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Space maintainers in the primary and mixed dentition – a clinical guide

A Correction to this article was published on 28 September 2018

Key Points

  • Highlights the important role the primary dentition has on guiding the developing dentition.

  • Warns of the detrimental effects on the developing occlusion that premature loss of primary teeth and resultant space loss can have.

  • Outlines the benefits of using space maintainers and makes suggestion on types of space maintainers to use in different clinical scenarios.


This paper describes different types of space maintainers and the clinical situations where they may be useful, for example, when primary teeth have been lost prematurely. It serves as a clinical guide for practitioners on the best types of space maintainers to use and on the clinical uses of space maintainers in preventing undesirable tooth movements and resulting loss of arch length.

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Figure 1: Early loss of upper right second primary molar, removable space maintainer not worn.
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Correspondence to E. Watt.

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Watt, E., Ahmad, A., Adamji, R. et al. Space maintainers in the primary and mixed dentition – a clinical guide. Br Dent J 225, 293–298 (2018).

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