Space Maintainers / Fixed partial Denture
Space maintainers are orthodontic appliances used in pediatric dentistry. The main function of these devices is to manage premature baby tooth loss. Maintainers also help prevent malocclusions (misalignment of teeth), overcrowding, and other orthodontic conditions.
If a child’s teeth are lost prematurely, space maintainers ensure permanent teeth do not erupt into the empty space. Tooth loss can be due to trauma, disease, overcrowding, or decay.
Early loss of baby teeth can also result in abnormal development of the upper and lower jaws. Monitoring the shedding of the baby teeth and the eruption of adult (permanent) teeth, called the “mixed dentition phase,” is crucial since teeth misalignment has a high chance of developing during this process.
Children may need space maintenance treatment if they have over-retained baby teeth, early childhood caries that result in tooth loss, or tooth loss that occurs due to trauma:
1-Early Tooth Loss or Extraction Due to Baby Tooth Decay
Baby teeth easily fall victim to tooth decay, which typically results in extractions. Cavities commonly form on a child’s molars because baby tooth enamel is more fragile than permanent teeth.
Even though baby teeth fall out, it is still crucial to take care of them. If one tooth becomes infected and isn’t treated quickly, the cavity-causing bacteria can spread to other teeth. If a child develops a cavity in his or her baby tooth, a dental restoration is necessary to prevent the spread of cavities, early tooth loss, overcrowding, and misalignment.
Restorative options for baby teeth include amalgam fillings, composite fillings, or stainless steel crowns. Although, if a tooth must be extracted due to severe decay, space maintainers are placed to prevent misalignment or overcrowding as permanent teeth grow in.
2-Over-Retained Baby Teeth
Space maintainers also prevent orthodontic issues associated with over-retained baby teeth. Over-retained teeth refer to baby teeth that have loosened but then tighten back into the gums, preventing the eruption of permanent teeth.
If the baby teeth are not extracted, dental crowding commonly develops, which is a condition that occurs when there is not enough space for teeth to grow in. Permanent teeth can also begin growing in over the over-retained baby teeth.
3-Tooth Loss Due to Trauma
Children commonly lose their baby front teeth, including the incisors and canines, prematurely to trauma or decay. During the early stages of life, children are still developing motor skills, so injuries affecting the front teeth in both the upper and lowers jaws are very common.
If your child loses a tooth prematurely due to trauma, space maintainers help prevent misalignment and overcrowding as adult (permanent) teeth grow in.
- Pedi Partial
What Are Pediatric Partials (or Pedi-Partials)?
Pedi-partials are removable or fixed. Removable partials can be easily removed and replaced. They can also be easily removed and misplaced by a child. Fixed pedi-partial, on the other hand, are held in place by a metal band that is usually held in place by an existing molar. Fixed pedi-partials also act as space maintainers and can be employed with or without an artificial tooth component for aesthetic purposes.
Benefits of Pedi-Partials
- Help maintain aesthetics
- Help maintain teeth spacing and combat dental drift
- Help guide eruption of permanent teeth
- Aids in child speech development
- Aids everyday eating, biting, and chewing