Space Maintainers are the devices that are made either of metal or plastic and these serves in the preserving of space for the permanent teeth to come in the oral cavity when the child losses his/her primary teeth at an early age.
In man’s life there occur two phases of dentition i.e. the first phase is known as Primary Dentition and the 2nd phase is known as Permanent Dentition. The primary dentition serves the function of creating space for the permanent dentition. But due to some reasons some of the children may loose their primary teeth earlier. The reasons can be trauma, caries due to which the child losses his/her teeth. Due to this reasons there left behind a great space which can cause the drift of near by teeth to this space. So maintaining the room for the permanent teeth, Space Maintainers are required.
Types of Space Maintainers
There are three types of Space Maintainers and these are Removable Space Maintainers, Fixed Space Maintainers and Semi fixed Space Maintainers.
Fixed Space Maintainers
Band and Loop Space Maintainers
These Space Maintainers are most common in use in dentistry. These are unilateral used Space Maintainers and are used on the posterior side where the tooth has been lost. These Space Maintainers are of highest efficiency when masticatory forces are very high in strength but in case of stability it losses the point.
Crown and Loop Space Maintainers
These Space Maintainers works same as the previous Space Maintainers with having the difference of only crown in place of bands and this increases the aesthetic value also.
Lingual Arch Space Maintainers
These Space Maintainers are the bilateral ones used in the lower arch that consists of two bands placed on the last molars of both side and having the wire anteiorly that contacts the anterior four incisors.
These Space Maintainers act as the good source of anchorage because it incorporates resistance of several teeth. Also the convenience is better in case of these Space Maintainers.
Removable Space Maintainers
The Removable Space Maintainers acts like the partial dentures. With the help of Removable Space Maintainers, not only the width of the space is maintained but also the vertical length remains the same.
Mainly used in cases of:
• Loss of more than two primary molars.
• Loss of anterior teeth.
• Loss of more than one primary tooth bilaterally.
The use of these Space Maintainers usually depends upon the patient’s will.
Semi fixed Space Maintainers
The Lingual arch Space Maintainers usually have the soldered bands on the molars but these can be made semi fixed but this depends upon the patient corporation. With the help of its semi fixed nature, these Space Maintainers can be removed easily. But these sorts of Space Maintainers are subjected to wear and breakage very easily.