Flipper tooth is a dental device that is fast becoming popular in fixing missing teeth. Having missing tooth or teeth can be embarrassing and affect self esteem, in some people, it can prevent them from smiling or laughing in the presence of others. It can be used to fill the gaps caused by those missing teeth.
You should note that there is a difference between flipper tooth and prosthetics or partial dentures. Flipper tooth is smaller and it only fill the gap created by one or two missing teeth while partial dentures are used to replace multiple teeth and they are larger in size. In this article, we shall talk about flipper tooth, its cost, benefits, drawbacks and how to maintain it.
WHAT IS FLIPPER TOOTH?
It is an acrylic retainer that is fixed along the the roof of the mouth or fits on the lower jaw and has one or more artificial teeth attached to it. This tooth is temporary and can be removed. When flipper tooth is put in the mouth, it appears like a full smile even if you have lost any of your teeth to decay, injury or extraction. A flipper tooth is not already made, it is customized to fit the teeth of the patient. You first go to your dentist for impressions of your mouth to be taken, this is done with a soft material.
The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where acrylic dental-grade resin is used to design your customized flipper tooth. It is mostly used by people more than before. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, an educational and scientific association that supports the needs and interests of prosthodontists in the field of dentistry, more than 178 million people in America are missing at least one tooth. And approximately 40 million Americans have lost all of their teeth.
HOW MUCH IS A FLIPPER TOOTH?
The cost of getting this tooth is not fixed, there are some factors that will be considered before stating how much you will pay.
These factors are:
The type of material used in making the artificial teeth. The temporal retainer that is made with metal clasps will be more costly than one with porcelain or acrylic. The number of teeth you will be replacing.
However, flipper tooth is least expensive when compared to other artificial teeth. The cost of getting flipper tooth can range from $300 to $500 for a front flipper tooth. Dental insurance can cover some of the cost. You will have to pay more for adjustments and repair.
FLIPPER TOOTH COST WITHOUT INSURANCE
Sometimes, insurance may not cover the cost of getting it. You will have to pay for the cost of everything out of your pocket. The amount of money you will have to pay will depend on the type of material used and the number of teeth you will be replacing.
The average cost of getting it without insurance for:
- Acrylic flipper tooth is between $650 to $1110
- Flipper tooth with metal clasps cost between $935 to $1,975
- Flexible partial dentures cost between $1,075 to $1,487
CAN FLIPPER TOOTH BE USED ON CHILDREN OR ADULTS?
It can be used on both kids and adults. It can be used on children whose front teeth are damaged and are waiting for their permanent teeth to develop. It is worn to help them regain their self-confidence which is very important during growth. It is used to help a child with missing tooth to maintain a pleasant or appealing smile.
Adults can wear this tooth if they have single missing tooth or more than one missing teeth that may not be adjacent to each other. Flipper tooth can give the mouth a natural look and smile. Flipper tooth is normally used as temporary retainer but many adults use it as permanent treatment for teeth loss.
CAN YOU EAT WITH A FLIPPER TOOTH?
It can be very difficult if you have missing teeth, food particles can get stuck in the holes making it stressful. It is designed to improve the appearance of the mouth and help to eat easier. You can eat with a flipper and even chew much better than you could with missing tooth.
However, you should be careful while eating with it because it can break easily as it is made with lightweight material that is fragile. It is better to start with soft and smaller amount of foods till you work your way to larger amounts of foods. Avoid eating sticky, chewy and hard foods like gum and nuts. Foods like nuts and candy can damage this temporary retainer. Also, do not exert much pressure on the tooth.
CAN YOU SLEEP WITH A FLIPPER TOOTH IN MY MOUTH?
Flipper tooth is a temporary retainer and should be taken care. If it is worn during the day and night, they put more and regular pressure on the tissues under the flipper tooth. If this happens, patients can have their gums receding and bone deteriorating.
Using a this tooth all day and night can cause infection especially fungal to develop in the gums. You should remove the flippers at night so that the gums can breath, this is why dentists recommend removing them at night for at least 8 hours.
HOW DO YOU REMOVE YOUR FLIPPER TOOTH?
Knowing the accurate way to remove your flipper tooth will help you avoid damaging it.
- Rinse your mouth with mouth rinse or mouth wash, this will help to loosen the tooth and make it easier for you to pull it out.
- Remove it from the jaw hold the flipper tooth and detach the clasps.
- Hold it firmly and pull out.
- You can also wriggle it a little on both sides to pull it out but do not twist.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN YOUR FLIPPER TOOTH?
Cleaning your the tooth is very important to avoid germs and infections accumulating in the cracks and corners. Knowing the best way to clean your flipper tooth will also help it to last longer. You only need warm water, mild soap or dishwashing liquid and a soft toothbrush. You will use the soft toothbrush to clean the tooth with the soap. Rinse thoroughly with water many times before wearing it back. So not use toothpaste to clean your flipper tooth to avoid damaging the material.
BENEFITS OF FLIPPER TOOTH
There are many reasons why this tooth is more advantageous than most temporary retainers.
Some of the benefits of using flipper tooth are:
- Affordability: It is more cheaper than other partial dentures. It is also cheaper than getting a dental implant that will also need surgery and recovery period. The cost of getting flipper tooth is only about 25% of the cost of a dental implant.
- It is easy to Manufacture: This tooth can be manufactured by your dentist in little time. The process does not consume much time, you can get it the same day or the following day.
- It gives a Natural Appearance: This temporary retainer gives the mouth a natural look. It perfectly and beautifully covers the gaps caused by missing tooth or teeth while giving you a full smile.
- It balances your Existing Teeth: Sometimes, existing teeth in the mouth can shift towards the gap caused by the missing teeth making the arrangement of these teeth crooked. This temporal retainer can maintain and balance these existing teeth till you get permanent artificial teeth.
- It is Convenient: It is easy to wear the tooth , remove it and clean. It does not rigorous process to remove or replace, you only have to pop it into the mouth if you want to wear it.
DRAWBACKS OF FLIPPER TOOTH
Some of these drawbacks are:
- It is not Durable: This temporal retainer is made with materials that do not last for longer periods. It can crack easily especially if you eat certain foods like nuts. If you break your flipper tooth, you will have to repair or replace it and this is extra cost for you.
- It causes Discomfort: The tooth can cause discomfort especially when you first use it. Talking may be difficult and unnatural including eating. In some people, it can be painful. If your flipper tooth is causing pain, you should see your dentist.
- There is a Risk of Allergy: Some materials used in making it can cause allergic reactions in some people. You should talk to your dentist if you have any allergy before getting the artificial tooth.
- It needs Maintenance: You will have to clean your flipper tooth from time to time to avoid germs and infections developing in it. You can have tooth decay or gum disease from dirty flipper tooth.
- There is a Risk of Developing Gum Recession: The tooth covers the gums and this prevents saliva from flowing very well to these areas. The saliva helps to keep the guns clean, so when there is slow flow, gum recession may occur.
- It can Tet Loose with Time: Sometimes, it can become loose over time because of regular use. You can go for adjustments if your flipper tooth becomes loose but this is additional cost.
Flipper tooth is a temporary retainer but it has so many benefits, it is used to replace missing tooth or teeth. It is affordable and can last for a long time if used and cared for properly. However, it is not meant for long term as it can covers the gums which can cause gum recession overtime.