If your child loses a baby tooth early, a space maintainer is the best way to make sure their smile develops properly as they grow. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry.
Space maintainers are metal or plastic prosthetics that are placed into your child’s mouth in the area where they’ve lost a baby tooth. Baby teeth are supposed to fall out naturally as they are replaced by adult teeth. But if your child loses a baby tooth before it’s supposed to fall out, this can cause problems with their future oral development. As the name suggests, a space maintainer helps maintain the proper spacing between their baby teeth, ensuring their adult teeth can come out with no issues.
Kids typically begin to lose their baby teeth at the age of six, and all of their baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth by the age of 12-13.
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At Truckee Pediatric Dentistry, we offer sedation for kids of all ages. If your child is nervous about getting a space maintainer or any other treatment, we’re here to provide them with the comfortable, child-friendly care they need.
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Space maintainers are easy to place, and the procedure takes only a few minutes. Your child won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the process.
With a space maintainer, you will not have to worry about your child’s other baby teeth shifting toward the empty socket where they’ve lost a tooth. Their mouths will continue to develop normally.
If your child’s adult teeth don’t emerge properly due to premature baby tooth loss, they may require orthodontic treatment. But with space maintainers, you can reduce or even eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment.
First, you’ll come and meet with our Truckee pediatric dentist, Dr. Matthew Gustaffson. He will examine your child’s mouth and determine if a space maintainer is necessary. Sometimes, space maintainers are not needed. For example, if your child’s adult tooth is about to emerge in the area where they’ve lost a baby tooth, this procedure may not be necessary.
If Dr. Gustaffson believes a space maintainer is necessary for your child, he will take images and impressions of their mouth, and work with a dental lab to build your child’s space maintainer. You’ll come back in a couple of weeks, and he will permanently attach the space maintainer to their teeth.
Your child will keep their space maintainer until the adult teeth in the area begin to emerge. Dr. Gustaffson will check on their space maintainer during their six-month visits to Truckee Pediatric Dentistry. Once it’s time to remove it, he’ll use special tools to loosen the space maintainer and pull it out.
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