If you thought extreme tattooing could not get any crazier, prepare yourself to think again.
Do you want to show the world how much you love your partner or significant other? Get their initials on your incisors! This is the latest craze and trend in tattooing for the hardcore or for those who ran out of skin real estate.
Tattooing teeth is not exactly similar to tattooing skin. The actual tattoos are not applied to the natural tooth structure. These tattoos are actually applied either to porcelain veneers or crowns which later bonded to the teeth.
The process of teeth tattoos
Your first appointment
The process of tattooing teeth starts with the application of local anesthetics to the tooth you desire to upgrade. Similar to getting fillings, the tooth will require numbing. Once the numbing has taken effect, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing the required amount of tooth to attach the veneer- structurally similar to either a dental veneer or a crown. Once the preparation is complete a putty impression is taken.
This putty impression is sent to the dental lab where the lab technician pours stone into the impression to create a stone model that mimics your tooth preparation. The magic begins when the stone model of your teeth sets to the desired hardness; this is where the artistic creation of your tooth tattoo begins. The lab technician will either apply the porcelain through layering techniques or press techniques adding the desired art selected by you.
Some people may choose to have the logo of your favorite NFL or NBA team. Others may choose to have particular initials or religious signs. Whatever you choose as your tooth art, keep in mind that it will be permanent and it is not covered by your dental insurance.
At the end of your first appointment, the dentist will place a temporary veneer or crown to cover your tooth until the final veneer or crown fabrication is completed by the dental lab.
Your Second appointment
Generally it takes 2-3 weeks for the lab technician to complete the final veneer or crown. At the beginning of your second appointment, the dentist numbs your tooth once again followed by the removal of the temporary veneer or crown. The final veneer or crown is then placed on the tooth, when the bite and the fit is adequate and once you approve the look and feel of the tooth, the dentist will then cement it in permanently.
Pros and Cons of teeth Tattoos
Teeth tattoos can give you the ability to express yourself in a unique way different than the conventional tattoos
Unnecessary removal of tooth structure
Weakening of the tooth and compromising longevity
Risk of damaging the nerve
The tooth may require a root canal after such procedure
Cost: Teeth tattoos cost between $800-$1200 per tooth
Removal and replacement of tattooed restorations can be expensive
The fact is teeth tattoos can be more damaging than skin tattoos. Once tooth structure has been removed, it is gone forever. I am a dentist in a private practice and I have dedicated myself to giving my patients the best treatment possible. I choose not to perform these types of restorations.
Not because I dislike tattoos.
The mere fact that I may risk losing a tooth unnecessarily for one of my patients is just unacceptable to me.