Single Tooth Dentures: When Should You Get One

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If you’ve lost one tooth due to extraction or a tooth pull, you’ll have four tooth replacement options to fix that.  Firstly, you may leave it as it is without replacing it at all – no replacement is one option. 

Single Tooth Dentures

Second, you may get a partial denture or a flipper to replace one missing tooth. However, this option will not help you prevent bone loss despite being an inexpensive tooth replacement option.

The third option is the bridges, which are the best tooth replacement options before dental implants.

The last option and the fourth one is a dental implant, which is a stand-alone tooth replacement option. 

If you’re looking for an inexpensive tooth replacement option for a cosmetic uplift, a partial denture for one missing tooth or a single denture can help you achieve your goal. 

Let’s learn about this option to help you make the right decision. 

What are Single Tooth Dentures?

Definition of single-tooth dentures

Single tooth denture or a flipper designed to replace a missing tooth in a way that seamlessly integrates with your gums and surrounding teeth.

When appropriately seated, it is a tooth mounted in pink resin that looks like a natural tooth.  It is made of acrylic and crafted in a way that fills the gap created by a single missing tooth. 

It is a temporary denture without a metallic base and is usually given in scenarios when you are waiting to receive permanent options like dental bridges and implants.

Types of single-tooth dentures

You have two options to select from when it comes to tooth replacement with a single-tooth denture. 

1) Partial Dentures:

Suppose you want to replace missing teeth with something removable; partial dentures with or without a metal plate suit you best. These are only functional with healthy teeth on which the cast partial denture framework can rest.

Partial Dentures

Usually, single-tooth dentures or flippers are entirely designed with an acrylic base to replace the missing tooth; however, such a design compromises stability and function significantly.

2) Overdentures: 

These are the dentures that go about the existing tooth or tooth roots. If you have a tooth that’s broken and can’t be capped, you may look for a single tooth overdenture as an option.

Benefits of Single Tooth Dentures

We are considering the benefits of a prosthetic tooth mounted in pink while taking it as a replacement against one missing tooth. Also, the flipper denture offers multiple advantages, and here are these: 

1) Natural-Looking Appearance:

If you’re looking for a replacement option that seamlessly integrates with the surrounding tissues without appearing as a replacement already, you may go for flipper dentures. These are best at providing esthetically pleasing smiles without spending too much money.

The acrylic denture is pink, which mimics your gum tissues, while the white acrylic that replaces the tooth easily harmonizes with surrounding tissues, making it hard to distinguish. 

2) Preserve Adjacent Teeth:

A single tooth works independently, Unlike cast partial dentures with a metallic base that needs clasp-based support on the neighboring teeth.

Replacement allows the adjacent tooth to stay in place rather than migrating in an anterior direction, which may give rise to the tooth tilting in the forward direction.

It preserves your bite and allows you to construct a denture without destroying surrounding teeth.

3) Improve Oral Function:  

It would be best if you had teeth to chew and speak properly. For proper food chewing and word articulation, you must need tooth replacement. 

4) Non-Invasive Solution:

Dental implants and bridges are invasive treatment options, while flippers aren’t. A simple impression is taken and articulated, later set to the laboratory for denture fabrication.

5) Cost-effective:

As this one is made up of acrylic only, it costs less when compared to partial dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges. These are affordable and budget-friendly and provide immediate tooth replacement options, too

6) Quick To Make:

Single dentures don’t take a lot of time to form. These are relatively straightforward to make and can be made within a week or two.

7) Supports Facial Structure: 

Over time, bone loss and structural loss are noticed at the site of a missing tooth. Although dentures don’t stop bone loss, this effort can minimize bone loss.

8) Versatile: 

Single-tooth dentures can replace any tooth, be it the front or back tooth. These are primarily used for cosmetic purposes but can be used as tooth replacement or retainer options in young individuals where jaw growth will halt at the site of permanent prosthesis.

