Dental Flipper

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Dental Flipper Tooth

A dental flipper tooth, also known as a flipper tooth, is a type of tooth replacement option for those missing one or more teeth. Unlike dental implants, which require surgery and can be quite expensive, dental flippers are relatively simple and affordable. Dental flippers have come a long way in recent years.

Today, flipper teeth are made from high-quality materials that look natural and are comfortable to wear. As such, they are a convenient and practical solution for people who are looking for an effective way to replace missing teeth.

A flipper tooth can often be confused with a dental partial, which can be made of a metal framwork. Read on to learn more about the flipper.

dental flipper tooth

What is a Dental Flipper?

A dental flipper is a completely acyclic tooth replacement alternative that fits the teeth like a retainer. When someone has only a few missing teeth, and the other teeth remain in healthy condition, a dental flipper is one of the options to fill the gaps in the mouth.

Flippers are mostly recommended for short-term use and can be made fairly quickly, unlike a complete denture or metal framework partial denture. These interim dental partials aren’t nearly as durable or long-lasting as dental implants, bridges, or metal partials.

They are also easy to care for and can be removed for cleaning. However, flipper teeth are not as durable as other tooth replacement options and may need to be replaced every few years.

Flippers for Children

In younger children who may have had mouth trauma, extractions, or missing teeth, a flipper will be recommended for teeth replacement. They are even used in pageants to fill gaps in the teeth for young performers. Though, there is much controversy around the subject.

Children won’t be a candidate for other types of partial dentures because their bones and tissues are still growing and not all of their teeth have come in yet. Once the child’s mouth, jaws, and maxillofacial structure is fully grown, the dentist can discuss other tooth replacement options.

Pageant Child standing at a makeup table smiling at the camera. She is wearing makeup with her hair up and a pretty white dress on.
Mother and Son Dentist Patients 1

Flippers for Adults

Many adults will choose a dental flipper while their gums are healing and preparing for an implant. After an extraction, oral surgeons and implant dentists often wait to place the implant for a few months to give the mouth time to heal. In this short period, it’s important to hold the space open. Additionally, it’s often preferred for a cosmetic solution for that short time.

Benefits of Dental Flipper

  • Low cost, affordable false teeth alternative
  • A natural-looking smile that match your existing teeth color
  • Cosmetically Pleasing
  • Flimsy, not durable
  • Good for maintaining proper tooth spacing
Woman at the Dentist Checking
Dental Office Staff Employees

Disadvantages of Dental Flipper

  • It may cause discomfort if not fitted properly
  • Not as durable as a partial denture or dental implant
  • Not a long-term solution; More of a temporary solution
  • Unable to eat with a dental flipper; this may damage it
  • Can not have additional teeth added to dental flipper

How is a Flipper Tooth made?

A dental flipper can oftentimes be made and delivered the same day, or within a few short days. Hale Family Dentistry will take a dental impression to make this custom-fit appliance. It is sent to a local Fort Wayne laboratory for fabrication where they install the tooth. We will then set up an appointment to deliver the acrylic partial denture. There is no limit to the number of teeth you can get on a partial, however, they are commonly used when replacing only a few teeth.

dental flipper tooth
Woman at the Dentist Checking

Problems with Dental Flippers

Due to the type of material it is made from, a flipper does not last as long as a cast metal framework denture or really any other type of tooth alternative. It’s very important to properly care for your flipper tooth to ensure its longevity since it isn’t as durable. Many people find that dental flippers are best for looks and cosmetic purposes.

  1. They have limited retention and lack the capabilities that other options have.
  2. They must be taken out while eating or they could break. Therefore, if you are looking for a quality solution to replace many teeth and utilize those teeth for chewing, this is not a good fit.
  3. Flippers cannot have teeth added onto them. Once they are made, it is highly unlikely that they can be repaired or added onto in any form.
  4. They don’t have the flexibility like partials or dentures.

Flippers are a great choice for someone who is looking for an interim partial before a bridge, implant or other type of tooth replacement option is being fabricated.

Caring for your Dental Flipper

  • Use a denture cleaner or a light dishwashing soap to clean.
  • When you are not using your flipper, keep in a glass of water to prevent it from drying out – like during the night while you are sleeping.
  • Brush your appliance often.
  • Do not wear while eating.
  • It’s not recommended to sleep with your flipper in your mouth.
  • Do not bite on your flipper, as it is fragile and can break easily.
  • To keep your denture looking new, avoid cranberry juice or hard juices that can stain.
  • Keep your flipper stored away from pets and animals as they tend to be attracted to them due to the smell of saliva or food.
Dental Flipper
dental partial 03

We Can Help You Decide

Overall, when it comes to tooth replacement, there are a variety of options to choose from. The best option for tooth replacement is ultimately based on the individual’s specific needs. Some of the most common tooth replacement options include dental implants, bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures.

Each of these options has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to getting a flipper tooth, be sure to ask a qualified dentist. Dr. Jonathan Hale and our team at Hale Family Dentistry can help you decide. Give us a call today at (260) 482-3759!

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost for a flipper tooth can range from a couple hundred dollars to $800 depending on your location and needs.

A flipper is a tooth replacement option that is most often used temporarily, like during a time period of when a tooth is extracted and the time an implant is placed.

Mostly for cosmetic reasons a dental flipper can serve as a short-term solution to mimic a natural tooth before a more permanent tooth is placed.

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