We’ve all been there before. We’ve all put that last puzzle piece in place to complete the picture we’ve been working on and felt the sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Sometimes puzzles present themselves in dental form and while we’re left looking and waiting for a certain piece, a dentist can provide a solution in the interim. Many dental offices use space maintenance as a short term resolution to ensure the perfect spot is available once the missing piece turns up.
What is Space Maintenance?
Space maintenance is an option for children to explore when a tooth has fallen out too early because of aggressive decay or through an accident. By using something to maintain the space, a dentist makes sure there is room for permanent teeth when they start to grow in and helps prevent further dental problems by keeping the remaining teeth aligned. Choosing not to take advantage of space maintenance could increase the chances of needing additional orthodontic care or treatment in the future.
The 2 Types of Space Maintainers
When using a space maintainer, there are two types that seem to be the most common. Removable space maintainers appear to look like regular retainers, but have a section made of plastic that fills in for the missing tooth. The maintainer itself is generally made of stainless steel or plastic. The removable option is the more popular choice among older children or those who prove to be more responsible.
The other option is a fixed maintainer that is typically cemented directly to the teeth. Under the umbrella of fixed maintainers are several designs, all offering a high level of space maintenance. Perhaps the most chosen is one made of stainless steel that anchors itself with a band or a crown around the tooth next in line while a wire then rests against the side of the opposite teeth.
Why is Space Maintenance Necessary?
In effort to prevent crowding or overlapping of permanent teeth when they start to break through, space maintenance is the best option in reserving a spot for them. Losing a tooth unexpectedly doesn’t have to jeopardize your smile or your overall dental health. By taking advantage of a space maintainer, you’re essentially holding a place for better things to come.
If you’re in the Houston area and are interested in discussing space maintenance options, let the friendly team at Sair Dental help you find the missing piece you’re looking for.