Space Maintainers in Middleton, Wisconsin

What Are Space Maintainers?

Space maintainers are pediatric dental devices dentists install in the gap left by missing teeth in a child’s upper or lower jaw. These space maintainers fill in the void left by the missing baby teeth that have fallen out prematurely and prevent neighboring teeth from shifting into the empty space. This allows the proper growth of permanent adult teeth when they come in.

Space maintainers can be fixed or removable, depending on the specific needs of the patient. Fixed space maintainers are space maintainers that the dentist permanently installs inside the mouth. On the other hand, removable space maintainers are maintainers that children can remove at their volition.

space maintainers in Middleton

Did you know…

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Space maintainers are custom-made to fit each child's unique dental structure?


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The Space Maintainer Treatment Process

Dental Evaluation and Taking X-Rays

The first step in getting space maintainers involves evaluating your child’s oral health by conducting tests and taking x-rays to determine the cause of premature tooth loss and address it. They’ll also determine whether a space maintainer is necessary. If so, the dentist will use a putty-like substance to take impressions of your child’s teeth.

Space Maintainer Type Selection and Fabrication

Our Middleton pediatric dentist will select the best type of space maintainer for your child based on the findings from the initial evaluation. Types of space maintainers include band-and-loop, crown-and-loop, and removable maintainers, among others. After selecting the best type for your child, the dentist will send the impression mold to a lab to manufacture your child’s maintainers.

Fabrication and Placement

The lab usually takes two to three weeks to manufacture the space maintainers depending on the type. After fabrication, the dentist will schedule an appointment to fit and place the space maintainer in your child’s teeth. Placement involves checking its fit, then cementing it to the adjacent teeth with dental cement.

Aftercare Instructions and Regular Checkups

Once the space maintainers are in place, the dentist will give you instructions for caring for your child’s space maintainers. The instructions will guide you on how to maintain your child’s oral health with the space maintainers and what foods your child should eat and avoid. The dentist will also schedule follow-up appointments to check the progress of the treatment.

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Did you know…

Space maintainers are often recommended for children to avoid more extensive orthodontic treatments later on?


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Have Questions About Space Maintainers? Find Answers Here

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Why Would My Child Need a Space Maintainer?

Your child would need a space maintainer for many reasons, but the most common one is to fill the void left by baby teeth that have fallen out prematurely. Teeth adjacent to the gap might close in on it and cause problems to emerging adult teeth.

Sometimes maintainers also form part of certain orthodontic treatments. For instance, the maintainers may guide the eruption of emerging adult teeth while creating space for crowded teeth to space out.

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Will My Child Always Need a Space Maintainer for Missing Teeth?

No, a space maintainer is a temporary device that your child only needs until the adult teeth start to emerge. The dentist will advise you on the timing of the removal, and frequent dental appointments will check the treatment’s progress. Premature removal of the maintainers may lead to problems further down the line.

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Are space maintainers painful?

The thought of dental procedures can often bring about a sense of anxiety, especially when it involves our little ones. However, at Campfire Pediatric Dentistry, we prioritize your child's comfort above all else. When it comes to pediatric space maintainers, the process is generally painless.

The procedure begins with Dr. Nathan Benassi taking an impression of your child's mouth to ensure the space maintainer will fit perfectly. This is a quick and easy process, similar to biting into a soft piece of candy. Once the custom-made space maintainer is ready, it is placed in your child's mouth. This process is typically pain-free as there is no need for drilling or injections.

However, your child might experience a little discomfort or odd feeling due to the new appliance in their mouth. This is normal and temporary as they will soon get accustomed to it. Dr. Benassi will provide detailed care instructions for the new dental appliance; he and his team at Campfire Pediatric Dentistry are also always on hand to answer any questions and address any concerns you or your child might have.

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Does dental insurance cover space maintainers?

Dental insurance plans vary significantly, and coverage for pediatric space maintainers can depend on your specific plan. Many insurance companies consider space maintainers a necessary part of pediatric dental treatment, especially when they are used to hold space for permanent teeth. As a result, they are often covered at least partially by insurance.

However, it's important to check with your insurance provider to understand what your plan covers. At Campfire Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that navigating insurance coverage can be complicated. Our knowledgeable staff is more than happy to assist you with insurance queries and help you maximize your benefits.

You can also ask us about our membership plans, which include discounts on treatment, including space maintainers, in addition to full coverage of preventive care!

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Does a space maintainer affect speech?

A new space maintainer may initially cause slight changes in your child's speech. This is because the tongue, which plays a crucial role in forming sounds, has to adjust to the new appliance in the mouth. Some children might experience a minor lisp or have difficulty pronouncing certain words.

However, this is usually a temporary adjustment. As your child gets used to the space maintainer, any speech irregularities typically disappear. It's important to encourage your child to speak normally and not to worry - the more they talk, the quicker they'll adjust.

Remember, the team at Campfire Pediatric Dentistry is always here to support you and your child throughout this journey. We're just a phone call away at (608) 535-9382 to answer any questions you may have.