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Tooth Extractions & Space Maintenance

Pediatric dental treatment is very important. Childhood is the period during which the temporary teeth develop. Over time, the child looses these teeth and permanent tooth erupts. The eruption of the permanent tooth however should be in the proper place. A very early tooth loss can often lead to the misplacement of the erupted permanent teeth. This eruption in inappropriate places leads to the formation of spaces between the teeth. Consequently, there may not be sufficient places for some permanent teeth to erupt.

The deciduous or primary teeth shall loose early under the following situations:

  • Tooth loss due to injuries.
  • Tooth extraction becomes inevitable due to severe infection or decay.
  • Certain diseases and conditions can also lead to tooth loss.
  • Congenital factors.

Space maintainers become essential under the conditions where the eruption of the permanent teeth happens in inappropriate places. Space maintainers may be used under the following conditions:

  • A missing permanent tooth.
  • Loss of primary tooth prior to eruption of permanent tooth.

Space maintainers can be of different types. It can be either of fixed or removable. Fixed space maintainers are those maintainers that are fixed into the either side of teeth. Removable space maintainers on the other hand, resemble the dental retainers. Those spaces that need to remain open are filled either with artificial plastic blocks or artificial teeth. For older children, these appliances are advantageous.


Fixed space maintainers can be further subdivided into various sub-categories. A common example of such a space maintainer is the band-and-loop space maintainer. This device is made up of stainless steel. This space maintainer is placed with the help of a crown fitted onto the nearby teeth. In most cases, a loop of wire is also fitted into the crown. The benefit of such a space maintainer is that it prevents over-crowding in certain areas of teeth.

Authored By Dr. Vinamra Dhariwal - Dentist, Chennai

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