When you are missing the majority of your teeth but your remaining teeth are not strong enough to hold a partial denture in place, your dentist may suggest using dental implants. While you may think of dental implants as cosmetic, they can actually do so much more in the role of "anchor teeth" for your partial dentures. Here is why this dual approach to toothlessness is more than just cosmetic.

When the Implants Are Classified as Medically Necessary Rather Than Cosmetic

Implants are firmly rooted, or rather screwed into, your jaw. They cannot go anywhere and will never fall out, which means that the rest of your natural teeth could fall out but you would still have these fakes in place. Since you absolutely need the implants to stay and stay put after the rest of your teeth fall out, and you need them until all your natural teeth are gone, that classifies them as "medically necessary" rather than "cosmetic." Additionally, when dental implants are used as anchors for your partials, they do not have to be perfectly shaped, polished or as blaringly white as they would be if they were used cosmetically. When your dentist does not go out of his/her way to make these implants perfect or make them from the most expensive dental materials possible, it is more probable that your dental insurance company will be willing to cover the cost of the implants.

The Dentist Positions Them In Key Locations in Your Mouth

During the initial assessment, your dentist will decide where in your mouth to install the implants. Putting the implants in places that will help maintain the alignment of your jaws, and your bite is important to the formation, creation and wearing of your partial dentures. Your dentist will use the implants to make a mold that will be used to create the partial dentures. Ergo, your dentist has to pick areas in your mouth where the implants will be most effective for all of the above. This may mean installing some fake molars and a couple of fake front teeth, all of which serve a greater purpose than just making your smile look less gummy and more toothy. If and when you lose more of your natural teeth, your dentist has already chosen implant locations that can make up for the loss of your remaining teeth, thereby making the implants' locations doubly important.

For more information, talk with a general dentist or cosmetic dentistry clinic.