Flipper Tooth: Everything You Need to Know

  Jan 18, 2024
Reviewed by Geeta Singh

Do you often get self-conscious about your missing teeth while smiling heartily? Do you find it now embarrassing to laugh out loud at your friends’ jokes during an outing? Well, a flipper tooth may be the end solution for you. 

Dental flipper

Flipper teeth can miraculously rebuild your charisma and facial proportions by filling the gaps in your smile.

So, if you’re planning to get them, this write-up will shed some light on their functions, pros and cons, and other relevant information.

What is a Flipper Tooth?

A flipper tooth is a removal retainer with one or more prosthetic teeth attached. It fits on the roof of your mouth (palate) or lower jaw if you have lost your teeth and want to fill the gaps. 

This removable retainer has a pink plastic base, usually made of acrylic resin. You can get a one-tooth flipper or one to support multiple teeth. Moreover, it is attached to its surrounding teeth with the help of clasps. It helps it stay in its designated place unless you want to remove it. 

Are You the Right Candidate for Flipper Teeth?

A flipper tooth is usually applied as a temporary solution to fill up the gaps left in your mouth if you don’t have any choices regarding missing teeth

Teenagers have to wait for their facial features to grow fully before getting any permanent solutions. In that case, a flipper tooth may be the best temporary option for them among the others. 

A flipper tooth can also be a convenient option for those who lost their teeth due to the following reasons:

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth extraction
  • Severe tooth decay

Flipper teeth can get loose or become uncomfortable after you use them for a long time. Hence, they are not the best permanent solution to fill the gaps in your mouth. 

However, you should consider using them as a temporary tooth restoration option while waiting for a more permanent solution. For instance:

  • Fixed bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures

How and What Are Flipper Teeth Made of?

A flipper tooth has two parts: a plastic base and one or several false teeth. The plastic base is usually pink-colored and made up of acrylic resin. 

Dentists make flipper teeth to fit the shape and size of your mouth and the development procedure begins with taking the impressions first. These impressions are employed to make a 3D model of your mouth using a 3D printer. It is then used to create a blueprint for the pink plastic base and fabricate it.

Then, the dentist will make the necessary adjustments to the flipper tooth by checking the fit and comfort.

What are the Pros and Cons of a Flipper Tooth?

Every coin has a flip side. Similarly, flipper tooth comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros of a Flipper Tooth

  • Easy to use: Inserting and removing a flipper tooth is quick and convenient. You can do it easily without anyone’s help.
  • Budget-friendly: Dental flipper tooth cost is pocket-friendly, and is an affordable alternative to other teeth replacement procedures. It will cost around $300 – $500, depending on the material and number of teeth being replaced.
  • Aesthetics: A flipper tooth is customized to resemble your natural tooth. It restores your confidence while boosting the charisma of your smile. 
  • Stabilization of teeth: Your teeth can shift into the gaps created by the missing tooth. A flipper tooth helps stabilize the rest of the teeth and restrict their uncontrolled shifting. 
  • Quick procedure: Manufacturing a flipper tooth takes much less time than the other tooth replacement options. So, you can get your customized flipper tooth without waiting too long. 
  • Easy maintenance: Taking care of your flipper tooth is very easy and does not need an extravagant care routine.
  • Comfort:  It also makes it easier to eat and chew your food comfortably.

Cons of a Flipper Tooth

  • Low durability: Flipper teeth have a base made of acrylic resin, which is not durable enough. Hence, they don’t last much longer compared to other options.
  • Risk of tooth decay: Failing to clean your flipper tooth properly may lead to tooth decay and gum diseases. 
  • Fit issues: Flipper teeth are custom-made to fit the shape and size of your mouth and gums. However, if you use them regularly, their grip may come loose and might not fit properly.
  • Gum recession: The base of a flipper tooth covers the gum area of your mouth. It prevents the saliva from cleaning the gums, which may further lead to severe gum recession.
  • Visible hooks: The hooks holding the flipper tooth sometimes become visible, which may spoil your facial aesthetics.
  • Allergies: Some people might be allergic to the material of the flipper tooth. Although it is not so common, you should let your dentist know about your allergies beforehand. 

Considering the pros and cons, you’ll have to decide if using them is convenient or not.

Is Using a Flipper Tooth Convenient?

Application of a partial flipper tooth is easy and convenient. All you have to do is fit it in your mouth at the right spot, which won’t need external help.

Checking tooth flipper

One of the best features of a flipper tooth is the ease with which you can remove it and wear it whenever you want. 

You can eat, drink, and chew effortlessly while wearing them. 

What Are the Differences Between Flipper Teeth, Bridges, and Implants?

