Practicing any form of martial art, from taekwondo to sambo to kendo, is a great way to keep fit and active while also learning valuable self-defense techniques. However, even the most sedate Saturday afternoon martial arts class will involve a few kicks and punches flying at your face, and this can make maintaining a perfect, Hollywood-ready smile somewhat challenging. Your cosmetic dentist can often repair damaged teeth using dental veneers, but be warned: not all dental veneers are suitable for keen martial artists.

What are dental veneers?

Veneers are essentially hollow shells of protective material designed to closely imitate the look of natural teeth that are bonded to the fronts of your damaged and/or discolored teeth to both reinforce their strength and restore their look. While they cannot restore a damaged tooth to the same extent as a crown or bridge, they are much less expensive, they are faster to fit, and they can be fitted to teeth without removing healthy enamel.

Traditionally, dental veneers were always made from porcelain, and this versatile ceramic is still used for most dental veneers today. It can be used to create extremely convincing veneers that are practically indistinguishable from real, healthy teeth. Unfortunately, while porcelain veneers are durable, they are rather brittle and vulnerable to sudden, heavy impacts—as you can imagine, this puts them at considerable risk during a martial arts sparring or grappling session.

Fortunately, you don't have to choose between continuing martial arts and having a healthy-looking smile. Composite veneers are an excellent alternative to conventional porcelain veneers and are particularly well suited to martial artists.

Why should martial artists choose composite dental veneers?

Composite dental veneers are made from a tough plastic resin very similar to the material used to create tooth-colored fillings. While composite resin is not quite as convincing as porcelain when it comes to replicating the look of tooth enamel, composite veneers are still virtually impossible to detect under normal lighting conditions.

Crucially for martial arts practitioners, composite dental veneers are considerably less brittle than porcelain veneers and significantly better at withstanding hard physical impacts without chipping, cracking, or shattering. This makes them an excellent alternative to porcelain veneers for martial artists, as well as keen practitioners of other combat and contact sports, such as boxers and rugby players.

Composite dental veneers also have other advantages over traditional porcelain veneers. They are much easier to create and can be fitted much more easily; while porcelain veneers often take several weeks to prepare and fit, composite veneers can often be crafted and fitted in a single session. They are also considerably cheaper than porcelain veneers, which is ideal if you want to repair your smile but don't have a huge budget.

For more information, talk to your cosmetic dentist today.