Dental Flipper Teeth: Cost & Benefits

Replacing a tooth that has been lost to trauma or disease is not a quick process. Often the extraction site will need time to heal, and if the tooth is to be replaced with a dental implant, additional procedures such as bone or soft tissue grafts may be required. This can mean going without a permanent replacement tooth for a few weeks or for several months.

Obviously this isn’t ideal, particularly as the loss of any tooth can affect the position and stability of those remaining and if the missing tooth is highly visible then its loss can be distressing. Flipper teeth are one solution to this problem.

In This Guide

What is a Flipper Tooth?

Flipper ToothA flipper tooth is a removable, lightweight partial denture that is used as a temporary replacement for one or more missing teeth. It fills in any visible gaps so you don’t have to go without a tooth while waiting for a more permanent replacement.

A flipper tooth can be constructed before the natural tooth is removed. It is made from pink gum-colored denture acrylic that supports the replacement tooth. It may have clasps that fit around existing teeth to help hold it in place. This appliance is easy for the patient to insert and is easily taken out for regular cleaning. A flipper also improves the ability to eat and chew food.

How Much Do Flipper Teeth Cost?

Flipper teeth typically cost between $300 and $500. The price depends on the number of teeth that require replacing and the type of materials used and can vary considerably. A flipper that has wire clasps for example, will cost more than one without.

Who are they for? Adults or Kids?

They can be used by adults who are missing a single tooth, or who have lost several teeth that are not adjacent to each other. Using flipper teeth can restore the appearance of natural teeth in a way that is immediate and inexpensive. While normally used as a temporary measure, some adults will choose flippers as a more permanent solution for tooth loss.

Dentists sometimes recommend flipper teeth for children who may have suffered damage to their front teeth and who are still waiting for their permanent teeth to come through. Wearing them can help restore a child’s self-confidence during this period, which can be an important consideration. They can enable a child with a missing tooth to maintain an appealing and pleasant smile.

Removable Partial Denture

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • They are inexpensive to make when compared to other options. This can provide valuable time to save up for more permanent and more expensive restorations such as a dental bridge or a dental implant.
  • They can be used right after natural teeth are removed and are often pre-made prior to tooth removal.
  • They can often be made very quickly, requiring fewer visits to the dentist compared to a more permanent partial denture that may have a metal alloy substructure.
  • They are lightweight and some people find them easy to get used to wearing.
  • They can instantly improve aesthetics, alleviating the embarrassment many people experience when they lose a tooth in a highly visible area in their mouth.
  • The structure of flipper teeth allows some degree of flexibility so if another tooth is lost within the year, the dentist can add this additional tooth to the denture.

Drawbacks

  • They are not very strong or stable, which can make it tricky to chew and some people choose to leave their flipper teeth out while eating at home.
  • The metal clasps sometimes used to hold them in place can be difficult to hide, making it more obvious that a person is missing one or more teeth.
  • They are fragile and easily broken. A broken denture can only be mended by a dentist or by a dental laboratory and this may mean going without the flipper for a day or more while it is mended. Frequent breakages could prove increasingly difficult to mend.
  • The overall weakness of the material used to make them does mean that the base of the denture must be quite thick and broad. This additional thickness can make the denture uncomfortable, especially towards the end of the day.
  • The design of a flipper can create unhygienic conditions in the mouth, preventing saliva from having a cleansing effect, particularly on the denture surface closest to the gums. If not meticulously cleaned, flippers can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • After only a short period of use, they can become increasingly ill-fitting and loose. This may mean they are uncomfortable to wear and will rub on the gums, increasing the risk of bone loss in these areas.

What to Read Next

Over to You

If you have flipper teeth or are considering getting them, I’d love to hear from you! How much did they cost? Were there any complications? Was it painful? Let me know in the comments.

