My child needs a spacer, now what?

A spacer is made of a special metal material that can be placed in the mouth in order to hold the space until the permanent teeth erupt.  There are three different types of spacers. The best one to use will depend on the location of the missing tooth.

Dr. Fuller suggests that you should always attempt to save the tooth if at all possible.  Unfortunately there some situations where this is not possible and a spacer maybe necessary to keep the space open.


Baby teeth are important because they keep the place where the permanent teeth should be. If there is no tooth in that place, then other teeth may move and other dental work may need to be completed later on to fix this.

As mentioned there are three types of spacers that may be used, the fixed spacer, the unilateral, crown and loop or distal shoe, bilateral and lingual arch and removable spacer.  These are all usually metal, however, if the teeth are in a position that show, acrylic can be put on so that it blends in better. Each spacer differs based on how it hooks in the mouth and the location where it is needed.

Once the other teeth begin to come in, the spacer can be removed by going back to your dentist, having the wires cut and then polishing off the cement. Spacers should not cause discomfort or problems. If your child is complaining of pain, make an appointment with Dr. Fuller and his staffimmediately. Sometimes spacers may need to be adjusted. 


  1. Did not know there were three different types of spacers that can be used on children. I'll have to remember this as my daughter is getting to the point where we are thinking of taking her to her first dental appointment. She just lost her first baby tooth, so we want to make sure the rest of her teeth are as healthy as they can be.

    1. Hello Dave, Yes it is very important to make sure that healthy dental habits begin at a young age.

  2. how long do they need to be in my daughters dentist said until she is 12 . she is only 6!

    1. It will depend on her and her smile. Your dentist knows best but if you are looking for a 2nd opinion please contact our office.


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