When you think of getting body art, typically a visit to your dentist doesn't pop into mind. Well now, there is a trend known as tooth tattooing, tooth art or grills.
The body part may be a little different, and so is the amount of pain, but the thought behind getting your teeth inked is the same idea.
No one likes to hear they may need dental work, including getting a new crown. But, for Tim Miller the idea became a little easier to swallow when he was told about all the options available.
"I thought about tattoos in the past but let's face it, everyone has a tattoo and it's no longer cool or unique. So that's why I went ahead and got the tooth," said Miller.
Miller says the dentist told them they can actually put an image on the cap and then showed him his tooth with the name of his child on it. A patient put a picture of his pug right inside his pucker.
If you can think of it, chances are the folks at Suburban Dental Laboratory in Bloomfield can make it. Owner Steven Canter said they made their first tooth tattoo almost 20 years ago.
"This is the first one I believe in 1995 from someone who was into corvettes," said Canter showing a tooth tattoo.
As for Miller, he went for something greener, a shamrock in honor of his wife's Irish heritage.
"I've gotten the 'you have lettuce in your teeth' comment or 'did you just have spinach,'" Miller said. "No, it's my shamrock."
Now you can't just decide you want a tooth tattoo. You have to legitimately need a crown. Then impressions are taken and the mold from your teeth go straight to the lab
"In order for a crown to be made it has to be fired in an oven to 212 degrees, so you will never see a tattoo on a real tooth," said Jennifer Churchill, who is a dental hygienist.
For about an extra $100, you now have tooth art.
"Over the years I've done grateful dead, a bolt, Harley Davidson emblem, initials and you saw the shamrock," said dentist Steven Landman.
Landman started doing tooth tattoos in his Ellington office ten years ago and even got his own tooth art.
"I had my daughter draw a picture of her and her two brothers, that picture there," Landman said pointing to the picture. "I gave it to the lab and the lab duplicated it."
A tooth tattoo crown does not damage your teeth and can be left in place for years, like the more traditional porcelain crowns.
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