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Space Maintainers
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Everything You Need to Know About Dental Space Maintainers

Typically, your child loses their baby teeth when their permanent teeth are about to erupt. However, due to injury, decay, or other reasons, some children lose their teeth too soon before the permanent teeth sprout. When this happens, Dr. Hee Jee Yoon of Hoover Dental Center may recommend a dental space maintainer to prevent the surviving teeth from shifting into the edentulous (empty) space.

What is a dental space maintainer?

It’s a dental appliance that fits into the space left by the primary tooth. Pediatric dental spacers hold the adjacent teeth in place, enabling the permanent tooth to erupt correctly. These spacers can either be fixed or removable. In most cases, fixed dental spaces are preferable because their removable counterparts can break or get lost.

Are dental space maintainers always needed?

Your pediatric dentist doesn’t always make a blanket recommendation for dental space maintainers. Not all children require these appliances. Your dentist will consider the following factors before recommending orthodontic space maintainers:

  • Location of the lost tooth
  • Medical history
  • Your child’s oral health habits
  • The development status of the permanent tooth
  • Elapsed time since the primary tooth came out

If your child has lost a tooth, it’s critical to talk to your dentist to establish whether a dental spacer is required. Typically, teeth shift within the first six months after losing a tooth, so speed is of the essence if you want to avoid extensive orthodontics down the road.

Placing dental spacers

There are different types of space maintainers, so Dr. Yoon will review your kid’s mouth to establish the type needed. The procedure is pretty straightforward and can be completed within one or two visits. Unlike braces, spacers don’t move the teeth. So, your child doesn’t experience any pain when installed. The spacer may remain in place until the growing tooth pushes it out, or it can be removed before the adult tooth erupts fully.

Once a space maintainer is in place, it will take your child a few days to get used to them. Pain-relievers and a cold compress can be used for the first few days. Throughout, monitor your child’s oral care hygiene and discourage them from touching the appliances to avoid contaminating the area. Regular pediatric dental visits are necessary to ensure the development of the permanent tooth follows the path of the spacer.

Dental spacers for children near me in Los Angeles, California

Does your child need a pediatric dental spacer in Los Angeles, CA? Please call (213) 725-2898 or email Hoover Dental Center for affordable dental space maintainers.

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