All the team at Tooth Co Orthodontics wish you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

Smales Farm Ortho and Eastridge Ortho are closed for the Xmas break from the 21st December and our normal hours resume on the 9th of January. You can still book appointments online for new patients in 2023. In the unlikely event that you have an orthodontic emergency during the Xmas period our dental clinics at Smales Farm and Eastridge are open 9am – 4pm. If you need to book an appointment you can call Smales Farm on 094109971 or Eastridge on 095212021. Have a safe holiday and see you next year.


Space Maintainers

What are Space Maintainers?

Baby teeth are the best space maintainers for adult teeth, and we should keep them healthy until they fall out naturally. There are times, though, that baby tooth extraction is necessary and a space maintainer is needed. When primary teeth are lost too early, neighbouring teeth may tip over and teeth in the other jaw may move up or down to fill the gap. This can cause space loss and subsequent crowding of the permanent teeth. 

After a baby tooth has been lost prematurely, a space maintainer can maintain the required space until the permanent tooth starts to come through. Remember, some baby teeth are not replaced until a child is 12 or 14 years old!

What do space maintainers look like?

They can be fixed in place or removable. If the child is very young, a fixed space maintainer will prevent the appliance from being accidentally removed, lost, or damaged. Depending on how many baby teeth are missing, space maintainers can cover one side or both sides of the arch.

Most space maintainers have a metal band that’s wrapped around a tooth next to the open space, and a wire loop that keeps it open by touching against another tooth.

How long do Space Maintainers stay in the mouth?

Once the space maintainer has been inserted, the dentist will continue to monitor it to ensure it is not interfering with the eruption of the permanent tooth. Typically, the space maintainer is removed when the adult tooth starts to emerge in the mouth.

My child lost a baby tooth, is a Space Maintainer needed?

Early tooth loss doesn’t always mean a space maintainer is required. Every case must be evaluated individually based on why the baby tooth was lost and when the adult teeth are expected to emerge. There are also other factors to consider, such as the child’s age, how long has passed since the baby tooth was lost, how many teeth are missing, and other problems with the bite and position of the teeth.

How much do Space Maintainers cost?

A custom fixed space maintainer costs $1400.

Space maintainers are performed by our paediatric dental department – lead by Dr Caitlin Grant.

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