Your child may need to have a baby tooth removed if there is an abscess (infection in the gums), the tooth is broken down with decay or there is not enough good tooth structure to place an adequate filling.
The roots of the baby molar (back) teeth help guide the permanent premolar teeth into occlusion. After a baby molar tooth is extracted, the teeth behind may move forward a little, reducing the space for the erupting permanent tooth. The amount of movement varies with different children and is hard to predict. A space maintainer may be made to stop teeth drifting.
There are two general types of space maintainers: fixed and removable .
Fixed space maintainers are held to the teeth with dental cement and cannot be taken out by the child. Removable space maintainers are not cemented and need to be removed and cleaned daily. The type of space maintainer used depends on which teeth are missing, which teeth are present and the child’s age and stage of tooth development.
Making a space maintainer requires a model to be taken and then the spacer is made by a dental technician. Having a space maintainer does not guarantee that your child will not have to have orthodontic treatment in the future.
Space maintainers can only be placed with good cooperation from the child and home oral hygiene is immaculate. Otherwise decay can develop around the appliances causing more damage.