What is a Space Maintainer?
It is a method used in children. Loss of milk teeth occurs for various reasons. An object called retainer is placed around the empty tooth base. Thus, the adjacent teeth are prevented from sliding into the space.
Space Maintainer Types
Fixed Space Maintainer Apparatus
Fixed space maintainer are non-movable metal holders mounted with glue. It can only be inserted and removed by the dentist.
Movable Space Maintainer Apparatus
Movable Space Maintainer, unlike fixed holders, are used by the dentist without the need for insertion and removal. Cleaning and maintenance can be done more easily.
They can be fixed and removed at any time. There are some points to be considered in its use. Some of those:
They can be removed from time to time and the mouth can be rested.
When the apparatus is removed, it must be kept in water. If it is dry and stretched for a long time due to metal formation, it may not settle in the mouth structure. Before going to bed at night, you can put the it in a glass of water.
How Long Are Space Maintainer Appliances Used?
A longer time can be used for premature loss of milk teeth. A space maintainer appliance should be used until the permanent teeth come out. As the age progresses in early losses, the jaw structure grows and develops. Therefore, the space maintainer may be small for tooth, its distance may be shortened, expansion or contraction may occur. In such cases, you should see a doctor immediately. A new space maintainer appliance is made.
Considerations After Installing Space Maintainer
There are some points to consider after the space maintainers are installed. If you do not pay attention to these, there may be problems in using them.
- They should not be pushed or moved by hand or tongue.
- The area around the teeth should be thoroughly disinfected in order not to damage the inserted teeth.
- Fixed space maintainers are removed under the supervision of the dentist. However, you can simply remove the movable ones while eating.
- It should be changed without waiting in cases such as breakage and strain.
- Teeth should be brushed regularly.
- A dental check should be done every 6 months.
Space Maintainer Apparatus Benefits
The use of a space maintainer appliance is important for children’s teeth development and healthy chewing functions.
Early lost milk teeth leave space in place. If this space is not protected, the side teeth will slide into the space.
Thus, the area of the adult tooth to be removed becomes narrower. It shifts to a different area from where it should be. This causes the formation of a crooked tooth array.
The space maintainer appliance prevents this formation.
It keeps the teeth in a normal level.
It prevents adult teeth from being damaged.