General Question

ETpro's avatar

While waiting for a single tooth replacement, should I invest in a temporary bridge (flipper)?

Asked by ETpro (34217 points ) February 17th, 2011

I lost a lateral incisor on the upper left side of my mouth. It had a very old and rather extensive filling in it, some pretty significant work from way back, and when I bit into a piece of beef jerky, it fractured so badly the dentist had to take it down to the gum line. The root is still in place, so the periodontist says I am a perfect candidate for a single tooth replacement, because there has been no bone loss in the suppporting jaw bone.

My question is, what are the trade-offs of getting a flipper (temporary snap-in bridge) to cover up the ugly snaggletooth smile till I can have a post implanted, wait for it to set, and then get the permanent replacement put in place?

How easy is it to eat with a flipper in place? How much likelihood is there of damage to the supporting teeth? Do flippers appear natural, or can a discerning eye pick out the fake tooth? It adds about $500 to the process if I get a flipper, but I hate smiling with my mouth closed and being embarrassed about the obvious missing tooth. Is it worth this cost and hassle? Any advice regarding the various forms of single-tooth replacements to select? I’d love to hear from those who have been through it or know someone wh has, or any dental workers here.

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6 Answers

faye's avatar

My friend had a flipper for one of his front teeth for awhile. He so much hated it and it did look fake. He had so much trouble with it moving when he ate that he would palm it for a meal if he was out. He never wore it at home or at my house and actually thinks he lost it in a napkin at a restaurant.

Nullo's avatar

I always figure that a little dentist goes a long way, and that the less you use, the farther you’ll go.
I hate going to the dentist. Send me your photos, I’ll ‘shop you in a tooth.

ETpro's avatar

@faye Thanks. I was kind of afraid of that. My pride isn’t all that huge anyway. I cna live with the snaggletooth look for a while.

@Nullo Thanks, Very kind of you. :-)

augustlan's avatar

I lost a bottom tooth right smack dab in the front (during a hysterectomy, of all things!). I lived without it for a little while (3 or 4 weeks, I think) before I could afford to have it fixed. I totally sympathize with the embarrassment factor, but… it’ll be over before you know it. I’d save the additional money and aggravation, and just wait for the repair.

ETpro's avatar

@augustlan Thanks. That’s must what I think I wi;;;

ETpro's avatar

I did fall asleep at the keyboard. I had taken a sleeping pill and it kicked in faster than I thought it would. :-)

Completing that thought, I meant to write “That’s what I think I will do.”

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