You may have noticed the latest trend in body art; tooth jewellery. No longer content with a dazzling Hollywood smile, people are now seeking to enhance their look even further with the addition of a sparkling gemstone. If you're considering blinging-up your pearly-whites, here's what you need to know before taking the plunge. 

Safety first

The first thing to note is that the procedure is absolutely safe when carried out by a qualified, experienced dentist. No drilling is required to attach the stone to your tooth, so the enamel won't be damaged, and there's no danger of your tooth becoming fractured.

The stones can do you no harm if you accidentally swallow one. The tiny crystals used are non-toxic, and would simply pass through your system with your food before exiting your body in the usual way.

The procedure used to affix the stones is quick and painless, although if you have sensitive teeth, you may experience a small amount of discomfort during the preparation stage. If you're concerned about this, ask your dentist for advice beforehand.

Choose your bling

Tooth gems come in a wide variety of colours. You can choose from inexpensive glass crystals that are mounted on a thin film of aluminium, to real diamonds and precious stones. The 'fake' versions are available in different shapes; hearts, diamonds, teardrops or squares, to name a few. 

If you prefer something a little more subtle, you could go for a solid gold or silver stud. The stones are long-lasting, although you can have them removed and changed if you wish.

The procedure

Your dentist will begin by cleaning and polishing your teeth. The tooth you've chosen for the jewel is then dried and etched to provide a good area for bonding. The tooth is then thoroughly rinsed with water and blown dry.

The dentist will then apply a bonding agent. A small amount of dental composite is applied on top of the bonding agent that's then quickly 'cured' using an air blower.

The jewel is then pressed into the centre of the composite mounting until it is in contact with the tooth enamel and completely encircled by composite. Your dentist will show you the jewel in a mirror so that you can check its positioning. Then, a light-curing lamp is then used to set the composite firmly. 

Finally, your dentist will treat the tooth enamel around the jewel setting with a topical product to remineralise the etched area.

Care and maintenance

Tooth jewellery does not require any specific maintenance or cleaning. Just make sure that you clean your teeth thoroughly twice every day. Check the bonding around the outside of the jewel to make sure that it's not becoming a harbour for plaque, and use a good-quality mouthwash once daily.

Avoid eating extremely sticky foods that could dislodge the jewel.

Tooth jewellery is a safe, fun way to give your smile an extra bit of sparkle without damaging your teeth. Always use a qualified, experienced dentist to carry out the jewel attachment procedure. Learn more about your options by contacting clinics like The Happy Tooth Muswellbrook.