Tag Archives: Dental Flipper

Dental bridge before implant?

I’m a little concerned about what my dentist is recommending for a missing tooth on my 15-year-old daughter. We’re planning on getting her a dental implant when her jaw is developed enough for one. I was looking at some temporary replacements. I thought a flipper would be a good option, but my dentist wants to give her a dental bridge. I think that’s a bad idea, but he said flippers are too temporary. What do you think?


Dear Mandy,

woman smiling with a dentist
It’s always okay to get a second opinion from another dentist

I’m glad you wrote about this. While a dental bridge is a more secure fit, I don’t think it is a good fit for a teen aged girl. There are two reasons for this.

First, just like her jaw is still developing for her dental implant, she will need new bridges. That is too expensive to keep replacing as she grows.

Even though the flippers are meant to be temporary, you can replace those in a much more affordable way than the bridge.

There is another reason too which has nothing to do with cost. A dental bridge requires her adjacent teeth to be crowned in order to support and suspend the false tooth. That will mean those teeth will always have to be crowned for the remainder of her life.

If those teeth are healthy, you won’t want to grind down the healthy structure.

It’s Okay to Get a Second Opinion from Another Dentist

A good dentist will give you all of your options. Even then, they will make a recommendation. if you don’t like their recommendation and they’re pressuring you to go with their option, I recommend getting a second opinion.

If your dentist refuses to do the treatment you want you can go to another dentist for that procedure. That means you could get your daughter a dental flipper elsewhere. You don’t have to switch dentists to do that, unless you want to.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

How long can I wait to get a dental implant?

One of my molars has decayed below my gumline, and both my regular dentist and a specialist I saw said it has to be removed and replaced with a dental implant. I don’t have insurance and want to spread the cost of the two procedures out as much as I can. How long can I wait to get the dental implant after I have the molar removed?

Theodore in Grand Falls

Dear Theodore –

A few things will affect the timing of your dental implant after your molar is fully extracted. First, you must wait for the infection in the socket to heal. As soon as possible after the infection has cleared, you should have the root form placed. I know you wished to take more time, but I would advise you to keep the delay to a minimum. Here’s why.

After just a few weeks, the teeth surrounding the site of a lost tooth will begin to “tip” into the space, and the corresponding tooth in the opposite jaw (the opposing tooth) will begin trying to grow into the space. All of these are natural movements. Our teeth will naturally shift to touch their neighbors, and meet the teeth in the opposite jaw. If left too long, the shifting of teeth due to the missing tooth can cause headaches and TMJ pain, and can be very costly to repair.

The root form of the implant also needs several weeks to heal and to integrate into the bone of your jaw, so your dentist will need to fit you with a temporary tooth to help hold the space. A dental flipper, which is a simple resin tooth mounted on an acrylic plate, would be effective.

Your dentist may be able to work out financial arrangements with you to make your very necessary dental care more affordable. Good luck!