What is a Lingual Arch Space Maintainer?
A lingual arch space maintainer is a metal bar that fits against the inside of the lower teeth. In the back of the mouth, it is attached with metal bands around each of the two lower molar teeth.
Why is the space maintainer needed?
The Lingual Arch Space Maintainer is most often used when a child has a mixture of primary teeth and permanent teeth between the ages of seven and 13. The space maintainer is needed to preserve space for the lower permanent teeth that will grow in later.
It is often used when a lower primary tooth has been lost prematurely. In this case, the space maintainer is very helpful in preventing the molar teeth from moving forward and using up valuable space that will be needed in the future.
What can be expected
The patient will experience very mild discomfort for the first day after the space maintainer has been placed. If necessary, take Advil or Tylenol as needed. After the first day or two, the appliance becomes very comfortable. The patient may even forget it is there!
Extra time and effort will be needed to keep the appliance clean. Thorough instructions and a travel bag with special brushes will be provided on the day the appliance is placed.
Avoid gum and other sticky, chewy candies, which can loosen the appliance and force longer treatment and extra visits to the office.
You are on your way to a healthy bite and a beautiful smile.