Dental Problems

Removable Space Maintainers

Dental CavityRemovable space maintainers are the types of space maintainers which could be removed and can be reinserted in the oral cavity. In this article there is a brief discussion on the removable space maintainers. Read on to know more.

Removable space maintainers

This space maintainers are like the removable partial denture. It is used for maintaining not only the mesio-distal space but also vertical space. The mastigatory function is generally restored in the functional type. In this speech improvement and esthetic is seen.

Removable space maintainers -uses:

The following are the conditions where the removable space maintainers are used:

  • These removable space maintainers can be used for the bilateral posterior teeth loss inside the mandibular arch before the tooth eruption.
  • It can also be used for the missing anterior teeth, thus it can be made functional.
  • It is used where the patients co-operation is not at all a major criteria.
  • It is also used when the space maintainer is only required for a shorter period of time.

Removable space maintainers -cannot be used:

The following are the conditions where the space maintainers cannot be used:

  • It cannot be used for patients who are allergic to acrylic
  • It cannot be used in patients who are not co-operative
  • It cannot be used in patients who are epileptic


  1. When premature loss of primary molars takes place and space maintenance with restoration of masticatory function is important.
  2. In cases, where supra-eruption has already taken place, a non-functional one may be used.
  3. In the anterior region, premature loss may have deleterious effects on speech and esthetics. For this purpose, replacement of the anterior teeth may be done by R.P.D.
  4. When a multiple tooth loss is seen where fixed appliances may not serve the purpose.
  5. When permanent molars have not erupted, a removable guiding plane may also be used.
  6. In high-risk caries child, maintenance is poor and fixed appliances are contraindicated. The key disadvantage of all removable appliances lies in the heavy dependence on patient compliance.

In a majority of clinical conditions, a removable, partial denture, with an acrylic denture base, wrought wire clasp and artificial teeth will serve the purpose. Rarely, in cases of prolonged use, a cast, chrome -cobalt alloy framework may be considered.


A simple classification that includes the various clinical situations in which removable appliances may be given in the mixed or primary dentition are as follows:

  • I. Unilateral Maxillary posterior
  • II. Unilateral Mandibular posterior
  • III. Bilateral Maxillary posterior
  • IV. Bilateral Mandibular posterior
  • V. Bilateral Maxillary anterior and posterior
  • VI. Bilateral Mandibular anterior posterior
  • VII. Primary or permanent anterior
  • VIII. Complete primary teeth loss

Bilateral mandibular removable space maintainer:

Disadvantage of the removable space maintainer appliance includes the following:

  • It is more susceptible for the loss or breakage by the patient
  • It might not be worn usually by the patient

Unilateral removable space maintainers:

These removable space maintainers are generally considered to be dangerous. This is because as they are too small and when present while choking and swallowing can be dangers for kids.


  1. It depends entirely on patient co-operation and compliance.
  2. It may be lost or can be broken by the patient.
  3. The lateral jaw growth may be restricted, if clasps are incorporated.
  4. It may irritate the underlying soft tissues.
  5. It may not maintain space during the eruption of the tooth.

The above article discusses about the

removable space maintainers

. Removable space maintainers are of two types -functional and non-functional. These removable space maintainers have some dangerous disadvantages. Thus, patients going for the space maintainer for their kids must have a look on all the advantages and disadvantages of the appliances.

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