Baby teeth are the most organic way to maintain space for the much larger permanent teeth. However, when they are lost early (due to decay, for example), we often need to place space maintainers to hold that space for the permanent successor teeth, and to keep neighboring teeth from invading the space. Space maintainers can be fixed or removable, depending on the age of the patient and the location of the space maintenance problem.
Commonly used fixed-space maintainers include:
- The holding lingual arch
- The transpalatal bar
- The distal shoe
- The band and loop