What is the difference between a flipper and a partial?

What is the difference between a flipper and a partial?

Jan 01, 2023

When you’re missing teeth, there are numerous ways to close the gaps and restore your oral function and beautiful smile. If you’re missing several teeth or all your teeth, a denture is a cost-effective and realistic solution to consider.

There are two main categories of dentures: full and partial dentures. Complete dentures are needed if you’ve lost all your natural teeth in either or both jaws. Partial dentures replace one or several missing teeth. In this article, let’s learn more about partial dentures in Fort Atkinson.

What are partial dentures?

A partial denture is a removable dental device that consists of one or more artificial teeth attached to a gum-colored base. Partials can replace several teeth on either jaw but not an entire set.

The dentist uses impressions of your mouth and teeth to prepare a custom partial denture to ensure a comfortable fit. Rock River Dental offers partial dentures near you.

What is a flipper denture?

A flipper tooth, teeth, or denture is a removable partial denture. They contain one or more artificial teeth that fit on the top or lower jaw. A flipper is often made from denture acrylic to ensure they blend perfectly with your smile. The denture is custom-made using an impression of your mouth.

Flippers are lightweight and can easily pop in and out of the mouth. They can break easily. Therefore, they are commonly used as a temporary restoration as you wait for a permanent solution.

How many teeth can a partial denture and flipper denture replace?

Generally, a partial denture can replace one or several teeth on either jaw. A flipper denture, however, is designed to replace just one or two teeth.

Are partial and flipper dentures permanent?

Usually, partial dentures can contain several materials that determine their life length. For instance, metal dentures are strong and durable and can last 10 – 15 years or longer. They are therefore considered permanent.

On the other hand, flipper dentures are lightweight, less durable, and temporary. Flippers give you a full set of teeth to maintain your smile while waiting for permanent tooth replacement solutions like dental implants. They also allow you to chew and speak better. Be careful when you eat with flippers, as they are fragile and can break easily.

How much do flippers cost?

A flipper is relatively cheaper than other types of partial dentures and other replacement treatments like bridges and implants. A front flipper tooth price can range from $300 – $1,000.

Flipper Teeth Pros and Cons

Some of the benefits and disadvantages of using a flipper denture include the following:


  • Affordability. Compared to most replacement treatments, flipper dentures are less expensive.
  • Painless. Creating a flipper denture requires the dentist to take impressions of your mouth. There is no drilling or tooth shaving that can cause pain.
  • Quick. After taking the impressions, you can expect your flipper teeth in about two weeks. It is much faster than most replacement treatments like implants.
  • Easy to wear and remove. You can pop flippers dentures in and out of the mouth with ease.
  • They close teeth gaps to create a beautiful and uniform smile.
  • They are custom-made to blend well with your natural teeth.
  • They can improve your speech.
  • They improve your bite function.
  • They protect your teeth’ alignment.


Like most treatments, flipper dentures also come with drawbacks. These can include:

  • Less durable. Flippers are made from less durable materials and can easily crack or break.
  • It might be uncomfortable. During the first days, a flipper denture may feel uncomfortable. You may also experience difficulties speaking and eating with them. Notify your dentist if the denture causes considerable pain or soreness.
  • Health risks. Not using or cleaning your flipper teeth well can increase your risk of health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and gum recession.
  • It may loosen over time. Since your mouth changes, a flipper denture may feel loose over time. You can consult your dentist for an adjustment for a proper fit.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Now that you understand the difference between partial and flipper dentures, which one is right for you? Our dentist near you can help you choose a suitable solution for your condition.

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