Children may need a space maintainer when their baby (primary) tooth lost or extracted prematurely. A space maintainer is a custom made of metal or acrylic, which can be either removable or fixed.

Different types of Space Maintainers

There are two types:

I. Fixed Space maintainer

It is used to prevent malocclusion in children due to premature loss of primary tooth. It is fixed to a tooth by dentist. Fixed space maintainers are of two types:

1). Bilateral

A bilateral fixed space maintainer is fixed to both sides of the dental arch. It is easy to maintain and is unlikely to be damaged or lost.

2). Unilateral

A unilateral fixed space maintainer is fixed on one side of the dental arch. Unilateral fixed space maintainers are of three types 

A). Band and loop

A band loop Space maintainer is a placed for the kids who lost their primary first molar

B). Crown and Loop

A crown and loop Space maintainer is used when a tooth is endodontically treated or when there is a cavity on the tooth

C). Distal shoe space maintainer

This is called Distal extension space maintainer and is used when a second primary molar is lost prior to eruption of first permanent molar

II) Removable Space maintainer:

When a number of baby teeth are lost early, the space for the permanent teeth can be lost due to crowding caused by shifting or drifting of the adjacent teeth into the edentulous space.

These are two types:

1). Bilateral

This is used when the deciduous teeth from both sides of an arch are lost prematurely.

2). Unilateral