Dental Flipper

Tooth #9

This is a dental flipper to replace tooth #9.  A dental flipper is a term that can be broadly used for any type of all acrylic removable partial denture.  This flipper was not made in my Palm Harbor dentist office, it was made in New Jersey.  The young man had lost his front tooth #9 when visting his family.  His dental  implant was place while in New Jersey.  He came back to his home in the Tampa Bay area in search of a dentist to restore his dental implant.  He found his way into my dentist office Palm Harbor.

His goal was get rid of this flipper and to once again have a non removable front tooth.  There are scores of different dental implant systems, the restoration of his smile begins with communication with his dentists in New Jersey to determine exactly which dental implant was placed.

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Picture of Dental Flipper for teeth #8,9

A dental flipper is one way to replace missing teeth.  A dental flipper is usually the quickest, easiest, least invasive, least expensive and least comfortable tooth replacement.  Dentists consider this a temporary type of tooth replacement, although patients may not view a dental flipper the same way.

This picture shows a dental flipper that was delivered on the same visit in my Palm Harbor dentist office that teeth #’s 8 & 9 were removed and the post extraction sites received site preservation bone grafts in anticipation of future dental implant placement.

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One tooth Flipper for tooth #9

Flipper to replace tooth # 9

Flipper tooth #9:

Much of dentistry has changed in the almost twenty five years I have been in practice in Palm Harbor, Florida.  The field of dental implants has gone through a tremendous evolution, root canal therapy is vastly different, the materials and fabrication process of dental crowns is incredibly different, but dental flippers have changed very little.  I have seen search traffic looking for pictures of clear flippers.  I have also made clear flippers for some of my Palm Harbor patients, but the vast majority are like the flipper seen in this picture.

A dental flipper tooth is usually an interim or temporary tooth.  I have seen some Tampa area dental patients use the same dental flipper for over a decade, but this is rare.  Dental flippers can be used like immediate dentures, to immediately replace visible teeth upon extraction.  Flippers can be used as temporary teeth as bone grafts and dental implants are healing.



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Dental Flipper Tooth #9

Missing Tooth #9

Tooth #9 missing

Flipper Tooth #9 in place

Picture of flipper for tooth #9

A flipper is a dental term we use often within the dental industry, but by the large number of searches for “pictures of a dental flipper”, I believe the general public does not know what a dental flipper is.

The most technically accurate name for the dental flipper is an acrylic based removable partial denture.  This is most often used on a “temporary” basis.  I have seen patients keep these flippers for decades.  I have also seen flippers fracture in a few months.

A flipper has been used in this patient as a provisional or temporary front tooth until the final restoration using a dental implant, a zirconia abutment and all ceramic crowns.  This will all be illustrated and described in subsequent blogs.

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Immediate Dental Flipper Picture

Leaving a dentists office without front teeth is some thing very few Americans are willing to do.  There are multiple was to provide immediate provisional teeth after extractions.  One very common way, illustrated here, is to deliver an immediate flipper.  The flipper is fabricated in advance and delivered immediately after teeth are extracted.

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Immediate flipper after front tooth extractions

Most of my Palm Harbor, FL dental patients do not want to leave my office without teeth, especially upper front teeth, after dental extractions!

What options can I give them?  Provisional (temporary) bridges, either fixed or removable are options used every day in dental offices through-out the world!

Teeth #s 5,6 9 & 10 were extracted just before this picture was taken, the bloody extraction sites are visible.  The broken root tips of teeth #7 & 8 were extracted weeks before hand due to severe infection and abcesses.

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Immediate Flipper after extractions

New Smile

Naturally Toothless

6 tooth Immediate Flipper

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Picture of flipper for tooth #25

Flipper tooth # 25

Flipper tooth #25

I am a 52 year old dentist in practice in Palm Harbor, the Tampa area of Florida.

When someone says “Flipper” to me, I think of the dolphin on TV that I remember as a child…  Flipper was so smart.  His human friends included a father (a fish and game warden) and two of his sons.  They lived somewhere in Florida ( I do not think it was Tampa or Palm Harbor.)

Fast forward more than two decades, Columbia Dental School (1981 -1985) and now all of a sudden a flipper is no longer a very smart mammal that lives in the water, a dental flipper is a temporary all acrylic replacement tooth.  Total paradigm shift.  Flipper the animal actor swims, dental flippers temporarily replace missing teeth.

In this picture a flipper to replace missing tooth #25 is seen.  This was made in my Palm Harbor FL dentist office.  In most instances, the ideal definitive replacement is a dental implant with a crown on it.  Mini dental implants are most commonly used in this location.

In my Palm Harbor, Tampa Bay FL area dentist office I place both “regular” dental implants and mini dental implants.  I have been placing and restoring dental implants in the Tampa Bay area since 1989.

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Tooth #8 extraction, bone graft and flipper

Now the first surgical phase is complete.  To recount, from the beginning, This young lady presented to my Palm Harbor, Tampa Bay FL area dentist office in late December 2011 with the chief complaint of a loose tooth #8.  After clinical and radio graphic examination it  was noted that previously crowned tooth #8 was hopelessly fractured.  After discussion of all treatment options, the treatment choice was to 1) Fabricate a dental flipper for tooth #8 so after the Christmas / New Years holiday time period we could proceed with the definitive care plan.  2)  Extract tooth root #8 and do site preservation bone grafting – this picture shows the completion of this phase.  3) This step will be to place the dental implant into tooth #8 site.  4)  The last step is to restore the dental implant with a dental crown – the dental flipper will be worn until the completion of this last step.

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Tooth #8 extraction, bone graft and flipper

Most people here in the USA do not want to walk out of a dentist’s office missing a front tooth.  After the surgical phase of this dentistry is completed in my Dentist office in Palm Harbor, Tampa FL area, the flipper needs to be re-inserted.  This picture shows me putting the tooth #8 flipper back in place.

Posted in Bone Grafting, Dental Implants, Flipper, Tooth #'s, Tooth Extractions | 1 Comment