a very important device that can help your child develop a healthy, happy adult smile. A space maintainer acts as a placeholder for lost teeth. The role of the space maintainer is to hold the affected place open so that the permanent, adult tooth can eventually fill in the vacated spot without issue. When tooth loss occurs, sometimes the remaining teeth may try to drift or shift into the opening. This movement can impair the ability of your child’s permanent tooth from coming in correctly. By putting a space maintainer in your child’s mouth, we can prevent this movement of your child’s teeth and help avoid further complications that could arise from tooth loss.
A space maintainer can help your child’s mouth form and develop properly. By giving them a good foundation as a child, they can carry their beautiful smile into adulthood and throughout their entire lives! To learn more about how your child might benefit from a space maintainer or another orthodontic device, or to schedule an appointment with us here at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry, please give us a call at 360-659-8100, 360-863-8700, 425-367-4149, 360-339-8000 today!