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What a Flipper Tooth Looks Like

Each dental flipper will look different depending on which tooth it is replacing and also what material the flipper is made of. However, the defining factor is that it is made to match your adjacent teeth so your flipper will look different when compared to someone else's.


Flipper tooth
Flipper tooth

Dental flipper pictures

Flipper teeth can look very depending on which tooth it is replacing and also what type of material it is made out of.


General physical appearance:

  • The tooth is made of acrylic.

  • The base can be acrylic or some other material.

  • It may have a clasp(s) or hook for retention purposes.


Front tooth vs Back tooth flipper



As you can see in the two images above, what it looks like for back teeth is very different from the front tooth. It differs by the shape and the size of this temporary removable prosthesis.



Flipper materials

Dental flippers can be made of different types of materials and that will cause them to look different.


Types of materials:

  • Acrylic

  • Acrylic with metal

  • Flexible acrylic (valplast)





As you can see in the gallery of photos above, they can look pretty different from one another. Another thing to take into account is that some of them have hooks or clasps for additional retention. These hooks help to hold the flipper in your mouth so they don't fall out while you're talking.



Do flippers look real?

All dental flippers are meant to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your dentition. In other words, the goal of making these removable prosthetics is to have them look real.


Ideally, you and your significant other shouldn't be able to tell that you're even wearing a false tooth in your mouth. However, fabricating flippers to match perfectly is quite the cosmetic challenge for your dentist.


Oftentimes we get them to look pretty close but they'll never look as good as a porcelain crown or dental implant!


Evidence that flippers look real

There are plenty of internet forums which have threads about users who wear flippers and are afraid of telling the person that they're dating.


Prime example: This 22 year old female who has been dating this guy for a while and is scared to tell him she wears a flipper!


If it didn't look real enough, her date would've realized and found out on the first date. The fact that she is even in this dilemma shows how real it can look.


In our opinion, it is usually enough to fool the average person. However, if you're dating a dentist, they'd be able to tell in a split second.


Considerations

Ultimately, you still need to understand that a flipper tooth is only a temporary solution for a missing tooth. It's not meant to last forever and usually break after about a year or so. Therefore you should consider a permanent tooth replacement option.


Permanent tooth replacement options:

  • Dental bridge - connected abutment crowns that replace the missing tooth with a pontic.

  • Implants - a titanium screw that replaces the missing tooth.

  • Partial dentures - a removable option that is less expensive than bridges and implants.


All of the options above will last longer because they're not as fragile and flimsy as a flipper. After all, you do remember that you're not supposed to eat with it right? It's purpose is purely just for show.

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!

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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!

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