Dental Spacers in Knoxville and Seymour, Tennessee
Wondering if spacers are the right choice for you or your child? At Langford Orthodontics, we can answer your questions about spacers for teeth and whether they're the best treatment option for your case. Learn more and get in touch with our offices in Knoxville and Seymour, Tennessee, today.
What Are Dental Spacers?
Dental spacers are devices that help spread out your teeth for alignment and other orthodontic appliances. Children will typically receive a dental spacer after prematurely losing their baby teeth to ensure there is enough room in the mouth for an adult tooth. Adults can also receive a spacer after losing a permanent tooth to reserve space for a prosthetic.
Children and adults can receive one of two kinds of spacers:
- Rubber spacers: These tiny elastic loops slide between two back teeth to create more space in the mouth.
- Metal spacers: These metal devices often feature a wire that extends to cover the open space.
Rubber spacers are ideal for short-term use because they will fall out of the mouth as soon as the teeth reach their ideal alignment. Metal spacers will stay in place in a patient's mouth for a longer time, making them convenient for patients who will need spacers for six weeks or longer.
Are Separators Always Needed?
Your orthodontist can determine whether or not you'll require a spacer. There are several reasons a child or adult might lose teeth, such as tooth decay, disease, trauma or accidents. If there's a risk that the surrounding teeth will shift to fill in the gap before the child's adult tooth can grow in or the adult can receive an implant or dentures, an orthodontist may consider using a spacer.
Are Dental Spacers Painful?
You'll likely feel a slight pressure on your teeth when your orthodontist first installs your spacers. The appliances exert gentle force to hold your teeth in place. With time, you'll get used to the sensation.
In the days immediately following your spacer installation, you might feel a small amount of discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the device. During this time, you should eat soft, cool foods and take over-the-counter pain relievers as necessary.
How Dental Spacers Are Installed
Your orthodontist will first use an elastic or metal band to begin the spacing process. The band goes between your teeth and applies a gentle pressure that separates them slightly. Once the elastic or metal spacers create enough space, your orthodontist will install a more permanent device made of metal or acrylic. Fixed spacers can only be removed by the orthodontist, minimizing the risk of loss or damage.
Caring for Dental Spacers
Spacers require attentive care to ensure they stay in place and deliver successful results. Be sure you or your child refrain from picking at the spacers or pushing them out of alignment. Certain foods can also move your spacers, so avoid sticky items like caramel.
Brush regularly with special attention to the teeth around your spacers. If you have elastic spacers, don't floss between them, as you could move the devices out of place. You can floss normally with permanent metal or acrylic spacers.
Why Choose Langford Orthodontics?
Langford Orthodontics is the premier orthodontist in Knoxville, TN. We're proud to offer our patients high-quality treatment options that deliver lifelong results you can be proud of. Whether you or your child needs dental spacers or another service, Dr. Langford and our team of dedicated professionals are here for you.