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Dental Flippers: are they right for you? 

Flippers can be a good temporary solution for a missing tooth if you aren't ready for an implant.


Guardian Direct® Dental plans
covering Flippers and Implants start at less than
per month in most states

What is a dental flipper? 

  • A dental flipper is a removable partial denture that dentists or oral surgeons use as a temporary replacement for missing teeth.

What are the benefits of flippers?

  • Appearance. Fills in the gap from a missing tooth. 

  • Stability.  Prevents teeth around your missing tooth from shifting.

  • Easier to Eat.  Chew without the discomfort of a missing tooth.

  • Affordable.  The cost of flippers depends on the number of missing teeth and materials used, but is usually significantly lower than the cost of implants.

Are flippers covered by dental insurance?

  • Often, yes.  Check with your insurance provider to verify coverage. When covered, flippers typically fall under major services, and may require you to be a member for a year.

  • But what if no?  Even if your policy doesn't offer coverage, in most states dental insurance still provides the benefit of discounted rates if you use an in-network dentist. Getting dental insurance today can reduce the cost of flippers now and could qualify you for coverage of a more permanent dental implant down the road.

There are 2 Guardian Direct® Dental plans available in your area that cover Flippers and Implants


Guardian Dental
Advantage Gold


The most comprehensive coverage

  • Save up to 35% by choosing an In-Network Dentist
  • No waiting period for preventive care
  • Guardian Covers:


Guardian Dental
Advantage Silver


Coverage for the basics plus life’s occasional dental surprises

  • Save up to 35% by choosing an In-Network Dentist
  • No waiting period for preventive care
  • Guardian Covers:


Learn more about Dental Flippers and Implants


The benefits of dental flippers include the following:

  • Improved appearance: Fills in the gaps where your teeth are missing so you don’t have a visible gap or missing tooth.
  • Prepare in advance: If your dentist needs to extract your tooth because of damage or disease, a dental flipper can be made before your tooth is removed.
  • Easier to eat: Allows you to chew food more easily with a missing tooth or teeth.
  • Stability for your teeth: Keeps the teeth around the gap in place, which prevents your other teeth from shifting.
  • Convenient: Simple to wear and can easily be taken out of your mouth for nightly cleaning.
  • Comfort and look: Some believe dental flippers to be more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing than other temporary alternatives, such as cast partials made of metal.
  • Affordable: Dental flippers are cheaper than many other dental alternatives. Easy to make: You can get your dental flippers made quickly, often within a day or two.

If you are ready for an implant but are waiting for the site to heal, either after tooth extraction or after a bone or tissue graft, a dental flipper can be a good temporary fixture during this time. Healing can sometimes take up to six months.

If you’re too young for permanent implants, your dentist gives you a flipper as a semi-permanent alternative for your missing teeth. Your jawbone must be finished growing before you can get an implant, so kids who lose permanent teeth often use flippers until they turn 17 or 18 years old and can get implants.

Yes, you can eat with a dental flipper. A benefit of dental flippers is that you can eat and chew more comfortably than you could with gaps from missing teeth.

Dental flippers are intended to be worn temporarily, while you wait for your gums to heal before getting an implant. But some people choose to wear flippers indefinitely, either because of the low cost or because they’re lightweight and easy to adjust to.

For kids with missing teeth who are younger than 17, a flipper may be a long-term solution until they’re old enough to get implants. However, dental flippers are prone to breaking easily, and require regular care to keep them clean and to protect your other teeth and gums.

Though dental flippers are cheaper and quicker to make than other dental alternatives, there are cons to flippers for patients to consider:

  • Lightweight material means flippers might break easily.
  • Design of flippers covers your gums so saliva cannot clean your gums properly.
  • If not properly cared for, flippers can contribute to increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Flippers need to grip your existing teeth to work properly, but this grip can quickly loosen.


Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically implanted into your jawbone to work like permanent replacement tooth roots.

There are two types of dental implants:

  • Endosteal dental implants - These dental implants are placed under the gum and directly in the jawbone, which eventually fuses with your natural bone. This is the most common type of implant.
  • Subperiosteal dental implants - Subperiosteal implants are placed beneath the gum and above or on top of the jawbone. These are best for patients with shallow jawbones that can’t support Endosteal implants.

Dental implants can be installed in a single or double-stage procedure.

