A dental flipper is a type of removable partial dentures, or “removable partials.” All removable partials, including dental flippers, use standard acrylic denture teeth to replace missing natural teeth. The pink base or “plate” portion of a partial denture is an acrylic material identical to the base used in standard full dentures.

The Fabrication

Several steps are required to fabricate a dental flipper. First, the dentist or dental technician makes an impression of the patient’s existing teeth. A plaster cast is then poured using that impression. The plaster cast and a color prescription are sent to a dental laboratory for the actual fabrication.

The laboratory’s technician selects acrylic teeth that most closely match the specifications in the prescription. Next, a technician carefully molds an acrylic plate to fit the patient’s palate for an upper flipper. For a lower flipper, the plate is customized to fit just inside the tongue side of the patient’s teeth.

The pink acrylic plate snapping between the teeth secures some dental flippers in the patient’s mouth. Other dental flippers are secured in the mouth using wires with small balls on the ends.

Uses for Partial Dentures

Dental flippers are relatively inexpensive appliances used to replace missing teeth. They are often used as a temporary solution while the patient waits for a permanent tooth replacement via dental crown or bridge. They can also be used to aid the healing process after dental implants have been put into place.

Although a dental flipper is not intended as a permanent solution, some are designed extremely well. It is not unheard of for people to wear them for many years.

Dental Flipper Cost

Dental flippers are far less expensive than fixed dental bridges, implants and other dental appliances. In fact, they are the least expensive way to replace a missing tooth. The lower cost is a distinct advantage to patients with tight budgets.

A single partial denture can replace several missing teeth at the same time. A partial denture can therefore avoid or postpone the need for individual bridges or dental implants. In addition, a fixed dental bridge might not be appropriate if three or more teeth in a row are missing or unhealthy. These are not issues when using a dental flipper.

Temporary or Permanent?

Many people wear “temporary” partial dentures for many years. If the patient practices good oral hygiene and properly maintains the dental flipper, it will provide an outward appearance similar to that of a more expensive permanent dental appliance.

Partial dentures also serve as “immediate” partial dentures. A flipper can be fabricated before tooth extraction, and then inserted immediately after the extraction. In addition, if a patient already wears a flipper but an additional natural tooth must be extracted, an impression can be made with the flipper in place. The dental lab uses this impression to insert a false tooth in place of the bad one. Best of all, this is a one-day procedure!

Disadvantages

Partial dentures are not as aesthetically appealing as a permanent bridge. The clasping wires often used to secure them may not be completely concealed. In addition, because they are removable, they are not as stable as bridges. They may also impair gum health if worn for extended periods, making good oral hygiene essential. They are also somewhat brittle due to their irregular shapes. Eating requires care or even removal to prevent breakage.

All in all, dental flippers are a viable and relatively inexpensive treatment option for people with missing teeth. Contact us when you’re ready to schedule your complimentary consultation!

 

Source by Virginia Jacobs