Flipper: Should I Get This Before or After Dental Implant Surgery?


Jen asks:

I am having a tooth extraction, bone graft, and finally a dental implant. My problem is with the flipper. I have not had the surgery yet. But my oral surgeon wanted me to get the flipper done and bring it in at the time of surgery so that he can adjust it. However, my dentist wants his assistant to do the flipper AFTER surgery. I feel like I should get the impression done before hand with the dentist and have the flipper done by a lab so that my oral surgeon can see it and adjust it.

Are my concerns legitimate? I have to wear this for 6 hours a day per my oral surgeon for 3-4 months. Then have the implant posts done and the wait another 3-4 months before the final implant crown. But the dental assistant at my general dentist thinks I only need to wear it for 2 hours a day. Who is right? And which way should I have the flipper made?

Thanks for any advice.

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Expert Advice and Comments
ekusek's picture

I would agree with you, it

Answered By: Dr. Edward Kusek - Sioux Falls , SD

I would agree with you. It would be nice to have the flipper the day you extract the tooth, as it is an aesthetic problem. Personally I would not want to walk around without a tooth in the aesthetic zone. The flipper will need to be adjusted as the tissue and bone heals for the next few weeks.

I would take a different approach to this case, but I am unique in that I have used lasers to kill bacteria from the failed tooth and use it to promote quicker bone healing.
Good luck

Dr. Edward Kusek

tgrossman's picture


Answered By: Dr. Theodore M. Grossman - Aventura , FL

Hi Jen
You are correct. It should be available to the surgeon pre-operatively for adjustment. A properly fitting flipper should not put pressure on the graft or implant. That being said, the less you wear it the better, to avoid the potential of pressure and to maintain hygiene.

Theodore M Grossman DMD

Dr. Theodore M. Grossman

drkazemi's picture

Flipper as transitional prosthesis

Answered By: Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi - Bethesda , MD


It is best to have the flipper made before your surgery, so it can be placed on the day of your extraction. This way, you are not without a tooth, especially in the smile zone. Some people do not tolerate flippers well. So you do have a couple of other options that can be used as a transitional. A proper prosthesis will fit well, support the gum tissue well, while not traumatizing the underlying tissue and graft. I recommend to consult with a very good general dentist or preferably a prosthodontist who really understands such concepts.

Dr. Kazemi

Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi

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