Fixed space maintainers consist of a metal band or crown that is attached to one or more adjacent teeth. A wire loop or arm extends from the band or crown and rests in the space where the missing tooth once was. This loop or arm prevents the remaining teeth from shifting and maintains the space until the permanent tooth emerges.
Fixed space maintainers are typically made from stainless steel, which is durable and resistant to corrosion. In some cases, they may be made from a combination of stainless steel and acrylic, providing a more aesthetic appearance.
Removable space maintainers are similar to dental retainers and can be easily taken out for cleaning or adjustment. They consist of a plastic base that sits on the roof of the mouth or along the lower jaw. The base has artificial teeth attached to it, which fill the gap left by the missing tooth.
Removable space maintainers use clasps or wires to anchor onto the adjacent teeth, preventing them from moving into the empty space. These appliances are usually recommended when multiple teeth are missing or when the child still has a mix of baby and permanent teeth.
How Long Should Space Maintainers Be Worn?
The duration of space maintainer wear varies depending on the individual case. In general, space maintainers are worn until the permanent tooth is ready to emerge naturally. This can range from several months to a few years.
Regular dental check-ups are crucial during this time to ensure that the space maintainer is functioning correctly and to monitor the eruption of the permanent tooth. Your pediatric dentist will provide specific instructions on how long your child should wear the space maintainer and when it can be safely removed.
Let’s Get In Touch
If your child has lost a baby tooth prematurely, don't wait to address the issue. Contact Saginaw Kids Dentistry today at (682) 285-1900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elias or Dr. Christina. Our experienced pediatric dentists will assess your child's dental needs and recommend the most suitable treatment, including space maintainers if necessary. Your child's healthy smile is our priority!