If there were a vote for the least popular restoration in dentistry, the odds are pretty good that “flippers,” removable partial dentures, would win. They’re generally unattractive, uncomfortable, and nonfunctional. And here’s a secret: we hate them, too.
But, fortunately, you don’t have to live with your flipper anymore: dental implants can restore your smile with beautiful artificial teeth that look, function, and even feel like your natural teeth.
Why You Hate Your Flipper
We’re going out on a limb here, but we suspect that you probably hate your flipper for one or more of the following reasons:
- It looks fake
- It feels uncomfortable
- It won’t stay in place
- You can’t eat with it
- It’s annoying to clean
These are common problems with removable partial dentures. Very few people are happy with them because their appearance is nothing like your natural teeth–and they don’t feel like your teeth,either, with their clasps, hooks, and plastic base that can irritate your gums, tongue, and cheeks.
And why are they called “flippers”? Partly because they always flip out of place! It always seems to happen at the wrong time, too. And because it won’t stay in place, you can’t eat anything substantial with it. And when you do eat something like oatmeal or soup with it in, the food gets all underneath it and you have to clean it off right away.
Why We Hate Your Flipper
Nothing personal about you, but that flipper is really bad for you and your teeth. Those hooks and clasps that irritate your gums can actually cause gum recession. And when your gums recede, your natural teeth are in jeopardy. And the way that the hooks and clasps go around your natural teeth can erode your enamel, trap food, and encourage decay. It’s so tragic to see fake teeth damaging your natural teeth.
But the damage doesn’t stop there. Under the flipper your jawbone is being removed because your body thinks it isn’t needed anymore. Your flipper can even speed bone loss because it puts pressure on your jawbone in a way that causes pain and irritation, so your body tries to remove it even faster.
Dental Implants Are Better for You
Dental implants are a better approach to replacing lost teeth. Instead of having fake teeth that sit in a plastic tray inside your mouth, dental implants are actually anchored in your jawbone, just like natural teeth. This helps them look more natural–no fake plastic gums, just your natural gum tissue growing up around teeth that are actually attached in your jaw. The implants won’t slip or slide, which means you can eat all the same foods you enjoyed with your natural teeth. And dental implants will support your natural bone, preserving it for the future, which helps maintain not just your smile, but your facial appearance, too. And, best of all, dental implants can last a lifetime.