If you’re missing one or more teeth due to decay or trauma, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, an educational and scientific association that supports the needs and interests of prosthodontists in the field of dentistry, more than 178 million people in America are missing at least one tooth. And approximately 40 million Americans have lost all of their teeth. Not surprisingly, many of these same individuals report no longer being able to enjoy their favorite foods. What’s more, several have claimed that the state of their oral health has negatively impacted both their professional and social life.
For these reasons, many of these same individuals have decided to turn to various forms of dental restoration to improve not only their smile but also the way that their teeth function. To that point, two of the most common dental restorations for those missing one or more teeth are dental implants and dental bridges. While they both boast high success rates and have helped countless people, they are expensive. As a result, these particular dental appliances might be out of reach for low-income individuals or those on a fixed income. Fortunately, there are other less expensive options for those wanting to improve their smile and continue eating the foods that they love.
WHAT IS A FLIPPER TOOTH AND HOW CAN IT LEAD TO A BETTER SMILE?
For those who are not familiar with a dental flipper, it is a temporary partial denture commonly used to fill the void left behind by a front-facing, single missing tooth. They can benefit those who are missing all of their front teeth as well. In short, a dental flipper is a removable retainer comprised of one or more fake teeth. These dental appliances are placed along the roof of an individual’s mouth, also known as the palate, or can sit on their lower jaw. In either case, those who wear these dental appliances will find that they not only provide them with a full smile but also makes it easier for them to bite and chew their food more thoroughly.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GETTING A SINGLE-TOOTH DENTAL FLIPPER OR A FLIPPER DENTURE FOR THE FIRST TIME
If you’re among the 9 to 15 percent of Americans who suffer from dental anxiety, a feeling of uneasiness concerning an impending dental appointment, you will be happy to know that getting fitted for a dental flipper is easy and virtually painless. The same also applies for those needing a complete flipper denture due to having lost all of their teeth. Before being fitted with your first dental single-tooth flipper or flipper denture, all dentists, including those at Southland Dental Care, will start by taking a dental impression and sending it to a dental lab. As far as the materials used to make these dental appliances, they consist of pink acrylic that resembles gum tissue and one or more fake teeth made from white-colored acrylic. Unlike the porcelain teeth that makeup temporary dentures, acrylic teeth are stain-resistant and less susceptible to fracture.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING A SINGLE FLIPPER TOOTH OR MULTIPLE FLIPPER TEETH?
If you choose to get a flipper tooth or multiple flipper teeth, you will be happy to know that, along with providing a complete smile and improving how your teeth function, there are even more benefits associated with these dental appliances that consist of fake front teeth, including the following:
They can be easily worn – One of the advantages of a flipper tooth is that you can place them in your mouth whenever you’re ready to start using them as denture adhesive for flipper teeth is not needed. If they were made correctly by a dental lab, they should fit comfortably and securely.
Affordable – Because denture adhesive for flipper teeth is not required, the long-term cost of owning them is quite low. And compared to implants or dental bridges, for example, the upfront cost is also low.
They can help stabilize remaining teeth – Similar to complete or a removable partial denture, a dental flipper, when worn regularly, can prevent remaining teeth from shifting, which is a common occurrence among those with missing teeth resulting from trauma or decay.
TEMPORARY DENTURES: ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES TO WEARING A DENTAL FLIPPER?
Although several benefits come with wearing a dental flipper, there are a few downsides worth noting. As such, those who are considering them are encouraged to do their own research to ensure that they are a good fit based on their unique dental needs. According to a recent study, which included teenagers and adults who have worn them, there are several downsides associated with wearing a dental flipper to fill the void left behind by one or more missing teeth. And they include the following:
Durability – According to claims made by adults, teenagers, and even some dentists, a dental flipper lacks the structural integrity commonly associated with a removable partial denture, an implant, or a dental bridge. As such, many will still refrain from eating certain foods while wearing them. While there is no shortage of articles available on how to fix a broken flipper tooth, most dentists will agree that it is best to replace it rather than trying to fix it. And the before and after dental flipper pictures posted on social media showing the results of an attempted repair further highlights why it is better to replace them rather than trying to repair them.
Uncomfortable flipper tooth – Unlike a removable partial denture or a permanent tooth-replacement, such as dental implants, dental bridges, or permanent dentures, for example, some people find wearing a flipper tooth for more than a few hours at a time uncomfortable.
Gum disease and tooth decay – While dental flipper pictures posted on social media showing people who are happy with their new fake front teeth might motivate you to get them yourself, you should know that they will require paying closer attention to your oral hygiene. According to recent study data and claims made by those who have worn them, a flipper tooth can increase the risk of gingivitis and further tooth loss if they’re not cleaned thoroughly.
Gum recession – Along with gingivitis and the threat of further tooth loss, a dental flipper, sometimes referred to as a temporary front tooth flipper, can cause gums to recede over time. According to many dentists in California’s Los Angeles County, this happens because these dental appliances can restrict the flow of saliva to the gums.
CAN A DENTAL FLIPPER BE USED AS A TEMPORARY FRONT TOOTH AFTER EXTRACTION?
Generally speaking, anyone who has lost one or more teeth but still have healthy gums is a good candidate for a dental flipper. That aside, they can also be used as a temporary front tooth after extraction for those who prefer a dental implant and are waiting for it to be made by a dental lab. Along with serving as a temporary front tooth after extraction, these same devices can temporarily fill an existing void in-between a patient’s natural teeth should they choose to go with a dental bridge instead.
HOW MUCH WILL A DENTAL FLIPPER COST IN LOS ANGELES?
Having answered the question of what is a flipper tooth and also the pros and cons associated with wearing them, let’s take a moment to explore dental flipper cost in one of California’s most populated cities, Los Angeles. Studies show that the cost of dental flippers, depending on the number of teeth an individual is missing, can be anywhere from $300 to $500. By comparison, a single dental implant, according to a study published by Affordable Dental Health providers, is between $1,395 and $3,500.
Similar savings are also available to those who are willing to choose a dental flipper over a dental bridge. Depending on the number of teeth an individual is missing, a dental bridge can be anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, according to some studies. So although dental flippers are not a permanent solution for resolving tooth loss as they are nothing more than temporary dentures that can easily be inserted and taken out of one’s mouth, they do represent the more budget-friendly option.
In summary, despite some of the downsides mentioned in this article, dental flippers are an excellent low-cost way to fill the void left behind by missing teeth. To learn more about these devices, you’re encouraged to schedule a free dental conultation with Southland Dental Care, a multi-specialty dental practice that offers a wide range of dental restorations that can help individuals achieve a fuller, healthier, and brighter smile.