Dentist West Hartford What is a Space Maintainer?

Your Dentist near Avon CT Explains Dental Space Maintainers


Having sets of crooked teeth is common among teenagers. The causes of such vary – it could either be hereditary or caused by external factors. One of the major cause of crooked teeth is when a person loses a non-permanent tooth as a child. Since the teeth naturally lean on each other for leverage, a missing tooth can cause other teeth to grow in an unnatural angle due to the extra space. To counter this common cause of growing crooked teeth, clinicians discovered the use of dental space maintainers.


So, what are space maintainers? These are devices made of metal or acrylic which are rested on the empty space between a set of teeth. The purpose of a dental space maintainer is to act as leverage for other teeth as they grow. This way, teeth are encouraged to grow vertically straight.


A common dental space maintainer appears to be a metal hoop with a thin, long wire loop attached to it. The circular piece goes around one tooth, and the metal hoop goes over the missing space and connects to the next tooth. It appears as though the loop bridges two separate teeth together. This way, if teeth try to grow diagonally, the loop and the metal space keeps it straight. The purpose of the loop as leverage is simple-- keeping the permanent teeth unhindered through the opening in the loop.


When Are Dental Space Maintainers Used?


Dental space maintainers are commonly used on children who have yet to grow permanent teeth to prevent them from growing crookedly. When a child loses a tooth, he is sent to the dentist for space maintainers. When the device is attached, x-ray exams are regularly conducted on the child's mouth. The dental space maintainer is removed when a permanent tooth shows signs of sprouting.


There may be some cases wherein permanent teeth are delayed in growth. In this case, some dental space maintainers are made to last for long-term usage. However, if the permanent tooth appears to be missing, or it refuses to grow, dentists may opt for implants or replacements.


You want to provide the best dental care when it comes to your kids' dental health. Learn about the Pediatric Dental Care that your dentist near Avon CT offers by contacting our office today at (860) 521-6767!