Tag Archives: Dental Flipper

Temporary Tooth Replacement before Dental Implants

My daughter has a congenitally missing tooth. Our plan is to replace it with a dental implant once her jaw is completely developed. In the meantime, we have done orthodontics and have the space opened up. Our dentist provided a Maryland Bridge for the temporary tooth replacement as we wait for her jaw to grow, The problem we are having is the bridge keeps falling out. She used the ceramic wings. At first, she thought she’d just need to try a different cement, but that didn’t help. Now she’s thinking that maybe metal wings will stay better. My only concern about that is the metal will look darker and affect the appearance of her teeth. Is there something we are overlooking?

Lacey

Dear Lacey,

I can tell you are a good mother and are doing everything in your power to give your daughter the best care possible. Your choice of a dental implant is a great one and will serve your daughter well.

One of the things you are running up against here is your dentist, though I am sure she has good intentions, does not understand how a Maryland Bridge works.

First, you should know these are not meant to be temporary tooth replacements. In order to get these to stay on your teeth properly, there actually needs some tooth preparation on the adjacent teeth, as seen in this image below.

Maryland Bridge Tooth Prep

A small notch needs to be added to the tooth to help keep the bridge in place. My guess is your dentist is just trying to keep these on with the bonding alone, which will not work.

Switching to metal wings, won’t be a great solution either. It is actually easier to bond porcelain to natural tooth structure than it is to bond metal. So by switching, she is actually making it more difficult for the Maryland Bridge to stay on.

What Makes a Good Temporary Tooth Replacement?

The reason I do not consider the Maryland Bridge a temporary tooth replacement is because of the necessary tooth preparation. The structures of the prepared teeth are not permanently damaged. Once you remove the bridge to place her dental implant, those notches will still be there and y ou will need to fill the are with some composite bonding.

Demtal flipper

Instead, I am going to recommend you get your daughter a dental flipper. Because these are much less expensive, not only will you save a lot of money over a Maryland Bridge, but they will do no damage to her teeth, so it is a safer option as well.

My suggestion is you ask for a refund on the Maryland Bridge and get a dental flipper instead.

When it is time for your daughter to get her dental implant, make certain you research the dentist carefully. This is an advanced procedure that requires post-doctoral training. There are many dental implant horror stories that would have been avoidable if the patient knew to check the dentist’s implant training.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Could A Dental Flipper Make My Teeth Look Straight

I feel at 42 years old I am too old for braces, but my teeth are crooked and I’m tired of it. I wondered if a dental flipper could make my teeth look straight?

Kelsey

Dear Kelsey,

Invisalign aligner

I think you may be confusing a dental flipper with Snap on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary means of replacing a missing tooth. It fills in the open gap with a fake tooth.

Snap-on Smile, on the other hand, is a fake smile that will snap over your existing one. However, they are made of acrylic, so will not look as natural looking as porcelain. Plus, because they snap over your teeth they can make your smile look a bit bulky. It’s mostly used for something like a job interview or photoshoot when you need straight teeth fast, but only temporary.

You do have an option for straightening your teeth that does not include braces. These days you can get your teeth straightened using clear aligners. The top brand that provides that is Invisalign. These truly are invisible even at a conversational distance, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing.

If you are looking for an instant straight smile. You can look into porcelain veneers. These are used for complete smile makeovers and can give you a brand new smile in just two appointments. They won’t straighten your teeth per se but can make them look straight.

The only “catch” is that while any dentist who chooses to can provide you with Invisalign, you will need a dentist with expertise in cosmetic dentistry to provide a beautiful smile for you with porcelain veneers. This does take post-doctoral training.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Dental Implants for Hockey players

Help! My son is a recent professional hockey player. He recently had a tooth knocked out. We’d done some research and read that dental implants are the best replacement. However, his teammates who have been in hockey longer have told him that implants aren’t a good idea. But, we don’t want to leave the space open because he’s getting married in a little over eight months. Do you have any suggestions?

Karlee

Dear Karlee,

I’m glad you wrote. What his teammates are trying to prevent is secondary injury. When you get a dental implant, a root is surgically placed into the bone of his jaw. Then, after a time of integration with the bone, there is a dental crown bonded to the root implant. Here’s the problem with that for your son.

If he has another puck or hockey stick to the mouth, which is likely in his sport, because of the bonding of the crown and implant, it will likely damage the bone in his jaw, requiring serious reconstructive surgery to fix. However, that doesn’t mean your son has to go without a tooth until the end of his career, and certainly not for his wedding.

Here is my suggestion. When a tooth root is missing in a jaw, your body begins resorbing the minerals from the bone in the area. This will lead to serious problems, so you don’t want to leave the area of the tooth root empty. Because of that, go ahead and get the implant surgery done. This will place the root form into his jaw and protect him from bone resorption. However, do NOT have the dental crown bonded.

Instead, he can use a temporary tooth replacement that is removable, such as a dental flipper. It will give him a tooth for the open space, but if his mouth is hit again, it will give without any consequences to your son’s jaw.

Once he is no longer playing hockey, then he can have the dental crown permanently bonded onto his dental implant giving him a secure tooth.

Best of luck to both of you and congrats on the upcoming wedding.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Dealing with Congenitally Missing Lateral Incisors

My daughter never received one of her adult lateral incisors. When the baby one fell out, our dentist said not to worry about it because the adjacent teeth would shift to fill in the spot. While they did, it left a bit of a gap, which leaves my daughter feeling embarrassed by her smile. This is her senior year and I’d like her to be able to go off to college feeling good about her smile. I spoke to another dentist and they recommended we open up the space and then place a dental implant there. I don’t think she’d be too keen with a mouth full of braces during her senior year of high school. Is there another option?

