Updated on February 9, 2024
4 min read

What Are Single Tooth Dentures?

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What are Single Tooth Dentures?

Single tooth dentures, or flippers, replace just one missing tooth. They’re a type of partial denture.

Single tooth dentures aren’t durable, so you cannot chew with them. They serve as a temporary cosmetic tooth replacement (for example, while waiting for an implant or bridge). 

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Can I Get a Removable Partial Denture for One Missing Tooth?

Getting removable partial dentures for one missing tooth is possible. It’s one of the many options you have for filling the gap.

Dentures are prosthetic teeth that will replace your missing natural teeth. Some people get dentures for multiple missing teeth, while others only need to replace one or a few.

A single dental implant is the other main option for replacing a missing tooth. Dentures can be a long-term solution but are less permanent than dental implants.

Both options have advantages; the suitable option depends on your budget, preference, and oral health.1

Single Tooth Implant vs. Single Tooth Denture

While they both fix the same problem, a single tooth implant and a single tooth denture aren’t the same. Unlike a denture, an implant is a permanent solution screwed into your jawbone.

Implant Procedure

A dentist will surgically implant a titanium post (artificial tooth root) into the jawbone. They will place it just below the gums. 

Then, the bone grows over it and stabilizes it in place. From there, the dentist will attach a prosthetic called an abutment. They will screw or cement a porcelain crown (the replacement tooth) onto the abutment a few months later.

Partial Dentures Procedure

Partial dentures are different because they hook onto remaining healthy teeth. They have a base that keeps the fake tooth in place and blends in with your gums. On the back are wings that anchor the adjacent teeth to stay in place.

dental implant NewMouth

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Tooth Dentures

As with anything, dentures have pros and cons to replacing a single lost tooth. It’s important to talk with your dentist about the best option and regularly go in for checkups.  

Pros of Single Tooth Dentures

Single-tooth dentures have various advantages. Here are a few reasons you may want to invest in single-tooth dentures:

  • They’re more affordable than full dentures (they only need to replace one or a few teeth instead of the entire mouth)
  • Partial dentures are more affordable than dental implants
  • Because partial dentures are removable, dental care is easier for some people
  • A single-tooth denture can blend in with your remaining teeth when compared to complete dentures 

Cons of Single Tooth Dentures

The disadvantages to single tooth dentures include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Dentures can cost upwards of thousands of dollars without dental insurance (find out whether or not your dental care provider will cover at least some of the cost)
  • You need to maintain a regular dental health routine and clean your dentures like you would clean your surrounding natural teeth
  • Unlike implants, the surrounding teeth have to support partial dentures
  • While single-tooth dentures can fit in well with the surrounding teeth, they may not provide optimal aesthetics and can’t be used for chewing 
  • While they’re more affordable, single-tooth dentures may not be as cost-effective in the long run since they’re removable and impermanent
  • Single-tooth dentures require healthy surrounding teeth to be an effective, long-term solution
  • If you need to remove more teeth, you may require a larger partial denture in the future

How Much Does a Single Tooth Denture Cost?

Without insurance, a complete set of dentures can cost more than $4,000. While a single tooth denture will only be a fraction of that, other costs add up. 

For example, additional fees may include examinations (about $100), X-rays (about $150), and tooth removals (about $75 to $200). The type of tooth replacement you choose also affects the cost. 

Dental implants are more expensive than partial dentures. This is because they involve surgery and many more appointments than a partial denture.  They’re also fixed and permanent solutions, whereas partial dentures may be temporary or removable.

Does Insurance Cover Dentures?

Some dental insurance plans cover dentures. Contact your provider to see if your plan covers single-tooth dentures. Insurance can help shave off some or all of the cost, making dentures more affordable.

What to Expect During a Single Tooth Denture Appointment

Getting a single-tooth denture starts with a consultation with your dentist. This helps determine your tooth’s condition and whether you need additional treatments before getting dentures.

After consultations, the following steps are:

  • Making the impressions ⁠— Your dentist needs to take impressions of your mouth so that your dentures fit precisely.
  • Creating the dentures ⁠— The dentist will send the impressions to a dental laboratory to create your dentures.
  • Fitting and adjustments — You must schedule a fitting appointment with your dentist after your dentures are ready. If your dentures don’t fit properly, your dentist can make adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Follow-up visits These are a must since you may need to refit or adjust your dentures after some time.

Summary

Single-tooth dentures are partial dentures. They’re one of three main options for replacing a single missing tooth. Dental implants and bridges are other options.

Whether single-tooth dentures fit you will depend on your needs and preferences, including your remaining natural teeth’s health. Talk with your dentist to determine the best treatment.

Last updated on February 9, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 9, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Harvard Health Publishing. “Two Options for Replacing Lost Teeth.” Harvard Medical School, 2016.
  2. How Much Do Dentures Really Cost Without Insurance?” Cigna.
  3. Denture Care: How Do I Clean Dentures?” Mayo Clinic, 2017. 
  4. Danielsson, M. “Does Dental Insurance Cover Dentures?” Investopedia, 2023. 
  5. Benyahia et al. “Impression techniques in Removable partial denture: epidemiological study” La Tunisie Médicale, 2023.
  6. Dental implant surgery.” Mayo Clinic, 2019.
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