Dental "flipper" is a nickname for partial dentures that are used to replace missing teeth and are specifically designed for the unique dental structure of each patient. Flippers are completely removable and are constructed to easily attach to another flipper you may already wear.
Flippers made from acrylic material are brittle and have an irregular shape that makes them break frequently. Lower-arch flippers, which rest on your bottom teeth, are likelier to break than are upper-arch flippers. Manufacturers try to prevent breakage by thickening the acrylic for a better fit. If you wear this type of flipper, you'll probably need an adjustment period to become comfortable with it.
Increased Risk for Dental Problems
Flipper wearers must practice proper dental hygiene because of an increased risk of dental problems. Failure to properly clean the area of your mouth near the flipper, as well as the flipper itself, may lead to gum disease, fungal infection, or leukoplakia, a condition marked by thick white patches on your tongue, according to Consumer Guide to Dentistry. Proper dental hygiene involves using a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth, gums, and palate after removing the flipper and before placing it in your mouth. Brush the flipper and soak it in a cleaning solution when you're not wearing it.
Flippers lose their fit over time because of regular use and the natural shifting of the dental ridges, according to Dentures.net. No longer properly fitting, the flipper can move over your gums, causing pain and swelling. Over-the-counter products for dentures, such as adhesives, can provide temporary relief, but a dentist must adjust them for a permanent solution.
You may find the cost of removable flippers prohibitive. The exact amount will vary by design, but the average price is $1,000 to $1,500, according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry. Dental insurance usually covers a percentage of restorative dentistry procedures.