The use of appliances in pediatric dentistry has increased significantly over the past few years. This is due to the fact that many children are growing up with orthodontic concerns, and many oral health professionals are making proactive discoveries to prevent or lessen the severity of these conditions. There are many different types of appliances that can be used in pediatric dentistry, and the type that is used will depend on the specific problem that the child is experiencing.
Overall, there are two main reasons why dental appliances are used in our DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY office: to prevent the progression of malocclusion (bad bite) and to break bad habits.
A space maintainer is an appliance that is used to preserve the space of a missing tooth. When children are in the process of losing their primary teeth and growing their permanent set, the premature loss of a primary tooth can cause serious problems. With the space left open, surrounding teeth may begin to drift into that opening—leaving little or no room for the permanent tooth to come in. This can lead to crowding, impaction, and teeth that erupt in the wrong position. If this occurs, the child may need braces or other more serious dental work when they get older.
To prevent this from happening, we can place a space maintainer in the mouth. This appliance will essentially “hold the space” until the permanent tooth erupts.