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Space maintainers are orthodontic devices for preventing malocclusions caused by premature loss of baby teeth. They work by reserving the empty space for the adult teeth to come in. Without maintainers, the other teeth can easily move in the empty space and cause crowding, blocking the adult teeth from emerging.
At Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry, our San Antonio pediatric dentists believe that every child is unique and deserves specialized attention. Our experienced dental team will work closely with you and your child to create a personalized treatment plan. We take into consideration their individual needs, ensuring a comfortable and stress-free experience throughout the space maintainer procedure.
Space maintainers can sometimes incorporate creative and fun designs, making the experience more enjoyable for children?
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Dr. Sage will first examine your child’s teeth and gums to assess their suitability for space maintainers. Crucial factors usually considered in the assessment include the child’s oral health, tooth development, and age. If found suitable, she’ll create a treatment plan outlining details of the entire procedure.
As per the treatment plan, Dr. Sage will first take impressions of the teeth using a digital scanner or dental putty. She’ll then send these impressions to a lab to manufacture the space maintainers to your child’s exact specifications. In some cases, removable space maintainers may be fabricated in-house.
After about two to three weeks, Dr. Sage will call your child in to fit the space maintainers. For fixed space maintainers, she’ll apply dental bonding to the teeth on either side of the gap. She’ll then fit the space maintainer into the gap before curing it with a special light to harden it.
For a removable space maintainer, Dr. Sage will fit it into the gap, and give you instructions on how to fit and remove it. She must ensure the device fits snugly and is comfortable to have in the mouth. Adjustments to the space maintainer past this point are impossible.
Dr. Sage will guide you on how to maintain your child's oral hygiene with the space maintainer. She’ll also schedule follow-up visits to check the treatment’s progress and ensure your child’s oral health. Treatment continues until the adult teeth come in.
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Yes, most insurance providers cover space maintenance, although it varies from one to the next. Some insurers offer coverage but with restrictions. Check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage.
Space maintainers are necessary when the child loses their teeth prematurely due to dental decay or physical trauma. This disrupts the proper emergence of adult teeth, leading to issues like tooth crowding, impaction, and ectopic eruptions. These conditions could also affect your child’s phonation and affect their speech. They also alter your child’s bite alignment affecting their feeding and nutrition.
It’s worth noting that addressing these malocclusions in the future costs much more than getting space maintainers in the current.