What Are Space Maintainers?
Space maintainers are specialized devices that prevent children's teeth from moving into open gaps as new adult teeth grow in. Personalized to meet each patient's needs, these high-quality appliances work well for children who have a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth. To stop the nearby teeth from slowly moving into the open spot, space maintainers hold the permanent teeth in their proper position. Made from metal or plastic material, our experienced dentists have extensive knowledge of dental space maintainers and helping your child's teeth grow in their natural place. We may suggest this treatment if your child has prematurely lost a tooth before an adult tooth is ready to grow in. Please schedule an appointment at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, so one of our dentists in Lancaster, PA can get your child's oral health started out right.
"Hollie makes coming to the orthodontist super easy and fun for the kids. Great personality and keeps the kids relaxed. Explains what is happening for the kids very well. A++"- M.K. / Google / Nov 30, 2023
"Both of my children (and myself) had such a pleasant experience! Hollie was so nice and answered all of our questions along the way. She had a way of making the kids feel comfortable and they were not anxious at all. I highly recommend LPDA. 😁"- K.K. / Google / Nov 30, 2023
"A HUGE shout out to Hollie, for going above and beyond! This 5 star rating is for YOU! I needed to make an immediate appointment for my son, but I couldn't get ahold of anyone to schedule it. I called all day, left messages on almost every voice mail, and heard from no one. Finally, I left a message on Hollie's voicemail (orthodontics dept), and within 5 mins, she called me back. She took all my info, put me on hold, and walked it over to someone at the dentist office front desk. We had our appointment today, and I STILL have not heard from anyone that I left a message for 3 days ago. THANK YOU, Hollie!! 😊"- H.G. / Google / Nov 23, 2023
"I would have given you a 5 star but the receptionist was rude to me. I love all the dentists there they are all very kind."- M.Y. / Google / Nov 22, 2023
"We have been coming here at least twice a year since my youngest two were 1. They are now 13 and 15. It is always a pleasant experience for the kids. I hope it will give them the habit to carry on with preventative dental care once they are young adults. Best I can do ;-)"- V.M. / Google / Nov 08, 2023
What Are the Benefits of Space Maintainers?
Space maintainers can play a crucial role in the development of your child's permanent teeth. Some of the primary benefits of space maintainers include:
- Encourages the proper space for permanent teeth to erupt
- Keeps adjacent teeth in their correct positions
- Reduces the need for braces or orthodontic treatment
- Virtually pain-free
- Offers fixed or removable options for diverse needs
Is my child a good candidate for space maintainers?
Teeth depend on one another to remain in place and keep their proper positions. When children lose teeth and have an open space, the nearby teeth sometimes move into this gap. This can cause various functional and oral concerns as the adult teeth begin to emerge, such as misalignment. Space maintainers hold the space open until the permanent tooth is ready to grow in. Children often require a space maintainer if a baby tooth falls out before an adult tooth is ready to erupt or if they need a decayed baby tooth removed. Our pediatric dentists can assist early on in your child’s oral health care needs with the help of space maintainers.
What Should I expect with Dental Space Maintainers?
To select the best kind of space maintainer for your child, our pediatric dentists will use 3D imaging to get a detailed perspective of their mouth. These 3D images also allow us to create impressions for the space maintainer, which we send to our dental labs to create the appliance. After the device is ready, our team will call you to schedule your son or daughter’s follow-up appointment, so we can comfortably fit the space maintainer. Depending on your child’s needs, the spacer may be permanent or removable. However, for the best results, we generally cement the device to the nearby teeth for stability. If your child has missing teeth on one or both sides of their mouth, on the same arch, or just one missing tooth, our dentists will select either a lingual, unilateral, or palatal spacer.
Is There After Care For Space Maintainers?
After placing a dental space maintainer, we can provide a general time frame on how long your child may need to wear it. Although they serve an important purpose, it can be more difficult to have your children carefully clean and floss around the spacer. Our dentists recommend working with your child during teeth brushing and flossing time to keep their teeth and gums safe, healthy, and happy. In some cases, patients may need certain dental products to enhance at-home cleaning efforts. During the follow-up appointments, we can review their dental development to ensure everything is coming in appropriately. In addition to follow-up appointments, families should continue to schedule dental exams and cleanings for optimal oral health.
Does Insurance Cover Space Maintainers?
Space maintainers are typically covered by many insurers. Our skilled team will contact your insurance company and inform you whether you have any out-of-pocket charges that your insurance does not cover.
Space Maintainers FAQ
Is a space maintainer uncomfortable?
When a space maintainer is first placed, your child may experience some discomfort as they get used to it. Most children acclimate to the space maintainer after a couple of days.
How long will my child have to wear a space maintainer?
Ideally, the space maintainer is worn until the permanent tooth erupts and fills the space. If cared for properly, a space maintainer can last for a very long time. Depending on the tooth and when it was lost, it can take months or years for the space to be filled.
What should I do if my child's space maintainer falls out?
Please do not try to put your child's tooth spacer back in if it falls out or becomes loose. If this does occur, be sure to get in touch with our office immediately. It is important to contact us as soon as possible to avoid your child's teeth shifting into an unfavorable position. Store the dental spacer in a safe place until you visit our Lancaster, PA office.
Advanced Solutions for Your Child's Dental Needs
Space maintainers are innovative orthodontic options our pediatric dentists at Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates offer to help children start on the right foot. If your child has lost a tooth before the adult one erupts, a dental space maintainer can prevent nearby teeth from shifting into the gap. This reduces the chance of a new tooth becoming misaligned as it emerges from the gum. Please schedule an appointment for your son or daughter with our Lancaster, PA dentists to learn more.