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31 thoughts on “Dental Flipper Teeth: Cost & Benefits

  1. I had a dental flipper for 3 years. ( I know that’s a long time to have one). I loved it. It covered my missing teeth. But it started getting to small. Felt right putting it in. My wisdom teeth started coming in and pushing my other teeth into the missing teeth holes. Which made my flipper fit wrong. I cut the clasp off myself. They were uncomfortable. 2 years after I got it. My flipper snapped in half. I also fixed it myself with some super glue and never had another problem with it. Then one day I accidently threw it in the garbage. When I knew what I had done it was to late. In thinking of getting another because I can’t afford implants. Or bridges

    • I can see how you can call these things comfortable. I can barely talk with the flipper in my mouth. I needed one because I am waiting for a replacement for a front tooth but if I knew it was this much trouble I would have kept the bad tooth. At lease I could talk and eat. I can bare pronounce the letter “S”. I absolutely hate this thing with a capital H.

  2. I had a flipper 2 years it was wonderful it was to say the least “PERFECT” I loved the flipper DO NOT Let ANYONE TELL YOU ANY DIFFERENT. …..

  3. My 3 year old recently had horrible trauma to her two front teeth and her dentist said they may have to pull them. I was thinking of getting a flipper for her. She so young and I don’t want any other damage to her teeth. She’d only need it for a little while. Does any one have any thoughts

  4. Kayla,
    she will need it for more than a little while, my son had to have his 2 front teeth pulled, when he was about 4, he just turned 7 and his have yet to grow in but we can see that they should be coming in within the next few months. Since you have a girl, it may bother her more to be without her teeth so long, it does not bother my son he actual stated..aww im goin to look different when my teeth come in he has been without them for so long now. Maybe as she gets a bit older maybe 5, I would think about it, at the age of 3 would it even matter to her if they are missing? Then again boys are different than girls.

  5. I’ve had my flipper for 19 years. No, that’s not a finger fumble. Nineteen years. I have four teeth on it; two are adjacent. It just recently broke so now I’m reviewing options and found this site. I’ve always been comfortable with my flipper and actually had to have a tooth added 10 years ago. I don’t use it while eating at home with my immediate family and I’m careful what I choose to eat when out at a restaurant or someone’s home so as not too put too much stress on the flipper. I went to a new dentist since mine retired and she was surprised I had this for so long. She told me it should have been temporary for just two or three years. I’m looking at cost of implants now but my flipper has worked well for this long.

    • Glad to hear your story! I had my 4 front teeth pulled due to cracking and had 2 crowns over 30 yrs old. The plan was to have implants. So the first surgery placed the little bars that was supposed to grow to bone. 3 days later I developed an abscess in one side, spent two days in hospital with IV antibiotics. Then had to have surgery to remove that bar. Now I’m supposed to have it placed again but having second thoughts. I am a diabetic and this may be the issue. I’m thinking of just getting a flipper. Most dental sites discourage flippers. Thanks for your positive story.

      • Thats true Carol ~ most Dental sites discourage Flippers ~~ I think Flippers are very helpful and the cost of Implants are costly ~~
        Some Dentists are only thinking about $$$ FOR THEMSELVES !

  6. I was recently involved in a traumatic bicycle accident and lost 3 adjacent front teeth (teeth # 9, 10, 11). I will be getting a flipper/ stayplate, but I am concerned about the maintenance, durability, and fitting of this temporary solution to my missing teeth until I am able to afford implants.
    Any advice on how to care for them and increase their longevity?

    Thanks,
    Brandy

  7. very interested in flippers for my wife and myself. I found the coments very helpful. thank you for your help. theo

  8. I’ve had my flipper for almost 20 years. It’s comfortable and I don’t need to take it out to eat. It’s one of my front teeth. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not a viable option. Mine is sturdy and I only broke it once – dropped it and then stepped on it. I got a dental lab to repair it and it’s as good as new. It took a bit to get used to the feeling of something in my mouth but I got past that long ago. I’d highly recommend them as a solution to a broken tooth. Consider the state of the rest of your teeth when you decide. I’ve had periodontal disease for 30 years so my teeth aren’t the best and for me the cost of the flipper made sense over a bridge that would cause my other teeth to deteriorate. If you’re young and have good oral health you might want to consider an implant but if you’re older a flipper makes much more sense and the cost is considerably lower.

