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Dental Flippers

Dental Flippers: Temporary Tooth Replacement Solutions

A confident smile is integral to how you look and feel about yourself. But that also means the opposite is true: Missing teeth can make you feel less secure and make it harder for your smile to work as it should.

If you’ve ever lost a tooth due to an accident, gum disease, or significant decay, your dentist might discuss replacement options to maintain your smile. And though many long-term tooth replacement solutions are out there, they often require extensive procedures and time.

However, one option stands out: a dental flipper, an acrylic fake tooth. Although temporary, a flipper can restore your smile’s beauty and function and help you transition to a longer-lasting or permanent solution.

Understanding Dental Flippers

A dental flipper may be an ideal first step if you want to invest in a more permanent tooth replacement solution, like an implant or a fixed bridge. However, they do have their limitations. For instance, though you can eat while wearing a dental flipper, it is best to avoid hard or sticky foods, as these can damage the flipper tooth or cause it to come loose. In general, they break easily and must be properly cared for.

Therefore, talking with your dentist is vital to ensure you make an informed decision about getting a flipper. They can provide you with the necessary information about tooth flippers, identify whether you are a suitable candidate for them, and help you decide whether they represent the best overall solution.

What Are Dental Flippers?

Dental flippers go by many names. Whether your dentist calls yours a flipper tooth, flipper, or interim removable partial denture, they are recommending a temporary acrylic partial denture.

When you undergo a tooth extraction, your jawbone and gums must heal before being fitted for a permanent replacement. By filling the gap with a flipper, you’ll minimize the risk of serious bone loss.

Purpose and Benefits

Dental flippers are usually recommended as a quick and effective temporary solution for those who have lost some of their teeth by way of injury or condition and those who are about to lose their teeth due to extraction. Even one missing tooth creates problems when you try to eat or speak. Multiple missing teeth make such tasks increasingly challenging. Dental flippers offer several benefits, including:

  • Immediate Space Maintenance: Flippers help fill the empty space in your smile. They act as a space maintainer, preventing adjacent teeth from shifting into the open space.
  • Removable and Convenient: Dental flippers can be easily removed when no longer needed. They do not interfere with the process of getting a more permanent solution.
  • Improved Functionality: Dental flippers can help you regain the confidence to bite into foods and chew properly. They prevent food from slipping out of your mouth, allowing you to eat more comfortably.
  • Enhanced Speech: Flippers help you speak more clearly, preventing lisps and whistles associated with missing teeth. This improvement in speech can boost your confidence in social situations.
  • Simple Care: Dental flippers are easy to remove and clean with a soft-bristled brush whenever you brush your teeth. This simplicity makes them a hassle-free option for temporary tooth replacement.
  • Cost-Effective: Dental flippers are one of the most budget-friendly temporary tooth replacement options. They are ideal for maintaining your smile without significant expense while you wait for a permanent replacement.
  • Pre-Extraction Preparation: Flippers can be made before having your tooth extracted. Although this requires an additional appointment before extractions, your new tooth can be immediately placed, avoiding a gap in your smile.
  • Suitable for Young Patients: Dental flippers are an excellent choice for someone too young for dental implants. They preserve the space as the jaw grows, which is crucial for those whose jawbone has not fully developed yet.

Dental flippers are a versatile and practical temporary solution for maintaining your smile, ensuring proper function, and preserving oral health while awaiting a more permanent dental restoration.

Material and Design

Dental flippers have fast turnaround times, so you won’t have to wait long for your new tooth. That’s because manufacturing a flipper is a far less time-consuming process than that of a permanent denture.

Flipper teeth have a base made from lightweight material that matches the color of your gum tissue. That base supports the false tooth or teeth and is made to fit tightly on the gums. Altogether, fake teeth are usually made from acrylic or similar materials, which works particularly well for replacing teeth near the front of your mouth.

Acrylic can be designed to match the color and shape of your natural teeth, which can reduce the cost and weight of the final replacement. Depending on what you and your dentist decide, your flipper may have pink acrylic that snaps between the teeth to secure it in place. It may also be held in place using wires with small balls on the ends.

A dental flipper made from high-quality materials can look real, making you smile more confidently as you heal. Ultimately, it is more comfortable, making you more likely to wear it and not even realize the difference.

One thing to remember is that some materials used to create dental flippers might trigger allergies. Although these aren’t common outcomes, they are still worth considering when getting one. Talking to a dentist is key to ensuring the right materials are used to avoid a reaction.

Immediate Dental Flippers

When you remove your teeth, you don’t want to be left without any as the extraction sites heal. With immediate dental flippers, you don’t have to walk around with gaps in your smile. Below is everything you need to know about them:

Immediate Placement

True to its name, you’ll receive the immediate dental flipper on the same day as your extraction. It will fill in the space left from your tooth extraction or other similar dental procedure.

Advantages

An immediate dental flipper will protect your gums throughout healing and can help reduce gum bleeding. And as you heal, your immediate flipper helps maintain aesthetics and function. After a brief period, you can chew and speak normally once again.

