My Flipper: And the Dental Implant Saga – Part II

Me and my flipper. Our symbiotic relationship is over.
Me and my flipper. Our symbiotic relationship is over.

Checking out my Google Analytics and noticed that people found my website from searching about dental flippers and front tooth flippers and such. This is because I did have a dental flipper with my implant, back in 2009/2010. I wrote about it right after the procedure here with the intention of doing follow up posts. Everything went so smoothly, I didn’t think to do the follow up. That’s a good thing.

When I was planning my dental implant surgery, I googled it, and I googled flippers, most of the stuff I saw was fairly depressing and scary. There weren’t many happy stories. Maybe it’s because all of us who had a great experience didn’t find it necessary to write about it.

I got my implant on October 29, 2009. It went smoothly (and I wrote about it here). After the implant was installed, I put in a dental flipper, which made it so I wasn’t walking around with a big gaping hole in my mouth (so much bonus!)

Dental Implant and Flipper Fun

I wore the flipper until April 12, 2010, when my abutment and crown was attached to the implant.

I wore the flipper whenever I went out into public. On doctor’s orders, I did not wear the flipper when I slept. After the first few weeks, I stopped wearing it when I ate, unless I was eating in public. So for dinners at home and family, with friends or at my work desk, I’d take out the flipper and eat. If I were eating at a restaurant or with fancy friends, I’d keep it in when I ate, but afterwards would rinse it off in the bathroom because food would always get stuck underneath it. And eating with the flipper posed a problem because if I took too big of a bite of food, the flipper would fall right out of my mouth. Funtimes.

Wearing a flipper got to be a bit fun. The best is when I’d stand right next to someone and in the middle of a conversation, I’d let it fall out of my mouth. The looks on their faces == priceless. Especially if they did not know I had the flipper in the first place.

If I had any advice for people considering the implant procedure, I would encourage them to do it, the end result is definitely worth the risk. Of course, I had a very lucky experience with mine, my tooth came out easily, the implant set very well on the first try. But now I don’t have to worry about that tooth falling out any more. If I had the money, I’d consider getting my second front tooth done as well.

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Have you had any dental work done? How did that go? Or are you considering a flipper? 

  • kendall

    thank you so much for this page, it has given me hope! i had an implant placed on tuesday and i’m now wearing my flipper over the site (friday). this has been a scary event, but i’m glad there are others who have faced this.

  • Beti

    Thanks for posting your experience. Due to bone loss, I had to have a tooth pulled last week (one over from yours). I have a flipper but it doesn’t seem to fit quite right. I’m waiting to get back in to see the dentist to see what can be done.

    I really want to have the implant done but due to a month long overseas vacation in the spring, I think I’ll have to wait til summer.

    How much did your flipper impact your speech? At my job I have to say the words seizure and shoes about 50 times a day (although not in the same sentence :-) . It’s v hard to say these words clearly.

  • lannalee

    After a couple of weeks, my mouth got used to the flipper so my speech wasn’t impeded too much. That said, I think I had a slight lisp while I had it. Not too noticeable, tho.

  • Simmy

    lol i’m going thru this now… getting used to the (very uncomfortable) fipper while my bone graft then implant heals. I’ve been miserable but your comment about the flipper falling out (on accident and purpose) made me laugh and feel better! Maybe I’m taking this thing way too seriously. Thanks!

  • lannalee

    Once you get used to it, it’s okay. Good luck!

  • TheGrailspiral

    Hi–i just went through an apicoectomy on my front tooth (but i’m still in pain so I”m worried I may need an implant instead). What caused your need for an implant? Also, did you consider a fixed bridge instead? I really loathe the idea of a flipper while an implant heals. Hope to hear from you..

  • lannalee

    I fell down the stairs at 10 and had a crown on the tooth. The tooth was decaying around the crown and it was only a matter of time before it broke/fell out. The best option was the implant, it is just like having a tooth. I was not given the bridge option, but as it was my front tooth, I wanted to make sure it was the BEST option (so I didn’t really ask for other options.)

    Regarding the flipper, it wasn’t bad, once I got used to it. Like I said above, I started taking it out when I ate because it would move around too much. (Except for when I ate in public.) You couldn’t really tell anything was different, unless it fell out (and that would usually only happen when I was eating with it in.) You would only be wearing the flipper for a few months, it’s totally worth the end-result.

    Good luck!

  • Sam

    Hi ive been wearing a flipper for a while now and tomorrow i get the implant done im worried that the flipper wont fit right in my mouth after the implant was in. Could you see the implant when u were wearing the flipper

  • lannalee

    Sorry I missed this when you posted it.

    In case anyone else asks: I don’t remember seeing the implant. It wasn’t gross, that’s for sure. I remember that they screwed in a post the day I got the crown put in. I can’t remember what my mouth looked like. So sad that I don’t. I guess that means it was not a big deal!

    The worst part was eating with the flipper. And that wasn’t that bad, I started taking the flipper out when I ate, unless I was in public. Problem solved.

  • Nicki

    I’m going through this now. I had a bottom front tooth pulled due to bone loss and am going back and forth between implant and bridge. I’m 28 so my dentist said the implant would be best. I’m very nervous though because of the pain and I don’t know if I will need a bone graft. I’m really not good with pain….at all….I hate it. I do have a flipper now and I just can’t live with it for the rest of my life. Was the implant procedure and recovery very painful? I know it will be worth it but after having my tooth pulled this week, I have gallbladder surgery next week, and I’m so worn out from all the pain I’ve been in and what’s to come is just terrifying.

  • lannalee

    The pain for the implant only lasted a few days and I was able to curb it with ibuprofen. The thing is, the implant looks more like a real tooth than my remaining crown!

    You will most likely need a bone graft, what they do is put in cadaver bone along with the implant – it’s like a powder. (they don’t take any bone from you, thank goodness.) Sounds weird, but I had no issues with it.

    It has now been around 4 years since I got the implant and I have had great luck with it. I don’t regret the money I spent on it. Worth every penny.

  • Adrienne Washburn

    I’m not sure if I’m ready for my dental implant surgery, but I’ll be brave and give my dentist in Austin the go signal to finally do it. It is true that there aren’t many positive articles about dental flippers, so I’m glad I get to read this.

  • Kendall

    I just had a tooth extraction a few days ago and was sent home with a flipper, but I’m having a hard time getting it to stay in my mouth! I put it in and then as soon as I try to set my tongue down on it it slips out of place. How the heck am I supposed to wear this continually for the next few weeks/months?! So frustrated.