Space maintenance is often advised when a tooth is lost or extracted prematurely. A space maintainer can be placed to help guide the permanent tooth into the correct position and avoid space loss. Space loss occurs when the teeth surrounding a lost tooth collapse into the open space, blocking the permanent tooth from being able to erupt. A space maintainer is often kept in the mouth until the permanent tooth is close to eruption. A dentist can simply remove the space maintainer at the appropriate time.