Dental Problems

Space Loss -Nature and Prevalence of Space Loss

Encore-BridgeIn the arch, every tooth is like a unit, which is maintained in place by a host of factors and also it, in turn, maintains the arch integrity. Should there be any imbalance of the forces acting on the tooth, the opposing unrestricted force causes a movement of tooth or teeth. In this article, there is a brief discussion on the space loss -nature and prevalence of space loss. Read on to know more.

Space loss:

For example, in cases where proximal contact is lost due to caries or even loss of a tooth as a whole, the mesial component of force (generally) is unbalanced and may cause medial drifting, more so during the eruption of the first permanent molar.

Nature and prevalence of space loss

While recording the prevalence of space loss or closure the following observations are recorded by most of the clinicians.

  • Incidence of premature loss of deciduous molars
  • Rate of space closure
  • Time of space closure
  • Amount of space closure
  • Direction of space closure
  • A. Premature loss of deciduous molars:

    • Majority of reports indicate that frequently the premature extraction of the deciduous molars will cause crowding of teeth due to space loss associated with either rotation, tipping or bodily movement.
    • They have also observed that by the age of 7 to 8 years, almost 50 to 60 percent children start showing mutilated occlusion due to the early loss of primary teeth.
    • The maximum number of cases was due to carries of deciduous molars.
  • B. Rate and Time of space closure:

    • Unger (1938) proposed that the earlier a tooth is lost the greater the initial rate of space loss.
    • Seward (1965) found that a continual rate of closure 1.5 mm per year in the maxilla existed and all individuals demonstrated space loss.
    • In the mandible, the mean rate of closure was 1.0 mm per year, with individuals varying widely in the timing of closure.
    • Northway (1984) has stated that more space was lost in the first year following an extraction than in successive years.
    • The rate of space loss in maxilla is age related.
    • Thus, at the age of 6 years: total space loss is 4.1 mm, 7 years: 2.1 mm and at an older age, it is less than 1.5 mm.
    • In the mandible, there was no relation between age and the amount of space loss.
    • Average loss was from 2.6 to 3.2 mm in 4 years.
  • C. Amount of space closure:

    • Several studies have found that the maximum space loss occurred in the maxillary region due to the premature loss of the second deciduous molars.
    • Contrary to the other reports space loss in our patients was found to be maximum in the mandible with the total space loss being more than 2.5 mm.
  • D. Direction of space closure:

    • There has been a generalization of the direction of space closure.
    • Earlier studies have reported that maxillary extraction sites close primarily by mesial movement of posterior teeth and mandibular extraction sites by distal migration of anterior teeth.
    • Based on Kronfeld’s theory that neutral areas are located between the biscuspids in maxilla and just mesial to the first molar in mandible, the teeth anterior to the neural area are expected to erupt to the distal, while the distal teeth migrate forward.
    • Northway et al (1984) stated that for both arches, the greatest space loss occurred as a result of the molar movement forward towards mesial.
  • E. Effect of caries:

    • It has been reported that in both the arches, severe caries results in a space loss of about 1 mm.
    • In our patients, the loss due to caries was observed to be from 1.5 to 2.5 mm.

The above article discusses about the

nature and prevalence of space loss

.

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