Children often need space maintainers after they have had a primary (baby) tooth extracted. A space maintainer can be either be cemented to one or more remaining teeth or it can be removable appliance. The space maintainer will need to stay in place until the succedaneous (adult replacement) tooth erupts into the extraction area. Space maintainer need to be checked by a dentist twice a year and adjusted if necessary.
After the extraction of primary posterior tooth, the adjacent teeth will often move into the extraction space. This unwanted movement of adjacent teeth leads to a loss of space- space that will needed in the future by the succedaneous (adult) teeth.
If extraction space is allowed to close up, the future adult tooth will not able to erupt (grow) into mouth correctly. If teeth are allowed to tip into an extraction area, the unerupted future adult tooth may end up being impacted (stuck). Space loss often leads to an adult dentition that is crowded and a child with this problem will need orthodontic treatment later on to correct it.