It is never comfortable, convenient or pleasant to lose any of your teeth, whether to injury or decay, but losing a front tooth is the absolute worst. Not only can a missing front tooth (or teeth) affect your ability to speak and eat properly, it can create a clearly visible cosmetic issue that will likely make you feel incredibly self-conscious and uncomfortable. The situation is compounded if you cannot have the gap filled with a bridge or implant for some time. In such a case, flipper dentures may be an appropriate solution.
The Basics of Flipper Dentures
Flipper dentures are essentially removable partial dentures that can be used to fill gaps in your smile. They are made up of a sort of retainer that holds one or more prosthetic teeth. They are primarily used only temporarily, though there may be some very limited situations where your dentist will recommend more long-term use for flipper dentures. In order to receive flipper dentures, you will need to:
- Schedule a dental examination. Your dentist, Dr. Saferin, will want to perform a thorough dental examination in order to assess what is going on in your mouth. She will advise you on whether flipper dentures are the best tooth replacement option for your situation, and whether they are best viewed as a temporary or permanent solution.
- Receive a mouth impression. Like other tooth replacements, flipper dentures need to be fabricated specifically for you based upon a mold of your mouth. Your dentist will take this impression and send it to the dental laboratory.
- Have your flipper dentures fabricated. The dental laboratory will fabricate your flipper dentures based on the impression of your mouth and send them to your dentist.
- Try your flipper dentures. Once your dentist has received your flipper dentures from the dental laboratory, they will call you in for a new appointment. You will try out your flipper dentures to ensure they fit and work. Your dentist can make minor adjustments where needed, but any major reworking will have to be handled by the dental laboratory.
Initially, flipper dentures can feel odd in your mouth–bulky and even awkward. It’s important to understand that this is primarily because you aren’t used to having them in your mouth, and that over time you will grow used to the appliance. However, if you ever experience pain or pressure as a result of the flipper dentures, you should contact your dentist right away. These sensations are not something you need to just “deal with” or get used to; they mean that the flipper dentures are not properly fitted and need to be adjusted.
As a cost-effective and usually temporary solution for missing front teeth, it’s notable that flipper dentures are not as stable, comfortable or as durable as other tooth replacement solutions, such as implants or bridges. Since they are on a retainer, they can easily be flipped out of position if played with or moved by the tongue. They can also be stained with dark foods and drinks like coffee, dark juices, curries and tobacco. Fortunately, if you avoid these foods and drinks you can maintain your flipper dentures fairly easily. They should be removed from the mouth to be cleaned, because while they need to be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush, they should not be brushed with toothpaste. According to the American Dental Association, a mild hand soap or dish washing liquid works well to clean dentures. Just remember to rinse them thoroughly before placing them back in the mouth.
Dealing with the gap caused by a missing tooth can be embarrassing, especially if you have to wait some time for an extraction wound to heal properly before receiving implants or a bridge. Flipper dentures can provide a good, temporary solution and allow you to feel more comfortable showing off your best smile.
To learn more about flipper dentures and whether they are a good solution for you, contact Avenue Dental Arts today.