Space Maintainers

Baby teeth are important, and if your child loses one too soon, then our team at St. George Kids Dental may recommend a space maintainer. Our dentists offer this oral appliance to prevent the remaining teeth from shifting out of place so your child’s permanent teeth will grow in correctly. Schedule a visit with Dr. Pryor and Dr. Higbee to see if your child needs to receive a space maintainer in St. George, Utah.

The baby teeth, or primary teeth, allow your child to chew and eat; however, that is not their only purpose. The primary teeth also act as guides to ensure that the permanent teeth erupt in the proper places. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth no longer has a guide, which can result in the permanent tooth drifting or erupting in the wrong position. The premature loss of baby teeth can also lead to the neighboring teeth shifting or tilting into the space that should have been preserved for the permanent tooth that will later erupt. Baby teeth may be lost early for several reasons, including:

  • Severe tooth decay and infection
  • Falls or other accidents
  • Diseases or other conditions
  • Teeth missing at birth

No matter the reason the tooth is lost or missing, our doctor will make certain that, if needed, the space is held to allow for the proper eruption of the permanent tooth. To do so, we may recommend a space maintainer. This keeps the space open until the permanent tooth erupts. There are several types of space maintainers available, including both removable and fixed options. We will make sure that your child receives the type of space maintainer that best fits their unique needs. For more information on the available types of space maintainers and their benefits, we invite you to contact us soon.