The flipper tooth is a removable temporary tooth replacement that is often used to treat a lost tooth. Dentists normally use it if the gums around the extracted tooth are swollen or red. They fit the flipper tooth until the patient is ready for a permanent tooth replacement.
The flipper tooth is normally made out of a pink gum-colored acrylic that matches the rest of the teeth. The flipper tooth has a gum-colored plate attached to it which is molded to fit into the patient’s mouth. The removable flipper tooth actually looks like a retainer except it has acrylic teeth attached to it. It can be easily put in the mouth and taken out for cleaning. The dentist might install clasps in the surrounding teeth adjacent to the missing tooth for additional support.
Advantages of using a flipper tooth
The advantage of using flipper tooth is that it looks natural and fills in the space of the missing tooth. If a patient has to undergo surgery and some teeth need to come out, a flipper can be worn to hide the missing teeth until the permanent teeth are in place. With flipper tooth, eating and chewing food is very easy. The flipper will also help keep the adjacent teeth in place until the missing teeth are installed. The ease of removing the flipper whenever needed makes it very convenient especially when you are undergoing multiple procedures. Compared to other temporary dental replacements, flippers are more comfortable to wear.
The good thing about flipper tooth is that it comes very cheap as compared to other dentures. The tooth can be manufactured very easily in the dentist’s clinic or lab which means that you can get the flipper in a day or two. This is a huge convenience because in the past patients had to wait several days before they could get temporary teeth replacements.
Flipper tooth downsides
One of the problems is that it is made of cheap material which can break easily. The flippers cover more of the gum area hindering saliva which helps in cleaning gums. This can lead to gum recession and other problems. If you do not clean your flipper frequently, you can get gum disease or tooth decay very quickly. So flippers can take a bit of maintenance to keep your gums healthy. The flippers provide good grip initially, but get loose after a short period of time. If you are going to have your flippers for some time, you might have to go back to your dentist again to get them fitted.
Some patients do complain about the flipper tooth feeling uncomfortable. This is a common problem and can occur in some patients depending on how sensitive their gums are and how often they keep on wearing the flippers. For a short-term quick solution, flippers provide a good option for tooth replacement. But if the pain grows severe or your gums feel infected, check with your dentist immediately. He might replace your flipper tooth or advise you to take it off for a while.