Orthodontic Space Maintainers in Surprise, AZ
Many parents associate orthodontic work with traditional braces. However, some children need to prevent misalignment of the teeth after they begin to lose their baby teeth. Space maintainers are the devices that orthodontists use to help.
If your child loses a primary tooth prematurely, their upper or lower jaw may develop abnormally. This can cause wear and tear, tooth decay, and disease later in life. At times, space maintainers are essential to preventing long-term orthodontic problems.
By taking your child for regular checkups at Surprise Pediatric Dentistry, you can help avoid future dental problems. If you notice the abnormal loss of baby teeth or growth of adult teeth, give us a call to see whether a space maintainer is the right option for your child.
Reasons Your Child May Need a Space Maintainer
Orthodontists mainly recommend space maintainers for:
- Premature loss of primary teeth
- Delayed loss of primary teeth
- Traumatic loss of primary teeth
Premature Loss of Primary Teeth
Children who lose their primary teeth prematurely often require a space maintainer. The main cause of premature tooth loss is cavities due to consumption of sugary foods and drinks or improper brushing habits.
Our Surprise pediatric dentist recommends baby teeth extraction if they are infected with cavities. Leaving a primary tooth cavity alone for too long can cause tooth decay or infection that may spread to other teeth.
Delayed Loss of Primary Teeth
Sometimes primary teeth do not fall out. This either prevents the adult teeth from growing or causes them to grow into the same space as a baby tooth. The presence of both teeth causes overcrowding and poor jaw development.
Traumatic Loss of Primary Teeth
Children often experience injuries due to clumsiness. Such poor motor skills can damage the teeth and jaws, thus requiring a space maintainer to encourage the growth of straight teeth.
Types of Space Maintainers
There are three categories of space maintainers:
- Fixed unilateral maintainer
- Fixed bilateral maintainer
- Partial dentures
Orthodontists use all three for different dentofacial orthopedics cases. Contact our orthodontist to find out which one is best for your child.
Fixed Unilateral Maintainer
We use fixed unilateral maintainers when the problem only appears on one side of the mouth. The unilateral space maintainer normally maintains the space necessary for an adult molar to grow.
Fixed Bilateral Maintainer
Fixed bilateral maintainers are necessary if your child loses teeth on both sides of the mouth. Our Surprise orthodontist uses fixed bilateral space maintainers on both the upper and lower jaws to ensure that the dental arch is properly growing.
Partial dentures fully replace the teeth. We normally decide to give children partial dentures for aesthetic reasons or if more than one tooth is missing on either side of the mouth. We almost always fit children with removable partial dentures due to their developmental stage.
Should I Get a Space Maintainer for My Child?
Orthodontic treatment is necessary when children prematurely lose teeth. If you want to speak with an orthodontist in Surprise, AZ, give Surprise Pediatric Dentistry a call at 602-730-6481 today.