Procedure

Several steps go into the process of making a custom dental flipper that fits your mouth’s unique shape and size. First and foremost, you’ll have an initial consultation with a prosthodontist to assess your oral health and tooth replacement needs.

Once you and your dentist agree that a dental flipper is right for you, they will take an impression of your mouth before performing the extraction. It may be taken with traditional impression putty or a digital 3D scanner that captures your mouth’s exact shape and size. Regardless of the method, your dentist will have the foundation for creating a model.

Before sending your details to a dental lab, prosthetic teeth that look similar to your natural teeth in size, color, and shape are selected. These teeth are often made from acrylic or porcelain and come in several shapes and sizes to ensure a precise match.

After selecting your teeth, traditional impressions are poured using stone and sent to a lab. Digital impressions are also sent directly to the lab, where a technician will design your tooth flipper according to your dentist’s instructions.

From there, a technician will choose the acrylic teeth that fit the dentist’s description on the prescription and then fabricate the acrylic plate to fit your mouth. An upper dental flipper is molded to the palate, and a lower flipper is made to fit on the tongue side of your teeth.

The lab returns the finished product to the office. After your dentist removes your tooth, they’ll immediately place the flipper. The end result is an immediate flipper that will likely fit quite well, though your dentist may need to make some adjustments to improve the look and fit as the bone heals. Sometimes, you might require a new prosthetic after the bone heals.

Partial Dental Flippers

Another option to replace your missing teeth is a partial denture flipper.

Customized Solutions

Partial denture flippers are removable dental appliances consisting of multiple prosthetic teeth attached to a pink plastic base. They may contain metal frameworks or other types of more aesthetically pleasing connectors. Like an immediate dental flipper, a partial one is custom-made and closely resembles your natural teeth.

These appliances can be worn all day, but you might consider removing them at night to prevent them from cracking or warping. Additionally, while these flippers represent a great solution for replacing several non-adjacent teeth, they are not capable of replacing an entire arch.

Benefits

Not only does a partial dental flipper restore your smile, but it will also provide many other benefits, such as:

  • Stability: They offer more resilience when chewing or speaking
  • Customization: They can be designed to match the color and shape of existing teeth
  • Easy Maintenance: They are removable for easy brushing and cleaning
  • Cost: Compared to other options, they are an affordable solution
  • Improved Mental Health: Losing teeth can cause low self-esteem, but flippers provide a means of looking your best

These benefits make a removable prosthetic, like a partial dental flipper, popular after tooth extraction, and they are a wonderful choice for anyone seeking a replacement for their missing teeth.

Procedure

The process of making a partial denture flipper is similar to that of an immediate flipper. They still require impressions to be taken, whether with traditional putty or digital 3D scans. You may also be asked to bite on a soft material to record how your teeth come together.

A stone mold is created from the impression or digital scan sent directly to a lab, where technicians use it to make a custom flipper containing several teeth. These dental professionals follow the precise directions on the prescription from the dentist.

Once the flipper is ready, you’ll have a second appointment to try it on. During this visit, your dentist will check every aspect of the flipper to ensure it comfortably sits in your mouth and that it does not inhibit chewing or speech. Any necessary adjustments will be made to prevent it from irritating your gums.

Follow-up checkup appointments may be scheduled to continue monitoring the fit and condition of the appliance. Because your mouth will continue to change, additional adjustments may be needed at these appointments.

Why Choose Dental Flippers With Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta

You have many options to choose from when it comes to your dental care. But Dr. Langston and his team from Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta stand out from the crowd in several key ways:

Expertise in Prosthodontics

Whether you need an immediate single-tooth flipper or a partial flipper that replaces multiple teeth, our team will help you find the right solution. Our prosthodontists have years of experience planning and fitting dental flippers for optimal results. We take highly precise impressions to ensure your device securely fits.

Patient-Centered Care

Our team wants highly satisfied patients every time, so we are committed to providing personalized care and delivering results you love. No two patients have the same needs, though, so we work to customize your experience based on your dental health needs, medical history, and personal preferences.

We’ll explain the details of your treatment using plain language, but we’re always happy to answer your questions in more detail. You’ll receive comprehensive information that allows you to make an informed decision about your health.

Ultimately, at Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta, you’re involved in the decision-making process regarding your treatment plan. We’ll make recommendations based on our findings but respect your preferences and values. Your care is always your decision, no matter what.

Advanced Technology

The prosthodontists at Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta create dental flippers using modern, advanced materials. We use products that create comfortable, aesthetic results. These materials are durable and ensure your flipper lasts for a long time.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you have an injured or damaged tooth, you may think that an extraction is your only solution. However, you can consider dental flippers as a temporary tooth replacement. A dental flipper will help you transition from the extraction and through the healing period until you can get the permanent restoration placed.

Turn to Dental Implant & Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta for personalized advice and customized treatment to meet your unique dentistry needs. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation. We’re happy to answer any of your questions about dental flippers!