If we told you that the next time you want a tattoo you should go and see your dentist, you might think we have gone mad. After all, it is a tattoo artist who creates tattoos, isn’t it? Well, they do if the tattoo is going to be located anywhere on your skin, but according to a Yokine dentist the latest in individualistic body decoration is to have a tattoo on your teeth, and the popularity of them is growing exponentially.
Let us say from the outset that the dental procedure for having a tooth tattoo is not the same as you will go through if you want your children’s names on each arm or your favourite rock group emblazoned across your back. In this respect, it is not the tattoo parlour that you need to make an appointment for, it is your dentist or at least a dentist who offers tooth tattoos as one of their services.
Tooth tattoos can be either temporary or permanent, and here again, the process for each of them is entirely different from the other. First, if you want a tattoo that is only going to last more than 24 hours, you can buy decals that you stick to the surface of your tooth. These might be fine for a one-off event such as a party, but as we said they last no more than a day.
Normal temporary tooth tattoos are those that last for up to 3 months, and the fact that they are not permanent makes them highly popular as those who have them know they can change whatever the artwork is.
This is where we should say that strictly speaking, we should not really call these, ‘tooth tattoos’, as they are actually created on crowns or veneers. Your dentist will first take an impression of your teeth, and then send that to a dental lab, that not only manufactures the crown, but which also has the skills to create the artwork for the tattoo.
Depending on the design of tattoo you have chosen, the dental lab will add the tattoo to the crown and seal it there using a special dental sealant. This sealant will also protect the tattoo from the acids which occur in food, and from your saliva also. Once the crown has been created, it will be sent to your dentist, who will then arrange an appointment for them to be fitted.
For permanent tooth tattoos, the process is completely different, as this is where a dentist is actually drilling the artwork directly into the enamel of your tooth. The process can be lengthy, and often lasts several hours, especially if the design is an intricate one.
As you will appreciate the skills a dentist needs to do this kind of artistry will not exist in every dental practice, so you may have to go out of town to find a dentist who offers this kind of permanent tattoo service. Another factor to consider is that the cost of permanent tattoos will also be much higher due to the time and the skills required.
It is also important that you understand that permanent tooth tattoos are not easily removed if at all. You simply cannot brush them away, and even drilling them away is a long and difficult process. For this reason, if you choose a permanent tooth tattoo over a temporary one, make sure you are certain you want it for life.