A great smile gives people confidence in their ability to reach their personal goals in life. People get affected by this due to an accident or other dental issues. They’re often left feeling ashamed and embarrassed by the appearance of holes in their smile. One available solution to restore a person’s smile is the placement of a dental flipper as a temporary treatment. Dental implants and implant supported dentures are a more permanent treatment to restore your smile.
What is a dental flipper?
A dental flipper is a removable retainer fitted with false teeth. It’s made up of a denture acrylic colored to match a patient’s gums. Some get fitted with clasps that go around the patient’s permanent teeth to hold them in place better.
Dentists often choose to place a dental flipper in a patient’s mouth as a temporary measure, allowing them to heal from surgeries such as extractions or grafts while hiding any gaps. This choice works well as an alternative for patients too young for dental implants or other extensive surgery. These patients wear a dental flipper until the dentist determines that the patient’s jaw has matured enough to consider more permanent dental solutions.
People lacking the resources to afford more expensive surgery often choose a dental flipper as a cost-effective long-term option.
What’s involved in getting a dental flipper?
The dentist first takes impressions of the patient’s mouth to get an accurate representation of what the dental flipper needs to accommodate. That impression gets cast in plaster and sent off to a dental laboratory. The dentist also sends instructions directing the laboratory on what color the teeth should be and other factors unique to the patient’s mouth. The laboratory uses that dental impression along with those guidelines to model the new dental flipper.
The cost of the dental flipper depends on the number of teeth being added. A dental flipper with metal clasps cost more than those without. The amount paid for a dental flipper ranges from $300 to $500.
What are the benefits of having a dental flipper?
Flipper teeth can be placed right away to fill in any gaps due to injury or dental disease. It’s capable of being prepared in advance when it’s known that one or more teeth require extraction from a patient’s mouth. That means the patient never suffers through publicly exposing their missing teeth. A dental flipper gets chosen more often as a temporary dental solution because it’s found to be better-looking than other provisional alternatives. The lightweight material makes it easier for patients to adjust to having it in their mouth. Getting one made takes less time than other solutions and requires fewer office visits.
A dental flipper provides stability for permanent teeth around the spaces in a patient’s mouth, preventing them from moving around to fill them. They also make eating and chewing easier and more comfortable for patients. Patients suffering from additional tooth loss after getting a dental flipper can have it modified quickly to accommodate the new openings.
How do you take care of a dental flipper?
A dental flipper should be removed and gently brushed every night. The ADA recommends that a mild solution similar to hand soap be used for cleansing as toothpaste is often too harsh. Patients need to be very careful while cleaning to avoid accidental breakage. Patients should avoid sleeping in flipper teeth to prevent the build-up of bacteria harmful to the patient’s oral health. Patients should let their dental flipper soak overnight in water containing an antifungal and antibacterial tablet.
Patients should visit their dentist at least twice a year or as often as needed to ensure that their dental flipper gets adjusted if they’re causing the patient discomfort.
What are the drawbacks to having flipper teeth?
Flipper teeth might break easily due to the lightweight nature of the material used to create them. Patients must go without their appliance until it’s repaired at a dental laboratory. A dental flipper requiring more visible dental clasps make it obvious where a patient has teeth missing. It’s difficult for saliva to cleanse a patient’s gums since the dental flipper covers them up. This combined with failing to care for the flipper properly leads to tooth decay and gum disease.
Most flipper teeth loosen over time, irritating the patient when they’re worn. A loose-fitting dental flipper rubbing against the gums increase the possibility of bone loss in the affected areas.
What are other alternatives to dental flippers?
Removable Partial Metal Denture – A partial metal denture gets built with either a plastic or acrylic material molded over a metal framework. They offer the same removability that a dental flipper provides with more stability. The cost of these dentures ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. The addition of attachments stabilizing the denture increases the cost.
Bridgework – Bridgework consists of a series of crowns placed together and held in place by permanent teeth next to spaces in the patient’s mouth. Patients need healthy teeth to anchor the bridges. Each tooth in the bridge costs anywhere from $500 to $1,200.
Dental Implants – Dental Implants consist of metal posts implanted into the jaw to root replacement teeth. Implants are healthier for gums and surrounding teeth since the gums remain uncovered and there’s no need to alter permanent teeth. Patients need a fully-developed healthy jaw to support insertion of the implants. Each implant costs anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000.
A dental flipper provides a fast and cost-effective solution for filling in spaces left by missing teeth. Patients should consult their dentist on all options available and decide if this type of appliance would work for them.