The process of gaining the space lost by drifting of adjacent teeth following premature loss of deciduous teeth/tooth.

Space Regainer/Active Space Maintainer

A fixed or removable appliance capable of moving a displaced permanent tooth into its proper position in dental arch.

Indication of Space Regainer

When there is a need to re-establish about 3mm or less of space.

Factors to be considered before planning for Space Regainer

  1. It is easy to regain space in maxilla than in mandible, due to increased anchorage provided by the palatal vault and possibility of extraoral anchorage. Also the bone in maxilla is cancellous compared to the compared bone of mandible.

  2. Space loss by tipping can be regained when the crown of the tooth is tipped back.

  3. Space loss by bodily movement of the adjacent tooth should be regained by moving the tooth back bodily.

Methods of Space Regaining

Methods are divided into:

1. Fixed appliance     2. Removable appliance

Fixed appliances are indicated when there is space closure following the premature loss of deciduous molar by mesial drifting of the first permanent molar.

Types of Fixed appliances are:

1. Open coiled space regainer: Herbst space regainer
2. Jackscrew space regainer

It is used to recover the loss of space caused by tooth drifting into an edentulous area.

3. Gerber space regainer:

This type of appliance may be fabricated directly in the mouth during one relatively short appointment and requires no laboratory work.

Removable appliances are indicated when space loss is present on one quadrant only. It takes about 3-4 months to regain 3mm of space.

Types of Removable appliances are:

1. Upper & lower Hawley’s appliance with helical spring

2. Hawley’s appliance with split acrylic dumb-bell spring

It is used in the mandibular arch. Space regained is upto 2mm by this appliance. It is an effective and comfortable appliance.

3. Hawley’s appliance with sling shot elastic

4. Hawley’s appliance with palatal spring

5. Hawley’s appliance with expansion screws

Care of Space Regaining Appliance

  1. It is imperative the appliance be worn 24 hours/day to prevent the tooth from moving back into the space. Remove the appliance only when eating or brushing, and when playing contact sports.

  2. The appliance should be cleaned after every time you  eat.  Brush your appliance with the toothbrush and toothpaste using cool water at least twice a day.  Never use hot  water when cleaning or rinsing the appliance.  

  3. Please contact dental office if  the appliance is lost or breakage is suspected.


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