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Give your teeth some bling!
Basic jewellery for your teeth involves sticking small ‘gems’ onto the surface of each tooth. They are stuck onto the teeth using a dental cement, though a dentist can easily remove them if necessary. Dental grills, on the other hand, are generally made from either silver, gold or platinum and can be customised and even encrusted with expensive precious stones and jewels. This ‘bling’ tooth jewellery is one of the latest fashion accessories for teeth.
“I wanted something a little different,” said one 18 year old woman, “so I decided to have a small diamond fitted onto one tooth. I went to a dentist that advertised the service as I knew he would have the skills and knowledge needed to apply the jewellery safely. It didn’t take long for him to bond the diamond onto my tooth – and now my smile has an extra sparkle!”
Decorating the teeth to convey status and beauty is not a new phenomenon. The ancient Etruscans (pre-Roman Italians) in the 2nd century developed dental prosthetics using gold crowns and fixed bridgework. More recently, in the mid-1980s, a cosmetic dentist called Eddie Plein made gold crowns for rapper Flava Flav from the rap group Public Enemy. Following that he began to design bespoke grills for the rap community.
Those early grills could not be removed easily and involved some reshaping of the tooth. Nowadays they are made using dental moulds for a perfect, comfortable fit. Cheaper, novelty grills can be made after a simple bite into dental putty. These are usually less comfortable than grills that are professionally fitted. Your individual suitability for having dental jewellery fitted to your teeth can be discussed during a consultation with a cosmetic dentist.
Having your dental jewellery fitted
Cosmetic dental jewellery, in the form of fashionable grills, is usually custom-made to fit your teeth. Therefore, the first stage in the process requires the dentist to take an impression of your teeth using dental putty. This mould will then be used to create a plaster model of your teeth which will act as a guide upon which the grills will be fabricated to fit the teeth precisely. Most grills are designed to allow the wearer to be able to clip them on and off.
Although there are no reported long-term risks associated with wearing grills, it is important to have them fitted by a professional dentist and not to wear them all the time. They certainly should be removed before sleeping and eating, and you should clean them on a regular basis as well as maintaining the regular daily cleaning of your teeth. Wearing decorative grills over prolonged periods of time will cause food and debris to get trapped which will lead to bacteria causing bad breath and eventually tooth decay and gum disease.
If grills are not fitted by a suitable qualified dentist, they may rub and wear off the tooth enamel and even cause gradual movement of the teeth. You will be more likely to suffer from irritation of the teeth and gums if you opt for the cheaper, non-precious base metal variety of grills. This is typically due to a combination of metal allergies and a poor fitting. In some cases, poor fitting grills can even lead to chipped or broken teeth.
As one aspiring rap star put it, “I wanted the real deal. Full-on bling grills for my teeth, but I was determined to do it properly. So I found a cosmetic dentist that was an expert in dental jewellery and he gave me amazing grills that fit like a glove.” It is advisable to follow the advice of your dentist after having any dental jewellery fitted. This will make the outcome as successful as possible and reduce the risk of complications.
Who should fit your dental jewellery?
Some basic, individual tooth jewellery can simply be cemented into place by the user. However, it is always advisable to visit a dentist if you are considering having any decorative dental work carried out as they are fully qualified to assess your oral health and suitability. This is especially so with grills which can be uncomfortable and harmful if not professionally fitted. The cost of your dental jewellery will depend predominantly on what kind of decoration you choose, with prices ranging from around £50 for a basic gem to many thousands of pounds for the kind of bling worn by some of the more glitzy rappers.
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