In addition to pediatric specialists and general dentists, at Children’s Dental Group, we also have orthodontists on staff who meet the special needs of your child’s tooth development in a friendly and welcoming environment. When it comes to your children, we know you want their development to be smooth and monitored properly and our Los Gatos pediatric dentist wants this as well. Our pediatric specialists not only want to meet your expectations but exceed them when it comes to your children.
Our Los Gatos pediatric dentist knows that baby teeth aren’t just for chewing. Each baby tooth also acts as a guide for the eruption of the permanent tooth that replaces it. When your child loses a baby tooth too early, the permanent tooth loses its guide and can erupt into the wrong position in your child’s mouth. Nearby teeth can also tilt or move into the space which means that there may not be enough space now for the permanent tooth to come in correctly. Baby teeth can be lost too soon for several reasons, including being knocked out in an accident or fall, necessary extraction due to severe decay that causes infection, or some condition or disease that leads to early tooth loss.
If this is the case and a baby, or primary tooth, is lost before the permanent tooth is ready to come in, our Los Gatos pediatric dentist will use a space maintainer to keep the space open until the permanent tooth comes in. Made of stainless steel or plastic, sometimes both, a space maintainer is custom-made and can be removable. In some cases, our children’s dentist will cement space maintainers onto the teeth on either side of the space in your child’s mouth, and this is called a fixed space maintainer. A removable space maintainer looks like a regular retainer. It uses plastic blocks or artificial teeth to fill in the space, or spaces, that need to stay open. Removable space maintainers work well in older children who are more reliable when it comes to following directions regarding taking care of the appliance. The space maintainer may feel strange at first but after a few days, most children usually forget about it. Our Los Gatos pediatric dentist will follow your child’s progress with x-rays, and when the incoming permanent tooth is ready to erupt, the space maintainer is removed.