Are you missing teeth? Don’t fret; you’ve got multiple options for resurrecting your pearly white smile. The two most common ways to fill in the gaps from lost teeth are:

  1. Dental implants
  2. Dentures

Each has pros and cons, but it ultimately depends on your oral health and budget. In this article, we’re explaining the difference between a flipper and a partial denture and some related FAQs:

  • What’s a flipper denture?
  • How many teeth can be on a flipper?
  • Can a flipper tooth be permanent?
  • Is a flipper the same as a partial denture?
  • How much is a flipper tooth?
  • How much is a partial denture?

Dental Flipper vs. Partial Denture

Let’s start by defining a flipper vs. partial denture. Then, we’ll jump into the FAQs surrounding both types of dentures.

What’s a Flipper Denture?

“Flipper teeth,” “flipper tooth,” and “flipper denture” all refer to the same thing. Flippers are removable retainers that sit on your top or lower jaw with one or more prosthetic teeth attached to them. They’re usually made from denture acrylic to resemble gums and support the replacement tooth.

What’s a Partial Denture?

A partial denture is a removable piece of dental hardware that consists of prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Partial dentures may have a mental framework or other types of more natural-looking connectors. Partials are great for replacing multiple lost teeth, but not an entire top or bottom set.

How Many Teeth Can Be on a Flipper? 

If you have one to two missing teeth, your dentist can provide a removable partial denture called a flipper denture. The flipper tooth fills in your smile’s gap(s), so you no longer have to smile self-consciously.

Can a Flipper Tooth Be Permanent?

The nature of a flipper tooth is temporary. Usually, flippers are an interim option until a more permanent solution is decided upon. So no, a flipper tooth cannot be permanent, and it’s not meant to be. If you’d like to explore a permanent option, consider dental implants.

Is a Flipper the Same as a Partial Denture?

A partial denture is a larger appliance than flippers because they are meant to replace multiple teeth, but not a whole mouthful. Flipper dentures are intended to fill in the gap created by one or two teeth. On the other hand, partial dentures are made for three or more teeth, whether or not they’re in a row.

How Much Is a Flipper Tooth?

A flipper tooth is one of the least expensive options for prosthetic teeth replacement. The cost will vary, but you can expect to pay around $300-$1,000 for a front flipper tooth.

How Much Is a Partial Denture?

As you can imagine, the cost of partial dentures also varies based on multiple factors, including:

  • Method 
  • Material
  • Oral location
  • Number of replacement teeth

The average rate for partial dentures is around $1,450. Dental implants can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per tooth, so flippers and partial dentures are affordable alternatives.

Flipper Tooth Pros

Unless you have more than two teeth missing, flipper teeth are your best option. Here are some benefits of getting flipper dentures:

  • Affordable. Flipper dentures are less expensive than other types of partial/full dentures or dental implants, making them an attractive option.
  • Painless. The process is painless. All your dentist needs is an impression of your mouth to create a flipper denture. Once received, pop it into your mouth, smile, and say, “Cheese!”
  • Fast. You can expect to receive your flipper tooth around two weeks from when an impression is taken, which is much faster than its alternatives.
  • Easy. Since flippers are removable, you can easily pop them in and out, brushing them at the same time you brush your existing teeth.
  • Supportive. Flipper teeth help support your existing teeth, preventing them from shifting.

Flipper Tooth Cons

As with any “pro” list, there are cons to counter them. While we believe that flipper teeth are an excellent option, the cons must be stated:

  • Durability. Since flipper dentures are designed to be a short-term fix, they aren’t made to be durable. If patients decide to wear them long-term, they will need to be replaced frequently.
  • Health risks. If you don’t clean your flipper tooth well, you run the risk of gum disease. Due to a flipper tooth’s design, which covers your gums, you also may experience gum recession.
  • Allergies. Flippers are made from acrylic, so wearers who are allergic to acrylic aren’t a good fit for flipper dentures.
  • Maintenance. Flipper dentures require regular cleaning when both in and out of your mouth to lower the risk of disease and deterioration. They may also loosen over time with wear and tear.
  • Uncomfortable. Anything foreign in your mouth will take time to get used to. When you first begin using your flipper denture, talking and eating may feel uncomfortable.

At this point, you know the differences between a dental flipper vs. partial dentures, and a slew of frequently asked questions about both topics have been answered.

Now that you have a good understanding of dental flippers vs. partial dentures, which do you need?

Northside Dental Co: Your Dental (and Denture) Experts

Whether you need a flipper tooth, partial dentures, full dentures, or multiple dental implants, our team at Northside Dental Co. will steer you in the right direction.

When choosing between various prosthetic teeth options, let your dentist weigh in. They will consider your dental health, budget, lifestyle, and personal preferences. While any denture options mentioned in this article are suitable, one will likely best fit your needs over the others, and your dentist will know which.

At Northside Dental Co., we are transforming traditional dental care. We put patients first and strive to make your experience stress free and even enjoyable!

We’re dedicated to our patients, community, and innovation:


We customize every patient’s experience to fit their unique needs.

Innovation Forward

We stay up-to-date on the latest technology, ensuring our patients receive the best care.

Community Focused

We love our community and integrate with other RVA businesses throughout our practice.

Book your appointment today to discuss denture options and find the best treatment for your dental needs.