Baby teeth are important to the development of jaw bones and muscles, and help to guide permanent teeth into proper position when the baby teeth are lost. If a space is not maintained, then teeth can shift into the open space and orthodontic treatment may be required. Children may need space maintainers if they lose a tooth early or have a baby (primary) tooth extracted due to dental decay.
Made of metal and/or plastic, space maintainers can be fixed or removable, but either way their purpose is the same: to help your child develop the best bite possible and hopefully avoid the need for braces later on. Whether fixed or removable, your child's space maintainer will be custom-made after we take impressions of his or her mouth. Your child will wear a space maintainer until x-rays reveal that the tooth underneath is ready to erupt naturally.
Not every child who loses a baby tooth early requires a space maintainer; however, a professional consultation with Dr. Terrana should be conducted to determine if using a space maintainer is needed.