If you have children or are around children who still have their baby teeth, here's something useful to know. A child's mouth is rather pliable and each tooth is a "guide" for the permanent tooth to follow. If a baby tooth is lost because of an injury or if it was removed due to decay, the remaining teeth may begin to occupy a portion of that vacant space.
That can pose a problem when the permanent teeth come in, possibly causing them to drift or erupt incorrectly and grow in crooked. Crooked or crowded teeth can cause children problems with speaking or chewing. And crooked teeth are costly to correct down the line.
Once again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We have a simple solution that will help your child develop more even and regular permanent teeth through the use of a space maintainer. There are several different kinds including removable and fixed ones, depending upon the child's circumstances.
A space maintainer will hold the neighboring teeth in place until the permanent teeth begin to develop. At that time, we remove the space maintainer. Of course, not all instances of a lost tooth require a space maintainer. And the decision to install one depends on several additional factors.
The important thing to remember is this: if your child or a child you know experiences a loss of a baby tooth, it is important that our Dentists Stephan Beck, DMD and Kevin McCoy, DDS take a look to determine if an intervention is needed.