A space maintainer is an appliance that is custom-made by a dentist or orthodontist in acrylic or metal material. It can be either removable or cemented in a child’s mouth. Its purpose is to keep the space open to allow the permanent tooth to erupt and come into place.
Children may need space maintainer if a tooth is lost early due to extraction, decay or trauma. The purpose of primary teeth is to guide permanent teeth to take correct position in jaw bone. If a primary tooth is lost early, the adjacent and opposing teeth try to occupy this empty space to fill this gap, this may sound good but in this process these shifting teeth gets malaligned. Not all the children who lose teeth early require space maintainer, a consultation with the dentist is required to ascertain the requirement of a space maintainer.