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Article: Volume 47 Number 1 Page 54 - January 2020

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  Dental Update 474: 54-60

Paediatric dentistry:  Space Maintenance in the Mixed Dentition − a Necessary Intervention or a Step Too Far?

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Abstract: Primary teeth provide aesthetics and function whilst maintaining arch length and also space for their permanent successors. Unplanned, early loss of primary teeth can result in unwanted migration of permanent teeth, causing loss of arch length, crowding, displacement of teeth and therefore malocclusion. The purpose of this review is to discuss the different types of fixed and removable space maintainers available in the mixed dentition and their clinical indications.

Clinical relevance: This manuscript should inform readers of the different types of space maintainers available for young children, their clinical indications and also their limitations.

Author notes: Manas Dave, BSc(Hons), BDS(Hons), MJDF RCS(Eng), MFDS RCPS(Glasg), PGCert, FHEA, PGCert, Academic Clinical Fellow in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, University of Manchester (email:, Carly Dixon, BDS, MFDS RCPS(Glasg), MRes DPH, FHEA, PGCert HE, Clinical Lecturer and Specialty Registrar in Paediatric Dentistry, University of Manchester and Manchester Dental Hospital, Paddy Jones, BDS, General Dental Practitioner, Marton Dental Practice, Middlesbrough, Stephen Chadwick, FDS, RCSEdin, MSc, MOrth RCS, FDS(Orth), RCSEdin, PGCertTL, MA, Consultant Orthodontist, Countess of Chester Hospital and Siobhan Barry, BDS, NUI, MFDS RCS(Dub), MPaedDent(Glasg), DClinDEnt, FDS(PaedDent), RCPS(Glasg), Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, University of Manchester and Manchester Dental Hospital, UK.

Objective: To highlight different types of space maintainers and their clinical indications and understand the importance of space maintenance in paediatric patients.

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