Aim and background: Space maintainers (SMs) are used to preserve space created by premature loss of primary teeth. The most commonly used band and loop (B&L) SMs have several demerits, e.g., non-functional, poor gingival health, limited survival, laboratory work for fabrication and multi-sitting procedure, etc. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of conventional B&L SMs with conventional tube and loop (CTL), bonded tube and loop (BTL) and bonded B&L in terms of gingival health, survival time, and patients’ and parents’ satisfaction.
Materials and methods: Fifteen children between 4 years and 8 years of age with at least two fresh extraction sites of primary molars contra- or bilaterally in each child (total 30 fresh extraction sites) were included in the study. Conventional B&L on one site while bonded loop (BL)/CTL or BTL on the other site were delivered, based on random allocation. An evaluation was done at 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th months for survival time, gingival health, and patients’/parents’ satisfaction. Results were statistically analyzed using independent t-test and Chi-square test under SPSS version 20.0 software.
Results: 100% B&L and CTL while only 60% BL and 80% BTL survived till the end of the study. For gingival health, statistically significant differences were obtained at 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th month\'s intervals (p < 0.05) when CTL was compared with B&L, BL, and BTL. In terms of patients’ acceptance, all the SMs were well accepted by the patients. However, on the intergroup comparison, patients’ acceptance was higher with bonded SMs.
Conclusion: Conventional tube and loop SMs were found to be most efficacious in terms of survival time, gingival health, and patients’ satisfaction.
Clinical significance: To find a better alternative for the conventional B&L SMs.
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