Also known as an acrylic removable partial denture, a flipper tooth is a removable retainer containing one or more prosthetic teeth. Flipper teeth fit along the roof of your mouth or on your lower jaw to recreate the appearance of a full set of teeth where natural teeth are missing.
If you’re missing one or more natural teeth and considering dental prosthetics to restore your smile, a flipper tooth might be a viable option. Here’s what you need to know about flipper teeth to make a more informed decision.
Flipper Tooth Pros
There are a couple of advantages to flipper teeth that make them an attractive option for those looking for removable partial dentures. These include things like:
Affordability: When compared to other types of dental prosthetics, flipper teeth are relatively more cost-effective. Costing as little as 25% of a dental implant, it’s easy to see why many would opt for a flipper tooth to replace a missing tooth.
Speedy preparation: Since the manufacturing process for a flipper tooth is less complicated than other types of dentures, most dentists and denturists can prepare your flipper teeth within a day or two.
All that’s required is for the dentist or denturist to take an impression of your mouth and for the tooth to be cast in acrylic – it’s that simple!
Convenience: Not only is a flipper tooth easy to prepare, but it’s also easy to wear. All you have to do is pop it into your mouth and you’re good to go.
Removing flipper teeth is just as simple as removing other types of partial dentures, just pop them out when you’re done with them for the day.
Aesthetics: Just like other types of removable partial dentures and dental prosthetics, flipper teeth look very natural. They do a great job of covering gaps left by tooth loss and help you restore your full, natural smile.
Stabilization and reinforcement of existing teeth: Because flipper teeth fill the gap left by lost teeth, they prevent surrounding teeth and gums from moving toward that gap and make them less likely to shift around.
What’s more, flipper teeth also anchor onto and strengthen the surrounding teeth, ensuring they’re not accidentally shifted while eating or due to an unexpected impact.
Flipper Tooth Cons
As great as they may seem, there are a few minor cons to flipper teeth. These include:
Comfort. Like other dentures, a flipper tooth may feel uncomfortable when you first start wearing it. While not completely unique to flipper teeth, this minor discomfort while getting used to your new denture is still worth noting and something to keep in mind.
Be sure to revisit your denturist or dentist if your new flipper tooth feels painful or uncomfortable for more than a few weeks.
Durability. Prepared quickly and at a fraction of the cost, flipper teeth tend to be made from less durable materials than other types of dentures. This means that flipper teeth are more likely to crack than other types of removable partial dentures.
Unlike partial dentures, however, flipper teeth can’t easily be repaired, and you’ll typically need a replacement should yours break.
Risk of Gum Disease or Tooth Decay. A flipper tooth might seem like the perfect medium between partial dentures and dental implants. Nevertheless, flipper teeth also need to be regularly cleaned and maintained to minimize the chances of developing gum disease or tooth decay.
Risk of Gum Recession. Believe it or not, your saliva is one of the main things that keeps your gums healthy and clean and prevents gum recession.
Since flipper teeth completely cover your gums, they’ll essentially stop the flow of saliva to the area they cover, thus increasing the risk of gum recession.
May Become Loose Over Time. Over time, regularly using your flipper tooth will begin to wear it out and cause it to loosen its grip on the surrounding teeth.
This is the same with many other types of dentures, but flipper teeth are particularly susceptible to this issue due to the materials they’re made out of. Thankfully, it generally only takes an adjustment by a qualified denturist or dentist to get your flipper tooth fitting snugly again.
Think You Might Be a Candidate for a Flipper Tooth?
A flipper tooth is generally recommended as a short-term solution while waiting for more permanent dental prosthetics. In some cases, flipper teeth can serve as a permanent solution for patients who aren’t good candidates for dental implants or bridges.
If you’re in the Calgary area and want to find out whether a dental flipper tooth is right for you, visit our Calgary Denture Clinic today. Our professional denturist will help you determine the best treatment for your current condition. Get in touch with us online to book your free consultation.