Filling The Gaps In Patients’ Teeth
What Is a Flipper?
At John M. Purdy DDS, we offer patients dental flippers and removable partial dentures to replace their missing teeth. A flipper tooth is a removable, temporary tooth replacement for patients who have lost a tooth due to disease or injury while they wait for their permanent implant. Flippers are very easy to pop in and out, which is particularly useful for keeping them clean. Another benefit to a dental flipper is that you can eat comfortably with it in!
Common Types of Dental Flippers
There are four basic types of removable flippers.
- Removable dental flipper or retainer. This type of flipper looks just like an orthodontic retainer, except that it has a tooth or teeth attached to fill in the gaps of your natural teeth.
- Delineator. This type is very similar to a removable retainer type, but it’s made of more pliable material and is only suitable for some patients.
- Essix style retainer. This type is basically an invisible aligner tray that has a tooth or teeth in it.
- Snap-on smile. This type covers multiple teeth and resembles a removable bridge.
Benefits of Dental Flippers
Flippers are great temporary tooth replacement options for many reasons. Here are a few of the advantages of getting a flipper tooth.
- They are affordable: compared to other denture options, flippers are very easy on the budget, costing around a quarter of the price of a dental implant.
- They are easy to make: unlike some tooth replacement options, the turnaround for manufacturing them is much quicker!
- Natural appearance: flippers blend in well with natural teeth and cover the gaps created by missing teeth, making your smile full and complete.
- They provide stability: when we lose teeth, the surrounding teeth tend to shift towards the gap, but a flipper holds your other teeth in place, keeping the space open for a permanent replacement.
- Convenient: removable flippers are very easy to wear, remove, and replace.
Eating With a Flipper
One of the best things about a flipper tooth is that it is safe to eat with. Chewing with a full set of teeth (including the flipper) is much more comfortable and effective than chewing with an incomplete smile.
Caring for Your Flipper Tooth
It’s very easy to take good care of a dental flipper as long as you follow a regular maintenance routine:
- Every night, remove the flipper before going to bed.
- Clean it thoroughly with a denture brush after every meal. This will keep harmful oral bacteria and food debris from sticking to it. Don’t brush it with toothpaste, but use a soft-bristled brush, mild soap, and warm water.
- Store it in a glass of water to prevent it from drying out when you aren’t wearing it. 2-3 times per week, it’s a good idea to immerse the flipper in denture cleaner overnight.
- Don’t prod at it with your tongue while wearing it, as this can impact the fit.
- Avoid foods and beverages that can leave stains, such as coffee, beets, and cranberry juice.
We also offer partial dentures. These are similar to a bridge but are removable. Dentures will take time to get used to. The flesh-colored base of the dentures is placed over the tops of the gums. Some patients feel that they get in the way or are a bit bulky. The dentures may feel loose at times. Because of this, it may affect the way that you talk or eat, but over time they become less of a nuisance and you’ll feel comfortable with them.
How Do I Know If I’m a Candidate for a Flipper?
If you’re looking for a way to fill in those gaps while you wait for a dental implant, call (915) 593-1833 or email us. Dr. Purdy will be able to determine which type of flipper will be best for your situation so that you can have your complete smile back! You can learn more about us on our business page, and make sure to get directions before heading our way.