Every industry has its unique elements that bring a bit of fun and flair. In our industry, we are diligent in preparing cosmetic dental lab cases that meet and exceed the needs of the patient. This usually entails becoming our version of an artist in order to build the right crown, implant, bridge or any other type of cosmetic dental work. However, on occasion (somewhat rare) we get to add even more artistry to our work. We get to tattoo teeth.
For hundreds of years, mankind has been finding a way to adorn, mark, and dress as a way of proclaiming individuality, love, loyalty, commitment, unity, and many other reasons. Well in the effort to leave “no stone unturned,” tattooing teeth has been added to the mix.
Believed to have begun in India and Europe, getting tattoos on small areas like an incisor, continues to be a growing trend throughout the world and the United States. The questions remain though, “what exactly is a dental tattoo, and how do I get one?”
What is a Tooth Tattoo (Tatooth)?
First of all, it should be understood that there are two primary types of tooth tattoos – temporary and permanent.
The Temporary Tattoo
A temporary tattoo for your teeth is much like sticker tattoos for your skin. They are images of artwork that are essentially a decal for your tooth. So if you’re not sure about the long-term commitment and permanent tattoo requires, this is a great place to start. Like almost anything nowadays, these decals can be purchased online, and you have a seemingly endless selection to choose from. Most of these temporary tattoos last a day or two. So if you really want to go hog-wild, keep changing them out every 24 hours. Maybe you can even have a lineup of your favorite athletes, musicians, or pets to show off to your friends.
A More Permanent Place
Similar to a traditional skin tattoo, the permanent tooth tattoo is embedded into the tooth enamel. If you aren’t getting any other cosmetic dental work completed then typically a dentist will take up to several hours (depending on the level of detail in the image) and drill the tattoo into the tooth. This can be expensive, and time-consuming, so it is best to be confident in your decision before moving forward.
The other option for a permanent tattoo on a tooth is to have a certified dental lab place one onto a crown or bridge that you may need to have done anyway. This option accomplishes three things:
The added cost for the tattoo onto the crown is usually less than having a dentist drill it on.
Having the tattoo applied in a dental lab means you don’t have to sit in a dental chair all day long.
By having a dental technician carve the tattoo onto a crown, you can lean on the steady hands and expertise that they make their career out of. When it comes to precision artwork on small surface areas, there’s really no other way to do it.
Helping individuals maximize their smile through cosmetic dentistry is what we do, and we love it. Sometimes that means helping them make their own statement about who they want to be or what they represent with the art of a tooth tattoo.