Space maintainers may be used for the following reasons:
- If a primary or baby tooth is lost before the permanent tooth has come in
- If a permanent tooth is gone or missing
The maintainer keeps the space open until the permanent tooth grows in. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or acrylic. A removable space maintainer looks like a retainer. It typically uses artificial teeth to fill in the space that needs to stay open. This type of space maintainer is used when the space is in the front of the mouth and is noticeable to others while smiling. Fixed or bonded space maintainers are cemented into place and are used to hold space for a missing back tooth.