top of page

How Long Does It Take To Get a Flipper Tooth?

It will take about 5-7 days for you to get a flipper tooth because that is how long the entire process from start to finish takes. However, there is a way to get it back faster but it requires a pre-arrangement with your dentist ahead of time.


Front flipper tooth
Front flipper tooth

You could potentially get the flipper on the same day and we'll explain how you can do it.


Table of Contents:


Why it takes 5-7 days to get a dental flipper

It takes a total of 5-7 days for the tooth flipper to be made and then inserted into your mouth. The total required time is split between transportation to the dental lab and also the fabrication by them.


Breakdown of how the time is spent:

  • Transportation to the dental lab takes 1 day.

  • The fabrication of the tooth flipper takes 2-3 days.

  • Transportation from the dental lab back to your dentist takes 1 day.


Transport to the lab

It takes a day for your flipper to go from your dentist's office to the dental lab so that they can make it. This includes your appointment where they take the impression and also select the tooth shade for the flipper tooth.


What to expect during visit:

  1. Take an impression of your upper and lower teeth.

  2. Take a bite registration to see how your teeth come together.

  3. Choose a tooth shade for the false tooth.

  4. Wait for a courier to come pick up your case and deliver to the lab.

Realistically speaking, the courier usually doesn't pick up the case until the next morning since it needs to be scheduled.


The making of the flipper

The fabrication of the flipper tooth will take roughly 2-3 days for the dental lab to complete.


What goes into the fabrication process:

  1. They have to pour up the impressions with dental stone and wait for it to harden.

  2. Then they have to set the teeth in wax.

  3. After that, the prosthesis needs to be flasked and heated to melt all the wax.

  4. Once it has finished flasking, it will be cured with acrylic.

  5. Finally it gets polished and it is ready to be shipped back to your dentist.


Transport back to the dentist

Finally, the delivery process for the flipper will take about a day. It has to be transported from the dental lab back to your dentist. You just have to come in to try it on and take it home.


What to expect during the visit:

  • Try on the flipper and see if you like how it looks.

    • If you like it, you can go home with it.

    • If you don't like it, it will need to be sent back to the lab to be redone.

  • The process should take about 10-15 minutes at most.


 

How to get a flipper tooth the same day

It is certainly possible to get the flipper tooth back faster, you can potentially get it back the same day. However, it does require advanced planning among you, your dentist, and the dental lab.


What needs to happen first:

  • You must discuss with your dentist ahead of time that you want the flipper the same day.

  • Your dentist must speak with the lab to pre-arrange a date that they can do it.


Once you clear the above two requirements you may proceed with the treatment. We will explain what the entire process will be like. Just so that you know, it will require quite a bit of your own time.


What to expect for the same day flipper tooth:

  1. Arrive at your dentist's office by 9am sharp.

  2. Take the impressions for the upper and lower teeth as well as the bite registration with the tooth shade.

  3. You will personally deliver your lab case directly to the dental lab.

  4. The lab will start their flipper fabrication process and will give you instructions as to when to return to pick it up.

  5. Most likely, you will return at the end of the day before the lab closes to get your flipper.


Essentially, you will substitute yourself as the courier so that you can speed up the process. Yes, you will need to travel to the lab directly at least twice. Once to drop off the case and the second time to pick it back up. Therefore, this process does require a lot of your own personal time.


Note: There will be an additional surcharge for your case. Usually for same day procedures like this, the laboratory will tack on a "RUSH" surcharge so expect to pay more for this!


 

Cost

The average cost for a flipper is $300-500 if it is to replace a single tooth. If you need to add more teeth to it, the cost will increase. Also if you want to have it done the same day, the lab will add an additional fee for the expedition.


Aftercare

You can wear it during the day with no problems but we do not recommend eating nor sleeping with it.

  • No eating with it. The flipper is a temporary partial denture and its purpose is purely just for aesthetics. Unlike a permanent partial denture, it is not sturdy enough for you to chew with it. You can easily break it and end up swallowing it by accident.

  • No sleeping with it. Due to the small size of the prosthesis, you should not sleep with it because it is an aspirational risk. In other words, you may end up swallowing it in your sleep. That is what we call a choking hazard.


back teeth flipper
back teeth flipper

Takeaway

You should be able to get your flipper made within a week or so. The reason it takes that long is due to transportation time and also the work it takes for the lab to fabricate it.


The good news is that if you're in a rush, you can expedite the process and have it made the same day. Although you should expect to pay more for it and also put in some legwork yourself to deliver it to and from the lab personally.

Comments


David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

Association Memberships:

Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

bottom of page