A space maintainer may be recommended for your child to assist in proper jaw development and tooth eruption. Space maintainers attach to teeth in the upper or lower arches to preserve a space left by a prematurely erupted or an extracted baby tooth. Dr. Michael Ashcraft custom makes these fixed or removable orthodontic appliances of medical-grade metal and resin materials to meet the individual needs of Central Arkansas patients. Space maintainers may also be part of early phase orthodontic treatment. If you think your child may need a space maintainer, schedule a treatment consultation with Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock today.
"Lovely staff and Dr. Ashcraft is great!"- K.S. / Google / Sep 26, 2020
"I’ve known Dr Ashcraft for many years and finally it’s time for the kids to go into braces and there wasn’t another option. Only trust my kids with the best care available. Dr Mike is hands down my pick."- R.G. / Facebook / Sep 23, 2020
"First let me say this, like I have seen other reviews saying the staff in the back are very pleasant to be around, nice, courteous, and very friendly, I would agree and I haven’t really ran into rudeness at the front desk BUT however since COVID has started I was not informed on anything. My daughter had an appointment, they didn’t call to let me know they had shut down and will try to reschedule in the future after knowing a little more information. I had to call them and got the automated recording that their office was closed. Then didn’t get a call to let us know they had reopened and if we needed anything as far as fixing braces or other problems with her braces, THEN they didn’t call to let us know they where now able to remove braces now, I once again had to call them!! I know there have records of their patients and they should have on of the staff members at least calling patients. Who knows, we could have had her braces off by now and I've being waiting several months wondering about this information. The last phone conversation I had with their office the lady said they would inform me when they moved into the phase where they could start removing braces, but no call. I had to call them!!! It’s a little frustrating when there is no communication."- K.T. / Google / Aug 28, 2020
"Always good service! He’s a really nice guy and so is his staff. I highly recommend him if anyone needs a good orthodontist."- L.M. / Google / Jun 29, 2020
"I can't even tell you how much I miss Dr Ashcraft's office. He is amazing at what he does and his office staff is wonderful. We are dealing with a new orthodontist after moving out of state ... I would give anything to be working with Dr Ashcraft again."- S.D. / Facebook / Jun 08, 2020
Space maintainers are often recommended for patients who have mixed dentition in their mouth (both baby and permanent teeth). Your child may need a space maintainer if a baby tooth has been lost early and the adult tooth is not yet ready to erupt. A space maintainer may also be necessary if your child has a tooth that is decayed or damaged beyond repair and must be extracted to preserve their oral health.
These devices hold open an area in the jaw where a baby tooth has been lost and help to guide permanent teeth into their proper positions as they erupt. When teeth are lost or extracted, the neighboring and opposing teeth start to drift into these open spaces. This can cause changes in how the teeth fit together (bite), crowding of the teeth, and difficulty biting and chewing, and can prevent a permanent tooth from erupting properly. Dr. Ashcraft will evaluate your child’s mouth and determine if they would benefit from a space maintainer.
What to Expect
Based on your child’s age, needs, and other dental factors, Dr. Ashcraft may recommend a fixed or removable space maintainer. Our team will take a panoramic x-ray of your child’s jaw along with impressions of the upper and lower teeth and make models of their mouth. This information will help Dr. Ashcraft to plan for the best possible treatment outcomes. We will send these models to our special orthodontic lab for the creation of your child’s custom space maintainer. When the appliance arrives back at our office, we will have your child return to have it placed.
Space maintainers are made in a variety of ways to address different patient needs. A palatal or lingual appliance may be recommended if your child has experienced tooth loss on both sides of the arch. Unilateral models are also available if space preservation is required in a single area. Dr. Ashcraft will inform you of the ideal option for your child’s needs and comfort. Space maintainers can be fixed or removable. In many cases, however, space maintainers are bonded with temporary cement to teeth within the arch to keep these appliances in the position where they will work best.
When Dr. Ashcraft has placed your child’s space maintainer, our team will review instructions on how to keep it clean and give you an idea of how long it will need to be worn. Treatment time with this type of appliance will vary according to each patient's individual needs. Since space maintainers create extra spaces where plaque and food tend to collect, we encourage you to help your child with their home care efforts during this time. Our clinical team can also provide tips on how to best brush and floss the teeth and maintain oral health during this phase of care. Additional hygiene tools may also be useful during this time and may be suggested by Dr. Ashcraft. Regular dental cleaning and exams with your child’s general dentist are also key to maintaining a healthy smile. We will schedule follow-up visits at our practice periodically to check the appliance and monitor your child's progress.
Dental insurance plans may offer some coverage for treatment with space maintainers. Before creating your child’s appliance, we will contact your provider to review your child’s list of covered benefits. Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock is pleased to accept most major dental insurance plans and is happy to work with you to make any out-of-pocket expenses fit comfortably within your budget. We accept several convenient payment methods, including CareCredit® and our own in-house financing plan.
Space maintainers from Dr. Ashcraft in Little Rock, AR may be a standalone treatment or part of orthodontic therapy to help your child enjoy a happy, healthy smile. These fixed and removable appliances preserve space in a child’s developing jaw when baby teeth are lost a little too early. Find out more about the advantages of space maintainers by reserving a treatment consultation at Ashcraft Orthodontics Little Rock today.