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?
- How much do flipper teeth cost?
- Who are they for? Adults or kids?
- What to Read Next
What is a Flipper Tooth?
A 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.
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.
Fewer Visits to the Dentist
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.
Improve Your Smile
They can instantly improve aesthetics, alleviating the embarrassment many people experience when they lose a tooth in a highly visible area in their mouth.
Can Be Modified
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.
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 after a long period of use.
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.
Can Become Loose
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.
What others are saying
I’ve used a flipper with one front tooth since 4th grade gym accident knocked out a tooth. These were the pink material some with wires. 1st one lasted 2 yrs because I was taking it out to eat (dentist said so). It got trashed with the paper plate accidentally. My dad had cut the wires off as uncomfortable. 2nd no wire lasted 10 yrs (eating with it) then tooth broke off…was eating an apple biting with front teeth. Learned not to do that. .. s. 3rd, 4th and 5th sets lasted an average of 4 to 5 yrs and broke in the pink. They seemed to become brittle by then even with cleaning. Last replacement 4 yrs ago cost me $400 without insurance. Just broke again today so doing cost research and found this. Kind of treating it like new glasses every few years. Super glue holds it long enough for appearances until new one made.
I have a one tooth flipper in my mouth right now that I have got when I was younger at the age of 15 years old and now I’m the age of 31 years old it’s been over 15 years ago and it just started to feel loosing to me 2 years ago and they saying it’s temporary it only will fit ur mouth for a couple of weeks or a few months I can say that isn’t true R I might just been one of the lucky ones this really my first time reading and looking up flippers… BUT IT’S MIGHT BE RIGHT THO TOO IDK
Just got a flipper today. I was disappointed when the dentist said you should take it out when eating. It is next to the front tooth on the top. I broke the tooth off eating and now I should decide if I want to do a root canal or an implant. I am in my mid eighties. Should the flipper be kept in water when you are not wearing it? Thanks for any advice.
I just received a flipper yesterday, and I will say that I’ve been struggling with eating since I keep feeling food get caught at the roof of my mouth. I have to wear it, though, while the hole (from the tooth extraction) heals. It makes my smile look a million times better, but it does affect my speech, I have a lisp at the moment. I’m sure it’ll take some time to get used to. My dentist wants me to get either a tooth implant (around 5,000 dollars) or a bridge (around 3500) after having this in for six months. Don’t know what to do yet.