What is a Dental Stayplate?

A transition period often follows a tooth extraction to allow your gums to heal. However, the space left after the extraction can pose several problems for the patient and the dentist. A common solution is a temporary partial denture, also known as a dental stayplate.

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A partial denture is a removable dental prosthesis that replaces one or more missing teeth. This can be a permanent solution constructed of metal and acrylic and made to last many years. 

What Is a Partial Denture?However, it can also be used as a temporary replacement made mostly of acrylic and it is not designed for long-term use. The temporary partial, or dental stayplate, will have satisfactory but not optimal esthetics and function until you receive the permanent bridge, denture, or implant.

What is a Flipper?

You may hear a dental stayplate referred to as a flipper. If you lose a front tooth, you want it replaced right away to avoid the esthetic problem this creates. In many cases, your dentist will recommend a flipper, a small acrylic prosthesis with artificial teeth attached that replace the extracted teeth. When possible, your dentist fabricates the appliance in advance and delivers it to you on the day of your extraction. 

The process of making a flipper or dental stayplate begins with your dentist making an impression of your mouth. This is sent to a dental laboratory, where the tooth to be extracted is removed from the model. Next, the acrylic temporary partial denture is fabricated on the model. Finally, on the day of your extraction, your dentist checks to make sure the flipper fits your mouth and makes any necessary adjustments.

Wearing a Dental Stayplate

It takes time to adjust to wearing a new stayplate. It will probably feel bulky and awkward until you get used to it. You might notice that eating and pronouncing certain words are challenging. Additionally, you could develop mouth sores that typically heal in a few days. Finally, since these acrylic appliances are prone to staining, you might consider avoiding certain foods and beverages such as coffee, tea, dark fruits and juices, and tomato sauces.

Can I Eat with a Dental Stayplate?

You can eat most foods with a stayplate if you use caution. You will not have the same chewing efficiency and should avoid certain sticky foods, tough meats, nuts, and chewy foods.

How To Care for a Dental Stayplate

Your stayplate needs to be cleaned every day, preferably after each time you eat. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm water to gently remove any plaque and food particles. Toothpaste can be too abrasive and may damage the acrylic, and is usually not recommended. If you notice any damage or changes in the fit of the stayplate, contact your dentist for an evaluation.

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