The Process of Getting Single-Tooth Dentures

Single-Tooth Dentures

The process of getting a tooth denture involves multiple steps, and here are these:

1) Initial Consultation:

The first step in getting any prosthesis is to consult your dentist. He’ll do your oral examination and evaluate your teeth before offering you an option. He will evaluate your teeth, gums, and tissues and ask for your financial status to suggest alternatives. 

2) Treatment Planning:

Based on examination results and specific investigations like X-rays, your dentist will devise a personalized plan based on your needs. He will inform you about different replacement options and ask you to choose the best one that fits your needs and is affordable. 

3) Take Impressions:

Custom-fit flippers can only be designed with a custom impression. Your impression will be recorded with an impression material, or a digital impression will be taken.

Your bite will be recorded with a wax bite and sent to a laboratory to fabricate a dental mold. The laboratory will send you back the unfinished denture for the try-in appointment. 

4) Try-in Appointment:

Your dentist will seat the denture in the mouth to check if it’s made to meet your functional and aesthetic needs. He’ll trim and adjust the denture per your needs before sending it back to the laboratory for final construction.

Any necessary adjustments will be made at this stage once the careful evaluation of the size, shape, and color of the denture is performed. 

5) Final Insertion:

Once the denture is fabricated, you’ll be called for final insertion. You will be taught how to adjust the denture and provided with maintenance guidelines.

Common Problems With Single Tooth Denture

Although there are a lot of advantages of single tooth dentures, there are some downsides too. 

1) Poor Fit or Discomfort:

Over a period of time, your denture becomes loose or uncomfortable. It’s sometimes because of the tooth tilting anteriorly or resorption in the jaw bone. This will give rise to sore spots and denture-related conditions like denture stomatitis.

2) Denture Fractures: 

These dentures are really fragile and would break apart when they fall. You may need its replacement or repair. 

3) Gum Irritation: 

Ill-fitting dentures or improper oral hygiene cause dentures to irritate the underlying gum tissues. Must seek professional help if facing gum irritation. 

4) Speech Difficulties:

Initially, it’s hard to function and speak with a new denture. You may need to adapt to it over time to address this issue. 

5) Allergic Reaction:

The denture material causes allergy in some individuals. You may notice itching or discomfort. Seek prompt advice if facing anything like this.

Costs of Single Tooth Dentures

Usually, a single tooth denture may cost you somewhere around $500-$2000. The cost varies depending on the expertise of your dentist and his location. However, you need not to worry as these costs are covered by dental insurance if you have one.

Other Denture Options In An Alternative To Single-Tooth Denture 

You have multiple replacement options if you want a prosthetic tooth to compensate for losing your missing tooth.

1) Single Dental Implant:

Implants are the titanium screws that go inside your bone and provide your bone with a stimulus just like your native tooth does.


It seamlessly integrates with your tissue but may cost up to $4500. 

2) Cast Partial Denture:

Cast Partial dentures combine acrylic and a metal plate; these dentures are long-lasting compared to flippers. Getting partial dentures is similar to having single-tooth dentures, except you may need correction of your neighboring tooth before getting one.

3) Essix Denture:

These are the temporary denture solutions made up of thin plastic material. These are less noticeable than traditional ones. 

4) Valplast Denture:

They are flexible and lightweight and are made up of thermoplastic material. These adapt comfortably to the shape of your mouth and are an alternative to traditional single dentures. 

5) Dental Bridges:

These are fixed restorations and are supposed to include neighboring teeth for missing tooth support.

How long does a single-tooth denture last? 

These are a temporary solution and may last for a few years only. However, you may require periodic adjustments to make it functional and aesthetically competent for you. 

What is the cheapest way to replace a missing tooth? 

Single-tooth dentures are the cheapest alternative to replace the missing tooth. It is because it takes less fabrication time and less amount of dental material sfor construction. Also, no surgical procedure is involved while fabrication.

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