What Are the Signs Your Child Needs Space Maintainers?

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At Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics, we specialize in comprehensive dental solutions for adults and children. One issue that often arises in pediatric dentistry is the need for space maintainers, also known as tooth spacers. A space maintainer can be a wise missing tooth replacement until an adult tooth erupts. For more information on space maintainers and how they can help maintain the integrity of your child’s mouth, contact us in Wyomissing, PA, today.

What are space maintainers?

Space maintainers are dental appliances usually made of metal or plastic. They are often used in pediatric dentistry to hold open the space left by a lost baby tooth, ensuring adequate room for a permanent tooth to emerge. Tooth spacers can play an essential role when a child loses a tooth prematurely or when a permanent tooth is delayed in its arrival. They act as a placeholder, giving the new tooth the room it needs to come in properly. If tooth decay leads to the early loss of a baby tooth, a spacer can prevent future dental issues.

Why would a child need a space maintainer?

A child may need a space maintainer as a form of missing tooth replacement if they've lost a baby tooth prematurely due to tooth decay or injury. Without this dental appliance, the adjacent teeth might drift into the empty space, causing alignment problems and potentially complicating future orthodontic treatments. This could further lead to issues with biting, speech, and overall oral health. Therefore, using a tooth spacer serves as a preventive measure in pediatric dentistry to avoid these complications.

What are the signs your child might need a space maintainer?

There are specific signs that may indicate your child needs a tooth spacer. Some common signs include:

  • Premature loss of a baby tooth due to tooth decay or accident
  • Noticeable shifting of the surrounding teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or speaking

Parents also should not ignore minor symptoms like increased sensitivity around the gap or general discomfort in the mouth. Regular dental check-ups can also contribute to early identification and appropriate missing tooth replacement solutions.

Are there different types of space maintainers?

When you visit our Wyomissing, PA, office, we may use one of two different space maintainers depending on your child’s needs.

  • Fixed space maintainers: These are attached to adjacent teeth and are typically recommended for younger children who might have difficulty managing a removable device.
  • Removable space maintainers: These are similar to orthodontic appliances and are usually made of acrylic. They are often used for older children who can reliably take care of them. Some even come with a false tooth to fill the space visually, which can be especially useful for missing front teeth.

Your dental professional will help you choose the best type based on factors like your child's age, oral hygiene habits, and how many teeth are missing due to tooth decay or other reasons.

How do you get a space maintainer for your child?

If you suspect that your child needs a tooth spacer, the first step is to consult with a dentist who is used to working with children, like those at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics. Our team will assess your child's dental health, focusing on signs of tooth decay or other issues that might require missing tooth replacement. We offer modern diagnostic tools for an accurate assessment and will discuss the procedure in detail to ensure a virtually stress-free experience for both parent and child.

Maintain your child’s dental health

Taking the initiative in your child's dental health is crucial, especially when it comes to issues like tooth decay or the need for missing tooth replacement. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at Grove Dental Group and Orthodontics. We are dedicated to providing your family with state-of-the-art dental solutions. Schedule an appointment in Wyomissing, PA, today to discover how a tooth spacer can help your child's smile shine brighter.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.