The baby teeth are not just for chewing, but they are also responsible for guiding the permanent teeth to its proper placement once they erupt. If your child loses their baby tooth too early, then the permanent tooth may lose its guide. This will cause drifting and erupt on wrong positions in the mouth. This can also cause misalignment and crooked teeth. The neighboring teeth can move into the vacant space in the teeth, which leaves insufficient space for the permanent tooth.
There are two kinds of space maintainers can be made of stainless steel or plastic. It may be removable or fixed onto the either side of the teeth in your child's mouth. This is quite similar to a retainer, where a removal space maintainer uses artificial teeth to fill into the space and make sure that it remains open. It is recommended for older children who can follow instructions in caring for the device.
There's also the band-and-loop space maintainer that is made from stainless steel wire and fixed by a crown on the tooth next to the vacant space. This is recommended for younger children who may find it hard to maintain the removable device.
At Sierra Springs Dental, we offer space maintainer installation service. Our dentists will make sure that the space maintainer is properly placed in your children's mouth.
Feel free to call us for further clarification on the process and the purpose and benefits of space maintainers.