What are space maintainers?
The Space Maintainers Process
Consultation and Examination
The first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Minh Nguyen at Excelsior Orthodontics. During this appointment, the orthodontist will examine your child's dental condition, which may include taking X-rays to assess the positioning of the primary and permanent teeth. This examination helps determine if space maintainers are necessary and which type would be most suitable for your child.
Impression and Customization
If it is determined that your child requires space maintainers, the next step involves taking impressions of your child's mouth. This is done to create custom-fitted space maintainers tailored specifically to your child's dental structure. The orthodontist may use dental putty or digital scanning technology to obtain accurate impressions. These impressions serve as a blueprint for fabricating the space maintainers in a dental laboratory.
Placement and Follow-up
Once the space maintainers have been fabricated, you will return to Excelsior Orthodontics for the placement appointment. The orthodontist will carefully fit and adjust the space maintainers to ensure a comfortable and secure fit in your child's mouth. He will provide instructions on how to care for the space maintainers and what to expect during the initial period of adjustment. Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your child's progress and make any necessary adjustments to the space maintainers as their teeth continue to develop.
Band and loops
This is the most common type of space maintainer. It consists of a stainless-steel band placed around one tooth adjacent to the empty space and a wire loop that spans the gap, holding the space open. Band and loop maintainers are adjustable and can accommodate the eruption of permanent teeth.
These maintainers are used when multiple teeth in the upper jaw require space preservation. They consist of a wire that spans the roof of the mouth and attaches to the teeth on either side, helping to maintain the necessary gaps.
Lower lingual holding arches
Designed for the lower jaw, these maintainers are similar to transpalatal arches but are placed on the lingual (tongue) side of the lower teeth. They prevent the shifting of teeth and help retain the space for proper eruption of permanent teeth.