Laurie

Dear Laurie,

a smile with missing lateral incisors
A smile with canine teeth where the lateral incisors would normally be.

The above image shows a smile with missing lateral incisors. In the place of them are her canine teeth. As you can see, the smile doesn’t look normal. Instead, it is almost vampiric. Your daughter’s smile would look even stranger with one canine tooth. The advice her childhood dentist gave you was horribly bad.

The second dentist’s advice is sound. Your daughter has other choices aside from a full mouth of metal. Her first option is Six-Month Smiles which will allow her to fix her front teeth quickly. A second option is for her to get Invisalign. These use clear aligners instead of wires and brackets. Most responsible teenagers do very well with these. Then, when that is ready, a dental implant will be a fantastic idea.

What Her Original Dentist Should Have Done

Ideally, when her baby tooth came out and there was no adult lateral incisor, her dentist should have provided her with a dental flipper. This would have held the spot open so when she was old enough you could have just placed the dental implant. Now, because of his bad advice, you are having to add orthodontics to the mix.

I say this as a cautionary measure to others reading this post in two ways. First, in giving them the correct way to handle this situation. Second, in knowing that anytime you have a major dental decision to make, there is never any harm in getting a second opinion before moving forward.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

A Maryland Bridge in an MRI

I have a Maryland Bridge and am in need of an MRI. Is this safe or do I need to make other arrangements?

Carl

Dear Carl,

Diagram of a Maryland Bridge

While the Maryland Bridge is generally a non-precious dental alloy, it will contain some nickel and/or cobalt. These are metal, but it is unlikely an MRI will dislodge it. The reason I say this is because these dental bridges, whether a Maryland Bridge or traditional dental bridge, are made to withstand biting forces. As a result, an MRI is unlikely to have enough force.

BUT…

You knew there had to be a but coming, didn’t you?

Dentists are not MRI technicians. Because of that, I tend to refer people their MRI technician who would have more extensive knowledge on this. There used to be a website where you could look up this information, but I just went to check it and the domain has expired. Hopefully, it will be back.

Dental Work You Should NOT Wear in an MRI

Any removable dental work, such as a partial denture or a dental flipper should not be worn during an MRI. They will dislodge. Because they are easily removable, it won’t put any hindrance on your medical procedure. You can simply remove these items when you remove any rings, etc. you have

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

a Maryland bridge is not a temporary tooth replacement

My daughter had a gymnastics accident which damaged a tooth. Three failed root canal treatments later and we need to extract the tooth. My plan is to eventually replace the tooth with a dental implant when she is old enough. In the meantime, we need a temporary replacement. My dentist suggested a Maryland Bridge. I just wondered what you’d think about that. I asked about a partial flipper, but he said she’d lose them because they’re removable and this will bond to her teeth in the back.

Patricia

Dear Patricia,

First, I want to say your choice of doing a dental implant for her permanent replacement is a fantastic idea. It will serve her very well. I’m glad you realize she will have to wait until her jaw is fully developed. Some parents mistakenly think they can get a dental implant right away, while their child is still a teenager.

dental flipper
Dental Flipper

As for a temporary replacement, your idea is better than your dentist’s suggestion. While a dental flipper is removable and, yes, there is always a chance that your daughter will lose her flipper. In all honesty, though, you could replace several of them for the price of one Maryland Bridge.

With a traditional dental bridge, a false tooth is suspended between two crowns. That requires grinding down the two adjacent teeth, which is definitely not something you’d want to do to healthy tooth structure.

While a Maryland Bridge does not require damaging the adjacent teeth, it is not the temporary tooth replacement your dentist is saying it is.

tooth preparation for a Maryland Brdige
Tooth preparation for a Maryland Bridge

While the Maryland Bridge has two metal “wings” which will bond to the back of the adjacent tooth, without cutting a little groove in the tooth for it to hook into, the bonding is not going to stay. Whenever you are doing any removal of tooth structure, that is not a temporary replacement.

Go with your original idea and get a dental flipper for your daughter.

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

will a dental flipper make my teeth look straight?

I’m too old for braces, but the way my teeth stick out is really holding me back professionally. Is there a way if I put a dental flipper over my teeth it could make my teeth look straight?

Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

Invisalign aligner
Invisalign: The adult solutions to braces

I think you are confusing a dental flipper with Snap-on Smile. A dental flipper is a temporary tooth replacement that clasps onto the adjacent teeth. It’s designed to be used while you are waiting on the completion of your permanent tooth replacement.

Snap-on Smile is a false tooth arch made of crystallized acetyl resin. It can snap over your teeth. Because this will add bulk to your teeth and you mentioned your teeth are already sticking out, I don’t think this would be a good solution for you. Your teeth would stick out even farther.

Invisalign: The Adult Orthodontic Solution

I know you said you’re too old for braces. As an adult, I wouldn’t want metal wires and brackets on my teeth either. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Now we have what is the equivalent of invisible braces, called Invisalign. These use clear aligners instead of wires and brackets. These will straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing. They are invisible, even at a conversational distance.

Invisalign has an added benefit. The aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Now, not only can you have straight teeth, but you can whiten them simultaneously. This is a two for one mini smile makeover. You’ll have a brand new smile you’ll be proud to share.

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

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?

Mandy

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!