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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Kids

Space filler for the missing baby tooth

09/29/2005

Question:

After one of my son`s baby teeth was pulled out, his dentist suggests to put in something like a ring filling in the space to make sure the permanent tooth grow out in the right position later. Do you think it is necessary?

Answer:

Baby teeth are important not only to chew with but also to hold space for permanent teeth to follow. Frequently, if a primary (baby) molar tooth is lost prematurely, it is advisable to place a space maintainer. This keeps other teeth from moving into the space that will be later occupied by a permanent tooth. Space maintainers are not always necessary, and I recommend a second opinion from a pediatric dentist to address your son's specific needs.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University