Our teeth fit together like books along a shelf. When a baby tooth is removed early due to extensive decay, infection, or trauma, it is important to save enough space for the permanent tooth growing under it to come into your child's mouth in the correct and best position.

 If proper space maintenance is not provided or a space maintainer is lost, the newly erupting permanent tooth will erupt in the wrong place. This can lead to increased time in orthodontic treatment, periodontal problems, increased risk of cavities, and future removal of a permanent tooth/teeth.

We use space maintaining devices to help keep space for your child's permanent teeth to come into his/her mouth. Once a primary tooth is lost, the teeth around it can begin to drift into the open space. If left alone, the open space can get smaller and smaller, until there is not enough room for your child's permanent teeth. This can lead to further complications such as impaction of his/her permanent teeth, improper eruption path of a tooth into his/her mouth (ectopic eruption), and the need for more serious and expensive orthodontic treatment in the future. When the new tooth starts to erupt, we will take the spacer out to allow it to grow into the right place. 

If you notice the permanent tooth under the spacer, please call our office
to make an appointment to have to spacer removed.


Doctor Wang, Doctor Perea-Corkish, Doctor Gerodias and the other Doctors of Discovery Pediatric Dentistry make no warranties, expressed or implied, as to any results to be obtained from use of the information on this page. We cannot diagnose or treat patients over the Internet. Information on this site is for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical, and/or dental attention or diagnosis. Without all available information about a patient, it is impossible to make a diagnosis. Help and answers are in the form of general ideas. Only you, your dentist, and other necessary and qualified health care providers can make an appropriate treatment decision in an emergency or for everyday care and dental treatment.

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