Space Maintainers

Pettinato Children's Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry located in Wesley Chapel, FL

Space maintainers are helpful if your child loses a tooth too early or needs to have a tooth pulled. Since space maintainers can help leave adequate space for incoming adult teeth, the team at Pettinato Children's Dentistry in Wesley Chapel, Florida, often recommend these oral appliances for young children. If your child needs a space maintainer, schedule an evaluation directly through the website or call the clinic to book their visit over the phone at 813-907-3100.

Space Maintainers Q & A

What are the benefits of space maintainers?

Space maintainers, as the name implies, hold a space where a baby tooth once was, but where the adult tooth just hasn’t grown in yet. They’re essential for ensuring your little one’s teeth don’t shift and cause crowding that can impact the growth of permanent teeth.

Space maintainers, which are common between the ages of 10-12, are beneficial to:

  • Preserve bone and gum tissue
  • Guide adult teeth into optimal alignment
  • Promote normal muscle function involved with speaking and swallowing

Not all children who lose baby teeth too soon need space maintainers. The best way to find out if this is a necessary treatment for your child is to schedule a dental exam. 

Which type of space maintainer does my child need?

The caring team at Pettinato Children's Dentistry may need to gather some updated in-office X-rays to determine if your little one needs a space maintainer. After looking at these images and evaluating your child’s teeth, your dedicated dentist talks with you and your child about which type of space maintainer is best.

Space maintainers can be either removable or fixed. With removable space maintainers, your pediatric dentist needs to get your child fitted with a customized orthodontic appliance that your child can remove to eat, brush, and floss. In some cases, your dentist may attach a false tooth in the space to maintain normal chewing and speech.

Fixed space maintainers, such as crown and loop or lingual appliances, are cemented in place for a set period of time. These dental devices may also have a false tooth attached to a wire or bracket. 

How long does my child need to wear space maintainers?

It just depends on how your child’s adult teeth are developing. Your child may need a space maintainer for just a couple of months or up to six months or more.

Pettinato Children's Dentistry schedules your child for exams every six months to monitor their progress. In some cases, your dentist may want to see your child more regularly to determine how much longer they need to wear the space maintainer or make any essential adjustments. 

Learn more about space maintainers by booking an evaluation at Pettinato Children's Dentistry today. Click on the online booking tool or call to speak with a team member.