  9. I just got my flipper today! I love it with the exception of the bulk but I’m sure I will get use to it in time. The plan is to get an implant.

  10. I just got my flipper today to replace the tooth next to my front tooth and to replace the tooth one down from that tooth. I’m supposed to have a bridge in a few months and had both of these teeth pulled today. My flipper was ready for me immediately after the extraction. I Love it! I thought it would hurt once the novacaine wore off but it doesn’t. I’m seriously considering just saying forget the bridge, I’ll just keep my flipper.

  11. You guys have helped me sooooo much. I’m getting mine tomorrow, due to periodontal disease, and I was worried it would be bad. No longer worried! Thanks.

  12. I’ve had my flipper two days and I love it as a replacement for my front tooth….. I can’t say how long I’m going to wear it but it was worth it. I need another tooth pulled in two weeks, Can a tooth be added to the flipper?

  13. I recently had my front tooth, well second to the front tooth removed, I need a root canal and it ended up getting cracked so I just had to pull it. I got a flipper immediately because it was the cheaper option until an implant. It’s been a total of a month and half and iv worn the flipper maybe 5 times total. I am 27 and like to think I’m pretty lol, I hate this flipper. It makes me very sad, the clasps hurt my teeth a lot, I even had it adjusted and it just doesn’t look right, the tooth looks too wide compared to my tooth on the other side. There is also a small gap from the flipper and my where my gum is still healing, I even asked my dentist if I can get my money back, $650! I don’t even wear it at all because it makes me have a horrible lisp, I can’t eat and it just hurts. I am very depressed because of it.

  14. Just got my 4 front teeth removed due to age and cost had to go with a flipper looks great but hurts like hell to leave it in all day and forget chewing… Cost was 300$ for device, my question is how long does it take for gums to heal? It’s only been 3 weeks but still very sore. Will be eating with it out for now on after reading comments plus it just doesn’t feel strong enough. If you’re young Floss and brush regularly the options later are not good unless you’re loaded.
    Thanks

    • Hello, Mike, I had a back tooth removed last year and it took a few months before it was mostly healed. I was surprised at how long it took. Because it was in the back, every time I tried to chew I reinjured it.

      I have to have a front one removed due to age and I’m very upset because I know it’s going to hurt for a while. Just be patient – eventually it will heal.

  15. I have had my flipper (one front tooth) for 23 years. Yes..Twenty-three. I have never had any issues except for the tooth popping off of the flipper (No break or cracks) I just reattached it with Krazy Glue. And as for moving or falling… FIXODENT and forget it. I know what I can and cannot eat. Cut your fruits and veggies. Don’t eat things that are very hard on your teeth. Mine does not have the horrible metal that I see on here. I cannot imagine having metal in my mouth all the time. I sleep with mine in and it is not as uncomfortable as waking up next to someone and having to go put my teeth in.

  16. My home made flipper is much better than the $500 flipper a dentist made. I lost the $500 flipper, so I read reviews on Amazon for Temptooth. My home made flipper is more comfortable than the $500 one, so I can eat with it in. When I lose it, I just make a new one. You can make about 30 teeth with the super cheap Temptooth kit. I’ve made teeth for a few friends and family. There are hundreds of great tips on Amazon, so it’s really easy to do.

  17. I’ve had my flipper for two years and absolutely love it. I requested it after an implant on an upper right molar failed and had to be removed. Both dentists involved tried to talk me out of getting it saying I wouldn’t like it, but I had done my research and knew I didn’t want to chance another implant rejection, and I also didn’t want a bridge that would compromise the two adjoining healthy teeth. I wear it every day and take it out at night, cleaning it with my toothbrush and occasionally soaking it in a denture cleaning solution. I eat anything I want with no problems. It was made well and fits perfectly with no slippage and it looks very natural. My dentist (who is a friend) still laughs at me because I love it so much. I only wish I had chosen it in the beginning instead of going through the arduous implant ordeal. Don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it! If it doesn’t work, you can always go the implant or bridge route, but it’s definitely worth trying.