There are many ways to replace missing teeth and fill the gaps in your mouth. A few teeth replacement procedures include the application of flipper teeth, dental bridges, and dental implants. Let’s quickly look at the main differentiating factors.

  • Flipper teeth: They are custom-made, temporary teeth replacement appliances. With a plastic base, they can replace one or two missing teeth.
  • Dental bridges: These are prosthetic teeth that are directly attached to your existing teeth or an implant. Unlike a flipper tooth, they don’t come with a supporting base.
  • Dental implants: These medical devices are surgically attached to the jawbone to hold a prosthetic tooth. Unlike dentures, dental implants do not loosen their grip over time. 

Can I Eat with a Flipper Tooth?

It is challenging and painful to eat when you have missing teeth. Flipper teeth can solve this issue, but it may be a bit uncomfortable for you to eat while wearing one. However, with time, the discomfort will be replaced with ease and relief. 

Furthermore, you should avoid eating hard, sticky, and chewy food as it can stick to your flippers. 

What is the Maximum Number of Teeth That Flipper Teeth Can Replace?

Typically, flippers can replace one or two missing teeth. The number of teeth replaced may vary from person to person. 

Flipper teeth are temporary teeth replacement prosthetics with low durability. If you need a durable and permanent solution, you should consider getting partial dentures or dental bridges. 

Optimal Daily Duration for Wearing Flipper Teeth

You can wear your flipper teeth consistently. A dentist will recommend you wear it for a longer duration initially to adjust to the appliance. It also ensures that the flippers stay in place while talking or eating. 

However, cleaning the flippers is crucial. You should also clean actual teeth and gums by brushing and flossing before putting your flippers on. 

When Should You Remove Your Flipper Teeth?

You can remove your flippers whenever you want. However, the dentists recommend you wear them for 8-12 hours a day. Moreover, removing your flipper tooth before going to sleep is crucial to maintaining your oral health and keeping your flippers in optimal condition. 

Wearing your flippers 24 hours a day puts constant pressure on your gums and the underlying tissues. It can lead to bone deterioration and gum recession. 

Not removing the appliance throughout the night may also cause many fungal and bacterial infections, as the flippers block the saliva from reaching certain parts of your mouth.

Removing your flipper teeth before bed prevents your gums from diseases and recession. It also prevents bone deterioration while promoting unrestricted salivary action.

Ways to Take Care of Flipper Tooth

Flipper front tooth

Proper care of your flipper tooth will increase its durability and functionality. You can maintain the longevity of your flippers by practicing a few simple habits. For instance:

  • You should clean your flippers once or twice daily using a denture brush and warm water.
  • Remove your flippers before bed and let them soak in clean water. It will prevent them from drying out.
  • Grinding your teeth during sleep may damage your flippers, talk to your dentist if you are habitual of grinding teeth(Bruxism). 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or colored beverages to protect your flippers from nasty stains.
  • Hot drinks can damage the acrylic of your flippers. So it is best to avoid them as well.
  • You should avoid pushing and shifting your flippers with your tongue. It may loosen their grip.

How to Clean Flipper Teeth Properly?

Do you know how to clean your flippers to maintain their longevity? Here are a few steps to clean your flippers:

  • Remove your flippers from your mouth carefully.
  • Clean it using warm water and denture toothpaste. You can use a denture brush or a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your flippers properly.
  • You should rinse them properly before putting them back in your mouth.
  • Soak your flippers in clean water overnight to prevent them from drying. Do not soak them in warm water. It may cause your flippers to bend or twist. 

Do Flipper Teeth Look Natural?

A flipper tooth can blend flawlessly with the rest of your mouth when properly adjusted. However, it is crucial to note that they may not look exactly like natural teeth up close. 

You can get your flippers customized to match the shape and color of your existing tooth. You can also mimic the texture of your gums. 

A flipper tooth may or may not look completely natural. Regardless, they can still do an exquisite job of filling the gaps in your mouth and bringing your smile back.

While most dental flippers are made from pink particles, you can also find ones made from clear clasp particles. To choose between choosing pink and clear clasps, watch this YouTube video by Luke Khang on Why Pink Clash Particles Are Better Than Clear Clash Particles:

Read Next: 10 Things to Consider Before Getting Braces

Bottom Line

In conclusion, a flipper tooth is a tooth replacement device used to replace missing teeth. It can help fill the gaps left in your tooth and boost your facial aesthetic. Acts as a temporary and pocket-friendly teeth replacement appliance. 

If you are seeking a short-term fix for missing teeth while waiting for a permanent solution, flippers for teeth may be the right choice.