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Space Maintenance

While it’s expected for baby teeth to progressively fall out as your child grows older, sometimes this is not always the case. Sometimes, a child may lose a baby tooth prematurely, usually as a result of extensive decay or damage. In such a situation, Dr. Heba Rashed of Petite Smiles will recommend a space maintainer to keep the path clear for adult teeth and maintain healthy alignment.

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What is a space maintainer, and what does it do?

In a perfect world, the tooth-sized space between two remaining teeth would remain open after tooth removal or loss. However, that’s not reality. Neighboring tend to gradually drift to the gap to provide more structural support for the mouth.

Although dental drift is a natural phenomenon, it can lead to serious misalignment issues as the adult tooth strives to push through the gum line. Additionally, the supporting adult tooth might become trapped beneath the gums. This lost space is very difficult to gain back, even with orthodontic treatment later down the road. Prevention really is key. Add to the end: When your child’s adult tooth finally makes its debut, Dr. Rashed will remove the space maintainer.

Thankfully, a well-fitted space maintainer can prevent these potential problems. Space maintainers are small metal devices that (well, you’ve guessed it) maintain the space between remaining teeth.

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Which scenarios necessitate space maintainers?

It’s important to understand that not every single primary tooth that falls out requires a space maintainer. Dr. Rashed typically prescribes space maintainers for patients who lose baby molars before their adult replacement has developed below the gum line or is ready to erupt. The reason behind premature tooth loss varies from child to child. Regardless of why your child loses a tooth in an untimely manner, it’s essential to support the remaining neighboring teeth and the emerging adult tooth by maintaining proper space for it to come in once it’s ready.

How Our Lorton Dentist Seamlessly Installs Space Retainers

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Depending on the type of spacer maintenance required, this procedure can be done chairside or an impression can be taken and sent to the lab. Keep reading for the steps of a chairside space retainer install.

Step 1: First, Dr. Rashed chooses a metal band attached to a specialized wire.

Step 2: Then, she fits it snugly over the tooth.

Step 3: Lastly, she secures the space maintainer with dental cement.

After installing the space maintainer, Dr. Rashed’s team will run through space maintainer hygiene procedures, which foods are temporarily off-limits (such as sticky or hard candy), and other specialized instructions.

Your child will barely feel the process (and might even forget that the space maintainer is in their mouth). When your child’s adult tooth finally makes its debut, Dr. Rashed will remove the space maintainer.

Space Maintenance in Lorton, VA

Taking your child’s smile clean and healthy expends a lot of energy, but we know that your kid is worth it. With the assistance of our Petite Smiles team and space maintainers, your child will have a beautiful, healthy smile throughout childhood.

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