What exactly is a Dental Flipper you might be wondering? A Dental Flipper is probably the most cost effective way of replacing a missing tooth. If you are missing a tooth and are considering new dental implants, then perhaps a dental flipper might be the way to go for you. A Dental Flipper is often used as a temporary tooth replacement option while one waits for a dental bridge or even for healing purposes after a dental implant is placed in the mouth.
Dental Flippers are usually made out of acrylic. Much like new dental implants, a mold or impression of your mouth is made and then a plaster cast is created. This cast is then sent to a laboratory along with a prescription and your cosmetic dentist should also include the shade of tooth that is trying to be matched. The lab then creates a “filler tooth” matching as closely as possible the shade of your permanent teeth. They then mount this “tooth” onto an acrylic plate that matches your palate (if on the upper) or that matches the lower portion of your mouth in front of your tongue. If you ever had a retainer, it is very similar to that.
Some cosmetic dentists can also have the dental flipper created with little balls at the end of wire mounted to the acrylic mold which may help secure the mouth piece a little bit better. Otherwise, the acrylic piece just snaps into place behind (and in between) your teeth.
Also you may want to ask your cosmetic dentist about the Valplast flipper. The Valplast dental flipper is a more flexible option to the traditional acrylic mentioned above. The Valplast Flipper has the added advantage of being able to be made translucent (clear) for those where the pink acrylic might be esthetically noticeable.
Dental flippers are meant to be a temporary solution. Though, many people wear them for years. This is not recommended, as Dental Flippers can create abnormal wear on the surrounding gums. Additionally, they can break easily and are difficult to eat with. Therefore, people with dental flippers have to remove them before eating and it’s not something pleasant to see if you are eating across from this person (I know from personal experience!).
How Much Do Dental Flippers Cost?
Generally if you are looking to get a good quality dental flipper from a reputable cosmetic dentist in the United States you are looking at about $500. If you feel that you would rather put this $500 towards the cost of a new dental implant, the permanent solution, that is what many people do. They just simply live with the missing tooth for a while. Though if you’re missing tooth is in a place that dramatically affects your smile and appearance, the $500 may be well worth the investment. The process of getting a proper dental bridge or dental implant, can take as much as a few months. Aside from the appearance factor, if the missing tooth is causing you any discomfort, especially while you eat, then the Dental Flipper might be a good option.
Additionally, the process of getting a new dental implant requires oral surgery in order to anchor the implant to the jaw. In some cases patients have to wait up to 6 months for the next stage of the dental implant procedure to take place. To many people this is pretty scary, not to mention somewhat costly. But it is a permanent solution as compared to a Dental Flipper. New Dental Implants are also much better for your other teeth and gum line, versus the dental flipper option.