  • Double-Stage Procedure :Endosteal implants are installed in two stages. The first surgery secures the implant into the jawbone. A few months later, the dentist or dental surgeon performs another minor surgery to attach an abutment, which is the supporting piece to secure your bridge or crown.
  • Single-Stage Procedure: Subperiosteal implants are installed in one stage. The implant is surgically placed on top of the jawbone, leaving the implant head visible once the gum around the area heals. The supporting abutment and bridge or crown is then attached several months after your gum has healed, without any additional surgery.

There are many benefits to dental implants, which include:

  • Natural look: Dental implants look and feel like your real teeth, so it’s a smile that you can feel comfortable showing.
  • Improved speech: Loose dentures or flippers can slip in your mouth and cause you to mumble. Dental implants are fixed in your jaw so you don’t have to worry about slipping teeth.
  • Comfort: Implants feel like your real teeth. You don’t have to adjust to the bulkiness of dentures or deal with flippers loosening or slipping.
  • Easy to eat with: Dental implants feel and function like your own teeth, which makes eating more natural.
  • Good for your teeth: Your nearby teeth are not altered to support your implant (unlike a bridge, where nearby teeth are reduced). More of your own teeth are left intact, which improves overall oral health.
  • And your gums: Your gums are not covered (like they are with flippers), which means less chance for bacteria build-up and tooth decay.
  • Durability: Unlike flippers, which can break easily, dental implants are sturdy and permanent.
  • Convenience: You never need to remove your dental implants, whereas you remove flippers and dentures and place them in cleaning solution nightly.

Not everyone can get dental implants. The jawbone must be fully developed to support a dental implant, so the patient must be older than 17 or 18. Plus, the jawbone must be sturdy enough to support an Endosteal implant, which is implanted directly into the jawbone

The full price of an implant is not always covered by dental insurance plans, and your out-of-pocket cost may be higher than flippers or removable partial dentures.



Individual dental insurance products are underwritten by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, New York or by one of its wholly owned subsidiaries. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. The actual limitations and exclusions that apply to your Dental Plan are governed by the policy forms approved for use in your state. Please refer to your policy for a complete list of limitations and exclusions. In the event of a conflict between this document and the language stated in your Guardian insurance policy, the language of the policy shall control. This policy provides DENTAL insurance only.

Dental provider networks vary by state, by market and by plan type

Rates are guaranteed for one year for your policy of benefits initially selected. Policies renew annually.


Dental PPO plans provide in-network and out-of-network benefits. Use of an in-network provider may result in reduce out of pocket costs.

Coverage is limited to those charges that are necessary to prevent, diagnose or treat dental disease, defect, or injury. Deductibles apply. Waiting periods may also apply for some services

Individual dental plans do not pay for: oral hygiene services (except as covered under preventive services), orthodontia (unless expressly provided for), cosmetic or experimental treatments, any treatment to the extent benefits are payable by any other payor or for which no charge is made, prosthetic devices unless certain conditions are met, and services ancillary to surgical treatment.

Individual dental plans limit benefits for diagnostic consultations and for preventive, restorative, endodontic, periodontic and prosthodontic services.

Listed services, exclusions and limitations do not constitute a contract and are a summary only.


Dental HMOs provide Pre-Paid dental benefits through a network of participating general dentists and specialty care dentists. All covered services must be provided by the member’s Primary Care Dentist. Specialty care services are covered only when referred by the member’s Primary Care Dentist and approved in advance by the Dental DHMO.

Only those services listed in the Dental HMO plan are covered. Certain services are subject to annual or other periodic limitations. Where orthodontic benefits are specifically included, your policy provides for one course of comprehensive treatment per lifetime, per member. Dental HMOs do not provide orthodontic benefits if comprehensive orthodontic treatment or retention is in progress as of the member’s effective date. Listed services, exclusions and limitations do not constitute a contract and are a summary only.

Products Underwritten by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America



      FLORIDA              Policy Form IP-1-MDG-DHMO-FL-OFF-17

      NEW YORK          Policy Form IP-MDG-NY-FP-OFF-17


Products Underwritten by Managed Dental Guard, Inc.


      TEXAS                 Policy: IP-1-MDG-DHMO-TX-17


Products Underwritten by First Commonwealth Inc. through its Illinois subsidiaries*


      ILLINOIS             Policy: IP-FCW-DHMO-IL-17

*First Commonwealth Insurance Company — (IL), First Commonwealth Limited Health Services Corporation — (IL), First Commonwealth of Illinois, Inc.


Information on the approved state and product specific online enrollment form numbers can be viewed here: Online Enrollment Form Numbers