Dental Tooth Tattoos, the Latest Extreme Body Art?

Dr Gurs Sehmi
By Dr Gurs Sehmi

Dr Sehmi is one of the most experienced restoratives and enhancing dentists at The Perfect Smile Studios.

Have you run out of space on your skin? Well, maybe its time to consider a tattoo on your teeth!

In fact last week the Daily Mail ran an article which asked if you were bored with body art and noted that tooth tattoos are becoming an emerging trend as people seek to decorate their mouths with images of their favourite things.

With body art gaining more and more popularity, it's now time to push the boundaries, and look at customising your smile - luckily, when it comes to this department, almost anything you can dream of is possible.

Individual tooth tattoos

The simplest way to tattoo your tooth is to have a skilled technician tattoo a crown or a veneer with your tattoo, and you can have this as visible or subtle as you want.

Here is a dental tattoo on the inside of the top teeth.

If you are looking for something a little more obvious, why not have the tattoo on the front of your teeth? You can change the colour of the tooth, the material (I have made a silver veneer once), you can have diamonds and gemstones put into it - just let your imagination run wild.


Teeth Tattoo

How is this possible?

Tattooing a crown is actually fairly simple, most dental crowns and veneers are hand made, by layering on different colours (usually yellows, creams and greys), to achieve a natural-looking tooth. If we know what you want, different colours can be used to build in whatever you can imagine - your favourite football team, your brand of car, or your partner's name - and if any of these change, you can just replace the crown!

Are teeth tattoos safe?

Is it Safe?

If the tooth or teeth are ones you are having corrected, then there is no difference between having a normal crown, and a tattooed crown, the staining is inside the crown, and there is a layer of glass-like glaze over the top to give the teeth a smooth finish.

If you are considering this on healthy teeth, then the tooth may or may not need some adjustment, and this adjustment would be permanent.

If you ever want to have the tattoo removed, then you would need a new crown made, but the final tooth would look like a tooth, unlike skin tattoo removal, where the skin will never return to 100% natural appearance.

Can I have a tooth tattoo without having a crown?

In most cases, yes. For a few years now, dental veneers can be made to incredibly thin proportions meaning little to no tooth needs to be drilled. These veneers are also handmade, so you could have your tattoo on a veneer.

Is there anything non-permanent?

You may have seen people wearing grills on MTV - a grill is a removable covering to your teeth, and they can look as dramatic or subtle as you want. The nice thing here is, there is no drilling, no glueing, no long appointments! 

Changing your smile in such a way will give you a very unique look, and Hollywood uses this technique to emphasise traits of certain characters, here is a grill my lab made for Joe Gilgun for the film Lockout.

Tooth for Joe Gilgun in Lockout Tooth for Joe Gilgun in Lockout

Images courtesy of Ambridge Ceramics.

I couldn’t write an article about dental tattoos without mentioning lip tattoos! Most people I speak to have never seen these, but doing what I do, I've seen a few.

For this kind of thing, you don’t even need to see a dentist, and a quick internet search will show you how creative you can get, but do go to someone with experience of tattooing this area as it's not the same as doing an arm or a leg.

Lip Tattoo

If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together Tattoo removal FAQs just for you. 

If you have more questions, you can use the Tattoo removal questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts. 

If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited Tattoo removal in your area.

Many thanks to the author of this blog Dr Gurs Sehmi who qualified as a Dentist in 2006, from Kings College, London. For the last 5 years, I have exclusively practised cosmetic dentistry, helping my clients to dramatically improve their smiles.”

Smile Design is an art as much as it is a science, and there is no one smile that ‘fits all. 

I pride myself on customising a smile that perfectly suits you, some people have big teeth, some have small teeth, some are more round, others are square.

Your smile is unique to you, and the methods I use to craft your smile will mean that the end result will look excellent and natural.

Thanks to the author

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