Of all the many types of dentures out there, a simple version known as “flippers” may actually be the most common. Though they’re meant for temporary use, flippers have still come to the aid of countless people over the years and could be the solution you need right now.
When most people think of dentures, they think of the artificial gum line that contains a whole rows-worth of teeth. While this is often the case, clearly not everyone loses his or her teeth so uniformly. Some people just lose one here or there. That doesn’t mean they want to go with those holes in their smile though. That’s where flippers come in.
Flippers, or “flipper teeth”, are temporary dentures that are extremely lightweight and generally serve as placeholders in the wearer’s mouth. That’s because they will be gotten rid of as soon as a more permanent solution presents itself.
Just because someone loses a tooth or teeth, doesn’t mean he or she is automatically a candidate for new ones right away. There are a number of reasons people can lose a tooth, of course. It can be pulled, damaged beyond repair, suffer from disease or otherwise decay. This will affect when it can be replaced. No matter what, though, the answer is almost never right away. The average wait time can be anywhere between six weeks and six months. That’s how long it takes for the gums and bones involved to heal, which is necessary before permanent dentures can become an option.
That’s a long time to wait.
Whenever possible, a dental professional will cast your tooth for a flipper mold before extracting the real thing. This makes for even less time spent without a tooth. It turns out this is especially advantageous as flippers can have real health benefits. Aside from the fact that they make chewing and talking easier, flippers have been shown to decrease the amount of bone loss you suffer three to four months after losing your tooth. Seeing as how flippers are made from acrylic resin, as opposed to some form of metal, they can quickly be fabricated and introduced into the mouth.
As we mentioned, flippers are meant to be a temporary solution. However, some people insist on wearing them permanently, often because the alternative may be too expensive. If that’s something you’re contemplating, be sure to speak to your dentist about how to properly care for your flippers to keep them durable, sturdy and hygienic.