A flipper tooth, or temporary partial denture, is a dental product designed to fill the gaps in your smile that exist through tooth removal, decay, or injury.
Many dentists refer to it as an acrylic removable partial denture and describe it as a retainer with clasps and gum-colored acrylic that sits on your lower jaw or roof of your mouth with prosthetic teeth attached to it.
This product is one of many desirable options available for patients who want to benefit from a full smile once more. After all, dental health is connected with social functioning and a sense of self.
How is a Flipper Tooth Made?
It helps to understand all there is to know about a flipper tooth’s creation and installation process to see if it’s right for you.
Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth with a soft material. This process is painless and straightforward.
A dental laboratory will then use that impression to create a custom flipper tooth that’s unique to your mouth, with prosthetic teeth where any gaps may be. It features an acrylic resin product that’s both durable and comfortable in your mouth.
Your dentist will likely talk you through the process during your appointment, which can help you understand the flipper tooth pros and cons and general use.
How to Know a Flipper Tooth is Right for You
Given the sheer number of tooth replacement options out there, not everyone will know the best choice for their unique situation. Fortunately, your dentist is skilled in matching your needs to a suitable procedure or product.
A flipper tooth can be a temporary or permanent option, depending on your unique situation. Sometimes, a dentist will recommend a temporary partial denture while waiting for a fixed bridge or dental implant. You then have time to organize insurance or funds to undertake the procedure.
However, not everyone will be suitable candidates for these tooth replacement options. Therefore, in some cases, a flipper tooth can be a permanent solution.
How Much Does a Flipper Tooth Cost?
Out of all prosthetic teeth products, a flipper tooth is among the most cost-effective. Though, the price tag can depend on a number of things, such as these below:
- Number of teeth you are replacing
- Materials used to set the teeth in place
- The positioning of the teeth
- Dentist and laboratory costs
- A permanent or temporary option
To find out if a temporary partial denture is within your budget, talk with your dentist. They can advise you on the approximate costs either before or after your dental appointment.
Flipper Tooth Pros and Cons
No matter which tooth replacement option you are considering, there will always be pros and cons. Fortunately, your dentist will inform you of any flipper tooth drawbacks and information to consider before deciding if it’s the right choice for you.
Affordability – Given that a flipper tooth is often a temporary option, it tends to be one of the most cost-effective tooth replacement products on offer. It allows you to enjoy a full set of teeth while giving you time to save up for a permanent option like a dental implant or bridge.
Fewer Dentist Visits – When you compare a flipper tooth to a dental implant or another dental product, they require far fewer dental visits. They are a removable denture, which means they don’t need to be installed in your jaw bone.
Customization – If you lose other teeth after having your flipper tooth made, you may be able to have additional teeth added to the denture. This product does have some flexibility.
Lightweight – Dentists use a lightweight acrylic resin product to create a flipper tooth. It does not feel heavy in a wearer’s mouth.
Confidence – A flipper tooth can significantly improve the wearer’s confidence due to its ability to enhance your mouth’s aesthetics. When missing teeth are in a prominent position, a temporary dental implant can solve the problem.
Aesthetics – Because of the materials used to form a flipper tooth, they look like natural teeth and gums. No one has to know that some of your most prominent teeth are not your own.
Loose Fit – Sometimes, a flipper tooth can become ill-fitting over time. Some wearers may notice discomfort and rubbing on their gums. A dentist can adjust the fit to reduce the risk of this happening.
Discomfort – Some people find partial dentures challenging to get used to. The thickness of the base can also cause discomfort after long-term use.
Stability – As a flipper tooth is not a permanent structure, it can feel unstable in a wearer’s mouth while they eat. Many people prefer to remove their dentures while they eat, depending on the position of the missing teeth. You may also be able to use a dental adhesive to retain and stabilize the flipper.
How Do You Take Care of a Flipper Tooth?
The American Dental Association outlines general recommendations for oral care to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. However, taking care of a flipper tooth requires a slightly different approach.
- Clean your flipper tooth daily to remove food and plaque.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with warm water and mild soap, such as dishwashing liquid or hand soap.
- Rinse your denture thoroughly before putting it back in your mouth.
- Avoid using toothpaste, which can be damaging.
- Avoid dark-colored food and beverages, such as beets, coffee, wine, and cranberry juice.
- See your dentist for adjustment if you can move your flipper tooth around with your tongue.
- Keep it moist when you’re not wearing it, such as with denture cleaning products or water.
- Maintain a regular oral health routine with your natural teeth.
- See your dentist, twice-yearly for check-ups.
Making the Right Choice for Your Oral Health
Whether you have lost teeth through an injury, decay, or removal, you have an important decision to make regarding tooth replacement options. Weigh up the pros and cons of a flipper tooth, and talk to your dentist about the best approach going forward.
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