band and loop space maintainer

The “band and loop” space maintainer installed on a back molar

Did your child accidentally lose a molar tooth? Premature teeth loss in children and young adults may not be averted– it’s all part of growing up. But it should not affect their teeth alignment as they wait to grow new ones. Here’s when the extra help of dental space maintainers are needed.

When talking about space maintainers, band and loop spacers are some of the most popular tools that get the instant spotlight. How do they work and are they really necessary? Let’s dig deeper on that.

What are Band and Loop Spacers

Premature tooth loss means there will be extra space in the teeth. As your child waits for his or her new tooth to grow, their other teeth won’t be that patient. They will tend to move and lose their alignment. In addition, speech, language and eating may also be affected.

Before the new molar erupts, band and loop spacers make it a point to leave ample space for it. This is done to preserve the teeth’s proper alignment, while making sure the new teeth will erupt in its proper position.

A stainless steel band is placed temporarily around a permanent molar, with a stainless steel wire that loops out to extend to the second primary molar, leaving a space between them for the second premolar eruption.

The band and loop space maintainer are only helpful in maintaining a single missing tooth space. It may not be recommended for two or more succeeding missing teeth as it will be needing anchorage.

Functional Band and Loop Maintainers

The band and loop spacer model is successful in maintaining space for proper teeth placement, but they lack one thing– they are non-functional. Your child’s missing teeth can still be felt whenever they chew their food, which also causes a little discomfort.

The good news is that dental advancements are experimenting to answer this problem. Recent studies are looking into developing a more functional band and loop maintainer model. With this, space is maintained for teeth eruption, while filling out the empty space temporarily so eating won’t be a struggle.

How it’s placed

Dentists would first assess the presence or absence of permanent teeth. They would determine the permanent teeth while measurements will be taken to find out the space needed by its successional tooth. Mixed dentition would be needing a more thorough analysis and diagnosis.

Then, the dentist would select the band fit for the patient’s needs. A preformed stainless steel band will be pushed into the space to fit snugly. Pressure may be felt as it is needed to fit the band tightly to position. A burnisher is also used to perfect the form and shape of the band in accordance with the tooth’s surface.

Impression is also done to create an effective fabrication of the band and loop. Once it is satisfactory, the band is removed along with the impression to start the fabrication of the loop.

Once the impression is done, dental stone will be poured and molded, so the loop can take its shape. After all these has finished, the band and loop will now be ready to be installed into the area of the missing teeth.

Visiting your dentist or orthodontist is highly recommended during this process. Doing this yourself may just worsen the damages.

Why space maintainers are necessary

Aside from guiding a permanent tooth to erupt into place, space maintainers are necessary to maintain stability of overall dentition.

Failure in placing space maintainers during premature teeth loss will cause unnecessary shifting and drifting of the other teeth. This can worsen the overall alignment, and might cause major dental procedures in the future.

Caring for your spacers

Band-and-loop maintainer is a temporary appliance that is worn over a period of time. Duration can range from 6 months up to 8 years, that’s why proper care must be considered.

Recurring appointments with the dentist must be made to ensure these spacers’ stability as well as the oral hygiene that comes with it. It is also necessary that the dentist should see the eruption of the new tooth to assess if it’s working successfully.

Looseness, unsteadiness of either the band or loop, as well as discomfort or any complaint from the patient must be immediately reported to the dentist.

Taking care of the damage before they get worse must always be practiced, especially on your dental health. When it comes to premature teeth loss, you should also choose the best dentist to help assess it.

At Portland Braces, we believe that each patient has a different dental need. We’ve got the best facilities, clinic and orthodontist to help you in every way we can. Book an appointment with us and let us help you better.