Cosmetic Dentistry For Athletes: Which Procedures Are Most Reliable For You?

Cosmetic dental work is something that most people dream about having done. If you are an athlete involved in contact sports such as football, hockey, and soccer, some dental work may be better for you than others. Continue reading to see which cosmetic procedures are likely to hold up under the rigors of your sport and which ought to be avoided.

Reliable Cosmetic Procedures for Athletes

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, there are a lot of options for restoring teeth. As an athlete, however, you need to make sure that the procedures you do are safe and reliable. These are some procedures that hold up well under the strain of contact sports:

  • Teeth Whitening: Since teeth whitening is non-invasive and doesn't leave any materials on your teeth, it is a safe cosmetic procedure to improve your appearance. In-office whitening is a better option for athletes than at-home whitening because there is less likelihood of teeth becoming sensitive or weak with the professional procedure.
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants have high success rates. The added strength of the false root makes implants one of the most durable types of false teeth.
  • Porcelain Crowns: Porcelain crowns are a good option for back teeth that have cracked or chipped because of your sport. They completely cover existing teeth, which makes it less likely that you will re-injure that tooth.
  • Bonding for Chips and Cracks: Bonding is the strongest material used to repair chipped and cracked teeth. However, you might need to touch up your bonded teeth if you play a lot of contact sports, because it can break when stressed.

Cosmetic Procedures Athletes Should Avoid

Competitive athletes are used to jumping into situations and giving their full effort to a cause. Instead of taking a big dive, however, you should proceed with caution when considering which cosmetic work is right for you. If you play sports more as a hobby, these procedures are probably safe, but if sports is your profession, you should probably avoid getting:

  • Porcelain Veneers: While porcelain veneers are quite strong, there is always the risk that the material will chip or break off when enough force is applied. Another concern for athletes is that you have to drill away part of the existing tooth to get them placed. This could weaken already damaged teeth to the point that veneers fail.
  • Bonding for Gaps: Dental bonding is also used to fill in gaps between teeth. However, if your bonded teeth are impacted, you risk losing the bonded material and putting extra strain on the teeth touching it. If the bonding breaks, it could chip existing teeth.
  • Removable Bridges: Removable – or temporary – bridges shouldn't be worn while you play your sport. They can easily become dislodged during play and cause a choking hazard. They can also get damaged and need replacement if you participate in your sport while wearing them. The only time to get removable bridges is if you take them out during both practice and games.
  • Permanent Bridges: Permanent bridges also pose a concern for athletes playing contact sports. They rely on surrounding teeth to maintain their strength and support. If you knock adjacent teeth loose, not only do you have to treat those teeth, but the bridge is compromised as well.

Participating in contact sports doesn't automatically disqualify you from any cosmetic dental work. However, you should always consult your dentist to see which procedures will be more beneficial to you as a competitive athlete. Some procedures are more reliable under pressure than others. To further protect teeth – both natural and those that have had work – always wear a sports mouthguard when playing to provide one more protective barrier for your teeth. For more information, contact a local cosmetic dentistry clinic.