    • Thank you Joanna! I’m panicking over getting a flipper for 4 of my bottom (middle) teeth. You put my mind at ease! Glad you are not having any problems!

  18. I’ve had a flipper so far for almost 5 months, I had to get one of my front teeth extracted (long story short, the tooth was damaged in an accident years ago, had a root canal, eventually it caused an infection in my gums) so i’ve been wearing the flipper since the extraction, this flipper cost me over $700, I couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait to get rid of it for several reasons: my dentist shaved it down while my gum was still swollen the day after the extraction, so now this flipper tooth is shorter than my other front tooth. It becomes loose easily at times and I find that sometimes it moves out of place when I’m talking to someone, I also have to watch when I sneeze because it has come out at times, thankfully not in front of anyone just yet. I always eat without it in while at home because it’s just easier that way. Finally the most embarrassing thing was someone dropped a package off at my house close to 10pm and I was ready for bed, I answered the door forgetting I had the flipper out, how embarrassing! I can only imagine what they thought when I answered the door with a missing front tooth! I am getting an implant in about 3 weeks and then have to wait another 4 months after that to get a permanent crown, I can’t wait and could not imagine if I had to be stuck with this for years.

  19. I lost my two front tooth in an accident. I broke my nose and had a destroyed lip which made me cry whenever I looked at the mirror. I lost all my self-confidence and my whole family were deeply saddened by this unfortunate incident. My dentist suggested me to perform a missing tooth replacement surgery. I was reluctant at first on hearing about the surgery because the very thought of blood, scissors and knifes made me scary. Finally, I had done my surgery at Centenary Dental Clinic in Scarborough. It was fine, and did not felt that scary as it appeared. I recommend having the proper treatment at the right time because it is the case of your teeth. Your smile is an important factor that determines your personality. So, smile beautifully because it is the prettiest thing you can wear. 🙂

  20. My front tooth broke so I needed an extraction. I have five implants and one is beginning to fail . I decided to forgo another implant because of cost and also because the last one was quite painful and uncomfortable. My dentist had a flipper made for me. He never said it was considered a temporary fix and charged me $850.its only been five days but so far I hate it. I certainly cannot bite with it and it’s sore on my gums. The pain will probably abate ,however chewing anything with it seems remote.i didn’t want a permanent bridge because I did not want to weaken the adjacent teeth. The flipper has no metal clasps so it doesn’t stay in very securely although , with Fixodent, it does stay in. I’m disappointed with my dentist for not advising me as to pros and cons of my treatment plan.

  21. I currently have a flipper myself. When I first got it, I had a hard time trying to pronounce certain words. But once I got used to it, I was able to speak properly. My tooth actually broke off of the one I have and i was wondering should I stick with the flipper or try to get something else.

  22. Hello,
    My doctor said it was a must for me to get a flipper before my implant, because my bone can stiff my teeth making it hard to get the implant. I had my tooth removed in the back you can’t see where the tooth is missing. So, is it necessary to get a flipper while waiting to get your implant?

  23. I’ve had my flipper for a year now love it….I recently swallowed it had 3 teeth on it…..I’m dreading getting a new one it was over $1300 any way to back I’ve moved bowel 2 times since an nothing????

  24. had my flipper for over 20 years and loved it recently bought a 2000.00 bridge what a waste of money hate the thing cant talk..it slips…food gets underneath it… demanding my dentist make me another flipper

  25. Ugh, I’ve had a flipper for a little over 4 months and I hate it. HATE. IT. I can’t wait to get an implant so I can burn this thing. It’s so uncomfortable, I never wear it at home. I don’t know how people eat with it in. I wish I could. For the past 4 months, I’ve dreaded eating around anyone other than my husband. I can’t imagine dealing with this thing for years.

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