Baby Teeth & Space Maintainers
"Can't we just pull it?" is a question we often hear from parents when discussing baby teeth. While we can usually extract baby teeth, there's an important consideration to keep in mind. Baby teeth serve as space maintainers for the adult teeth that lie beneath them. The issue arises when we remove a primary tooth or baby tooth prematurely, potentially causing complications for the adult teeth below. Let me explain further.
In the illustration, you'll see a baby tooth alongside an adult tooth. Suppose we experience an early loss of a baby second molar. When this tooth is lost, the adult tooth, which is in the bud stage, will eventually erupt into the space left behind. However, this process may take a year or two.
What can occur during this time is that the molar behind it might drift inwards and tilt, blocking the path for the adult tooth trying to emerge correctly. Fortunately, this problem can be easily prevented by using a space maintainer. A simple band is placed around the molar with a small wire loop that connects to the primary first molar in this situation. Once the tip of the adult tooth starts appearing in the mouth, the space maintainer can be removed, resolving the issue.
Unfortunately, in the X-ray scenario to the right of the video, a space maintainer wasn't used in this patient's case. It's worth noting that sometimes these oversights occur. In this instance, about three millimeters of space were lost, requiring orthodontic treatment to reposition the teeth correctly.
By employing a straightforward space maintainer, we can save you a significant amount of time and effort. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact our office.
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About Vernon Dental Centre
The Vernon Dental Centre in Vernon, B.C., is a family-oriented dental practice for all ages. Using advanced techniques and cutting-edge technology, our dedicated team offers cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry in a friendly and caring environment.
Family Dentist Dr. Anthony Berdan’s focus is on excellence and comfort to provide you and your family with the care you deserve. We offer all aspects of general dentistry, from general dental needs to cosmetic restorations and smile whitening. Dr. Berdan welcomes your entire family; from children to the elderly. Here at the Vernon Dental Centre, we are dedicated to treating everyone the way that we would want to be treated.