Serving Little Smiles
Space maintainers are small plastic or metal devices that are placed into the gap where your child has lost a baby tooth. They are comfortable and your child won’t even notice the space maintainer after a while.
The purpose of a space maintainer is to stop the surrounding teeth from shifting toward the gap where their baby tooth used to be. If the teeth shift, this can block the adult tooth from erupting properly, which may cause serious oral development issues.
With a space maintainer, you can keep your child’s mouth healthy and ensure it continues to develop properly, preventing complications that may require expensive orthodontic work.
Pulpotomies are also called “baby root canals.” Unlike a root canal, which involves removing all of the pulp from an infected tooth, pulpotomies remove only some of the pulp inside the tooth. Then, a healing dressing is applied to the inside of the tooth to protect and stimulate the growth of the pulp and keep it healthy.
This type of treatment is used for baby teeth because it’s a good idea to preserve the baby tooth whenever possible, even if it’s infected. This is because baby teeth form the “paths” that the adult teeth follow when they erupt.
If a pulpotomy is not a good option, Dr. Tuttle may recommend extracting your child’s baby tooth and applying a space maintainer, but we always try to save your child’s tooth whenever it’s possible to do so.