If your child loses a baby tooth earlier than normal either due to trauma or decay, or has had a baby tooth extracted, Dr. Dikansky may insert a space maintainer.
What is a Space Maintainer?
A space maintainer is a custom-made acrylic plastic or metal appliance that is either cemented in place or able to be removed as needed for dental hygiene. The purpose of a space maintainer is to keep the area open between one or more teeth so that a permanent tooth can erupt into its proper place. It's often used when a baby tooth has been lost prematurely, such as baby teeth that are removed due to decay, or are lost due to trauma. Sometimes an artificial tooth is also inserted in the space maintainer to keep the area open for the unerupted tooth.
Caring for a Space Maintainer
Your while will need a few days to get used to the space maintainer, whether it's removable or cemented into place. Dr. Dikansky, the pediatric dentist, will show you and your child how to clean and care for the space maintainer.
It will be important that your child avoid eating foods that can loosen, get caught in or break the space maintainer, such as chewing gum, popcorn, toffee and similar foods. Dr. Dikansky will give you a list of foods to avoid. Also, please be sure your child understands that he or she should not "play" with the maintainer with his or her tongue, as this can loosen or bend the appliance.
Dr. Dikansky will schedule regular follow-up visits with your child while he or she has a space maintainer to be certain it still fits properly.
If your child needs the services of a downtown NYC pediatric dentist for routine care, trauma or tooth extraction, please call us at 212-267-0029 to schedule your child's appointment.