Space Maintainers

Baby teeth are important!

Though baby teeth are temporary, they have a very important job - they set the stage for the growth and development of your child's adult teeth.  Baby molars, in particular, serve as space holders for the permanent adult teeth that eventually will erupt.  If a baby molar is lost prematurely, it is typically advised to have a space maintainer put into place.  A space maintainer will hold surrounding teeth in place so that available space for the adult tooth is not compromised.  Without a space maintainer, neighboring teeth can drift or tilt, which may block an adult tooth from coming in correctly, which can create future orthodontic problems.  There are various types of space maintainers and your doctor will discuss your child's individual circumstance and recommendations should one be required.

Additionally, there are types of space maintainers that may be recommended even without the early loss of a baby teeth.  Such space maintainers can be beneficial for children who exhibit extensive crowding within the adult dentition.  These type of space maintainers attempt to maximize all potentially available space so that the adult teeth have the best chance of fitting in appropriately.  If this treatment is recommended for your child, your doctor with discuss it with you in more detail.