Space Maintainers Overview
If your child loses a tooth early or has a tooth removed due to an accident, poor dental hygiene, or dental decay, they might be in need of a space maintainer. At All About Smiles in Rogers, AR, Dr. Brett Cotham believe in protecting the integrity of your child's smile as their teeth and jaw are still developing. A space maintainer can help support your child's oral health by keeping the gap in your child's mouth open, which allows the permanent tooth to grow into the right position. Not every child who loses a baby tooth needs a space maintainer; however, it is important to get a professional consultation to determine if it is needed. Whether you are a current or new patient, Dr. Cotham is here to educate you and your family about the benefits of space maintainers.
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Best Candidates for Space Maintainers
A child who has lost one or more of their baby teeth earlier than expected may need a space maintainer. This can be for several reasons, including injury to the mouth or tooth decay. If there is a gap in your child's mouth for an extended length of time, the remaining teeth are in danger of becoming loose or growing toward the open space due to a lack of structural support. Instead, space maintainers guide the permanent teeth by holding them in place. This allows the mouth and jaw to develop naturally and prevent other dental issues as children age, including crooked or misaligned teeth. Dr. Cotham will conduct an exam to determine if your child is in need of space maintainers.
What to Expect from Space Maintainers
During your initial consultation, Dr. Cotham will examine your child's overall oral health, which may include taking x-rays or impressions to determine the right treatment option. There are several different types of space maintainers, including removable, which is typically made of acrylic, and fixed, which is made of metal. Space maintainers are appliances that are personalized for each patient so this may require more than one visit at our Rogers, AR office. Once the space maintainers are fitted properly, your child can return to their daily activities as normal, though their mouth may feel sore for a few days following the fitting. If the space maintainer becomes loose or breaks for any reason, contact our office immediately to schedule an appointment.
Space Maintainers Follow-Up
During the fitting, our knowledgeable team will give you guidelines on how to clean and care for the space maintainer. We recommend that children to not press or push down on the space maintainer with their fingers to avoid bending or breaking the appliance. Children should also avoid chewing on hard foods, candy, or ice to prevent it from becoming loose. During your follow-up appointments, Dr. Cotham will examine the space maintainer to monitor your child's progress and determine if the space maintainer needs to be repaired or replaced. If you have questions or concerns, please contact our team for clarification.
Insurance Coverage for Space Maintainers
If your family is using dental insurance, then a team member from All About Smiles will contact your insurance provider to understand your coverage, as well as the remaining out-of-pocket costs. If you don't have insurance, our financial coordinator will be able to discuss your options at our office in Rogers, AR. Not only that, we will inform you about the different forms of payment we accept, including low-interest medical financing to help keep the costs more affordable.
Plan Your Procedure
Fill the gaps in your child's teeth and help protect their overall oral health with space maintainers provided by All About Smiles in Rogers, AR. Dr. Cotham will help you determine which options are best for their smile while minimizing your child's anxiety or discomfort. To learn more about this treatment option or to schedule a consultation about space maintainers, contact a member of our friendly and knowledgeable team today.