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Dental Flippers Can Transform Your Smile!

Losing a tooth is a very common problem. Not everyone can afford the treatment plan recommended by their dentist to fill the new gap in their smile. Fortunately, there is a cost effective way to remedy this problem so you can smile at ease and help prevent further dental problems due to the loss of the tooth.

A dental flipper is an effective non-invasive way to replace a missing tooth.  Flippers are also known as removable partial dentures and can be a made by a dental professional; a general dentist or a license denturist. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of this dental product and determine if you are a good candidate for a dental flipper!

We will discuss the following topics:

·      What Are Dental Flippers?

·      What Are They Made Of?

·      How Long Will My Flipper Last?

·      Can I Eat And Sleep With a Dental Flipper?

·      What Are The Benefits Of a Dental Flipper?

·      What Are The Drawbacks Of a Dental Flipper?

·      How Do I Care For a Flipper?

·      Flipper Tooth Cost?

What Are Dental Flippers?

A dental flipper can be thought of as a removable retainer with one or more prosthetic teeth attached to it, filling in the visible gap of the missing natural teeth. Flippers are removable oral prosthetic devices that do not require invasive surgery. Although they are commonly thought of as a temporary replacement appliance, they can be worn for several years if made correctly and maintained properly. They can be made for the upper and/or lower jaw and sit on top of your gums or the roof of your mouth in the case of an upper dental flipper. 

What Are They Made Of?

Dental flippers are usually made of denture acrylic, a dental-grade resin. The color of the acrylic can be made to match your gum tissue: pink gum or darker hues. Similarly, the fake teeth are made of acrylic of various shades to match the color of your natural teeth so they blend in seamlessly with your smile. Depending on the arrangement of your natural teeth, the flipper may require some clasps to be added to the appliance in order to provide proper retention. The clasps may be made wire clasps or acrylic clasps, carefully designed to fit around the adjacent natural teeth for stability. The flipper is engineered for easy removal. They should be removed from the mouth each night and thoroughly cleaned to ensure maximal dental hygiene. 

Some flippers may even be constructed of a type of nylon material rather than acrylic. The benefit of the nylon offers a flexible material that can fit around the natural teeth, minimizing the number of clasps that are required to hold the flipper in place. As nylon may be a nice alternative to plastic, it is more difficult to repair should the flipper break or become damaged.

How Long Will My Flipper Last?

Although flippers are generally considered to be a temporary solution, some people can wear them as a permanent partial denture as their dental provider instructs. As flippers are low cost, non-invasive and made of lightweight material, many prefer to wear them as an alternative to dental implants or a fixed bridge. The American Dental Association recommends having a dental flipper replaced every 5 years as our oral tissues change over time and dental appliances don’t change along with them. Additionally, acrylic or nylon material will loss their structural integrity over years of repeated use and must be replaced to maintain the health of our natural teeth and oral tissues.

As a temporary appliance, flippers are an excellent choice to wear over an extraction site and/or waiting for an implant to heal. In the case of minors that are missing teeth, dental flippers are perfect for them to wear until they are old enough for an implant.

Can I Eat And Sleep with a Dental Flipper?

Your flipper is made of fragile material so you should not apply constant pressure from eating forces on the appliance. However, you don’t have to remove the flipper from your mouth while eating! Use the following precautions while eating with a flipper:

·      Cut food into small pieces and chew slowly

·      Chew food using both sides of your mouth

·      Be careful not to bite directly with the flipper tooth(teeth)

·      Start with soft foods when adjusting to a new flipper denture

The flipper should be removed every night before sleeping. Wearing the appliance both day and night can place stressful pressure on the tissues underneath the flipper, increasing the risk of gum disease and bone loss. Allowing your gums to “breath” for at least 8 hours each day helps prevent fungal infection and promotes good hygiene. It is also recommended to soak the flipper overnight in a quality cleaning solution to remove bacteria and plaque accumulation. 

What Are The Benefits Of a Dental Flipper?

·      The most affordable dental procedure to deal with a missing tooth.

·      Least invasive! A flipper requires a couple of impressions without any drilling or invasive treatments.

·      Quickest solution to the gap in your smile!

·      Minimal trips to the office! In most cases, we can craft a flipper in one or two office visits!

·      Restores your smile with the appearance of a natural tooth, filling in the gap that a missing tooth creates

·      It prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap created by missing teeth and stabilizes your existing teeth.

·      Flippers are lightweight and easy to remove for daily cleaning.

·      Speaking and chewing are easy with a dental flipper.

What Are the Drawbacks Of a Dental Flipper?

·      The dental material is inexpensive and less durable that other dental options.

·      If not cleaned properly, flippers can cause oral infections.

·      They can create some sore spots on the gums when adjusting to a new dental flipper.

·      You may run the risk of tooth decay, and gum recession, and bone loss if not worn or adjusted properly.

·      A dental flipper should be replaced every 5 years as your oral tissues change over time.

·      If your flipper requires metal clasps, it may be challenging to hide the metal while smiling due to their location. A flexible nylon flipper may be a better option in this case.

How Do I Care For a Flipper?

It is fairly easy to take care of a dental flipper. As the flipper material limits the flow of saliva where the flipper is placed, it is necessary to remove it at night in order to allow saliva to occupy the area. Don’t use toothpaste to clean the flipper, it is too abrasive for the material. Instead use a soft bristled toothbrush with warm water and mild soap. Additional soaking of the appliance in a quality denture solution on a daily basis will help maintain the cleanliness and prevent bacterial buildup. Be sure to store the flipper in either water or the soaking material to prevent it from drying out and warping its shape. Keep in mind that the acrylic or nylon material is actually quite porous, so avoid beverages and foods that are likely to stain. 

Finally, it is imperative to maintain regular dental and hygiene appointments. Bi-annual checkup appointments are necessary to keep with your dentist to ensure the health of your teeth and gums. If you received the dental flipper from a licensed denturist, an annual visit is a great way to extend the life of the flipper and to make any adjustments to the flipper for better comfort and stability.  

Flipper Tooth Cost?

A dental flipper is one of the most affordable restorative options out there. Flipper teeth typically cost between $300-$500, a fraction of what implants or fixed bridges would run. However, the cost is dependent on the number of teeth you replace using the flipper and the materials used. A licensed denturist is a good option for a dental flipper as their fee schedules are significantly lower than a regular dental office and do not charge for follow up appointments such as adjustments and annual checkups.


A dental flipper is the least expensive way to replace one or more natural teeth. It will restore the appearance of your smile in the event of a tooth extraction, regardless of the dental issues. Ideally, a flipper is used as a temporary partial denture while you are waiting for a permanent tooth replacement solution. The flipper is easy to wear, maintain and care for. If you would like to learn more about how a dental flipper can benefit your smile, call for a free consultation with one of our providers at the Cain Denture Centers! Our denturists love to answer questions and help you make the best decision for your dental health! (503) 640-2312 Call today! We are here to help you smile more!

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