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, a tattoo artist creates tattoos. Well, they do if the tattoo is going to be located anywhere on your skin. Still, the latest in individualistic body decoration is to have a tattoo on your teeth, and their popularity 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 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 is entirely different. First, if you want a tattoo that will only last more than 24 hours, you can buy decals that stick to your tooth’s surface. These might be fine for a one-off event such as a party, but as we said, they last no more than a day.
Regular temporary tooth tattoos 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 the artwork.
This is where we should say that, strictly speaking, we should not call these ‘tooth tattoos’, as they are 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 also has the skills to create the artwork for the tattoo.
Depending on your chosen tattoo design, 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 in food and your saliva. Once the crown has been created, it will be sent to your dentist, who will arrange an appointment for them to be fitted.
For permanent tooth tattoos, the process is entirely different, as this is where a dentist is drilling the artwork directly into your tooth’s enamel. 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, 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 be much higher due to the required time and skills.
You must also understand that permanent tooth tattoos are not easily removed. You simply cannot brush them away; even drilling them away is a long and challenging. For this reason, if you choose a permanent tooth tattoo over a temporary one, ensure you want it for life.