If a baby tooth is lost before its time the space left behind may have an effect on the way the permanent tooth erupts. A space maintainer is an appliance that dentists use to take the place of the baby tooth and allow the permanent tooth to come through and take its natural place.
If your child has lost a primary tooth through accident, decay or some other disease he may be a good candidate for a space maintainer. Some permanent teeth are slow to erupt. A space maintainer can hold the position for as long as it takes.
Xrays will tell your dentist if the permanent tooth is ready to erupt or if a space maintainer is needed.
Your dentist will make a mold of your child’s teeth and gums in order to custom make his space maintainer. The space maintainer may be permanently fitted or it can be removable.
Your dentist will monitor the progress of the permanent tooth and remove the space maintainer when the time is right.