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The Concept of Tooth Tattoos / Art on Teeth
The art of tooth tattooing is as ancient as time itself. The variations however sometimes have us in awe. Tooth tattoos are no new fad but most people have never heard of them. This artistic embellishing of teeth is intrinsic, creative, and painless. Tattoos can be as simple or as complex as the client want, though the more complex the design, the harder it is to appreciate it. Colored, simpler designs are easier to see and appreciate. Tattooing a tooth is similar to repairing a chipped tooth and can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the design to be applied.
By definition, a tattoo is the art of piercing the skin and introducing ink beneath the skin to make a permanent pattern or design. Tattoos in some cultures and countries are taboo while in some they are proofs of your wealth, social standing, and occupation. In many Christian groups, for example, tattoos are frowned upon as it seen as defiling the temple of God. Tooth tattoos may not even qualify as tattoos as there is no impaling of any skin. These tattoos are on the crown of the tooth and can be removed easily and quickly by a dentist without replacing the tooth.
Some tattoos are painted on to the tooth with a porcelain glaze. The client visits the dentist who makes an impression made of his/her teeth. This impression is then sent to the artist who covers it with porcelain glaze, paints the artwork on it, and then glazes it the way one would glaze a ceramic pot in a fire. After polishing it, it is sent back to the dentist who will cement it in place.
Tooth tattoos can also be carved onto the tooth. A mold is made of the tooth and sent to the artist along with the client's design or request. The artist carves the design into the crown of the tooth and adds color, which is then baked on to the tooth. The embellished tooth is then sent back to the dentist who will be cemented in place.
Taking care of a tooth tattoo is no different from caring for your natural teeth. It can be cleaned with the same toothpaste and dental product. It is important to have tattooing done by a professional as plaque can build up around the tattoo and cause tooth decay.