Waiting For Dental Implants? Find Out Your Temporary Tooth Options

If you or your dentist believes you need a temporary tooth (i.e. a dental implant), you should know you have options — plenty of options.

In this article, not only will we discuss what your options are, but we’ll also discuss when you may need a dental implant.

Dental Implants And Temporary Teeth: The Options

If you need a dental implant but you’re not ready for one — whether it’s for financial or emotional reasons — you can opt for a temporary tooth (assuming your dentist recommends one).

Usually, a dental professional will give you a temporary tooth when you’re waiting for the lab to make your permanent dentures. But sometimes, you can get a temporary tooth instead of an implant for the long-term.

Cemented Temporary Crowns

When it comes to temporary teeth, the cemented temporary crown is your best bet, although it’s not always possible. Plus, it can cause issues later on, so it’s not ideal for every patient.

The idea here is to cement the crown (the tooth-looking part of an implant) to the natural tooth or to the abutment of the implant.

Pros Of Cemented Temporary Crowns

  • Can quickly fill the gap of a missing tooth
  • Because it’s cemented, no need to take it out for cleaning
  • Looks realistic
  • The surrounding tissue properly forms around the temporary tooth
  • Still allows access to the dental implant for future surgeries (if needed)

Cons Of Cemented Temporary Crowns

  • Too much pressure on the tooth can break the implant
  • Initial procedure is longer and more expensive
  • May plan to get temporary tooth but find out on the day of the procedure it’s not possible

Cost Of Cemented Temporary Crowns

As we mentioned in the “Cons” list above, cemented temporary crowns can be expensive. One of these can cost up to $1,000, depending on the dental professional’s rates, location, and the materials used. And unfortunately, dental insurance most likely won’t cover the tooth or the procedure.

Dental Flippers

If a screw-retained implant won’t work with the makeup of your mouth, gums, and jawbone, you can get a dental flipper tooth, which is a type of partial denture. It looks sort of like a retainer but with a fake tooth attached to the metal framework.

Pros Of Dental Flippers

  • Affordable (probably the cheapest artificial tooth option)
  • Can be made quickly, in about 1-2 days, in-office or by a lab
  • High success rate
  • Doesn’t put much pressure on your dental implant
  • Most dentist consider flippers the standard for temporary artificial teeth

Cons Of Dental Flippers

  • A removable dental flipper will rarely perfectly match your natural teeth
  • Can put unnecessary pressure on the gums, which would not be good if you had a bone graft or gum surgery
  • Can break easily or fall out of your mouth
  • Can be difficult to eat with as they may not be strong enough
  • May make talking difficult
  • Might feel bulky and uncomfortable

Cost Of Dental Flippers

In the United States, one flipper can cost roughly $500. And again, dental insurance may not cover the cost.

Note: Dental flipper is probably the cheapest artificial tooth option.

Temporary Dental Bridges

Usually made of acrylic material, a temporary dental bridge can be a more durable option compared to the others. It relies on the surrounding teeth for support, so they need to be sturdy and healthy.

Pros Of Temporary Dental Bridges

  • Temporary dental bridges are quicker to insert (usually two office visits) than a full dental implant (multiple office visits plus months of healing)
  • They’re affordable, more affordable than alternatives
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Much less invasive than dental implants — good for those who can’t get surgery for medical reasons

Cons Of Temporary Bridges

  • Temporary bridges do not keep you from losing more bone or teeth like dental implants can
  • Can be difficult to clean and plaque can develop underneath the bridge

Cost Of Temporary Dental Bridges

The cost of a dental bridge can range anywhere between $500 and $1,200 per artificial tooth. This range can vary based on several factors:

  • The materials used to make the dental bridge
  • Where the bridge was made (in the dentist’s office or in a dental lab)
  • The experience, knowledge, and location of the dentist
  • The amount your insurance will cover

Essix Retainers

An essix is a customized clear retainer that fits over all the upper or lower teeth, depending on which you need. It’s similar to wearing a retainer from your orthodontist.

Pros Of Essix Retainers

  • Essix retainers are one of the most comfortable options for a removable denture
  • They’re quick and easy to make (usually done in 1-2 days)
  • Durable and able to withstand eating motion
  • They do not put pressure on areas where you may have had gum surgery or a bone graft

Cons Of Essix Retainers

  • Difficult to get an exact match
  • May make you talk differently
  • If you’re not careful, they can get lost
  • Can take some time to get used to

Cost Of Essix Retainers

The cost of essix retainers is usually in the ballpark of $500 in the United States. But again, the ending cost will vary, and the most accurate estimate will come after speaking with your dentist and your insurance company.

Snap-On Smile

Snap-On Smile is a type of brand for a removable prosthesis that covers multiple teeth or a single tooth.

Pros Of Snap-On Smile Artificial Teeth

  • Snap-On Smiles are strong and work well for chewing
  • They protect the dental implant site and do not apply pressure to the surrounding gums or bone graft areas

Cons Of Snap-On Smile Artificial Teeth

  • They can be bulky
  • Removable, so they can be lost
  • You may not be able to wear them all the time as they can affect your bite
  • They’re expensive
  • They can make talking difficult

Cost Of Snap-On Smiles

One Snap-On smile prosthesis can cost between $600 and $1,200 in the U.S., the exact amount varying depending on the number of artificial teeth needed. However, the fee from the dental professional is typically the same across the board.

No Temporary Tooth, No Gaps – What Is The Alternative?

One thing you don’t want is a gap in your beautiful line of teeth while you wait for your denture, whatever option you go with. That’s why there are immediate dental implants. These are implants placed in your jawbone during the same visit when the dental professional pulls out any unnecessary teeth.