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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).
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Single-tooth dentures have various advantages. Here are a few reasons you may want to invest in single-tooth dentures:
The disadvantages to single tooth dentures include, but aren't limited to, the following:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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