Gold and teeth probably seem like a very unlikely pairing, but gold has been used in dentistry for thousands of years. Gold has several qualities that make it suitable for use in dental work. Its inertness and malleability being the most critical. The oldest discovery of gold in dental use was found in Tuscany where the teeth were drilled and filled with gold. The next big shift in gold use in dentistry was as crowns. The softness of gold ensured it would not damage other teeth during chewing or speaking. In recent history, gold is now used to make grills serving as a status symbol. With this, gold is now being used in dentistry as decoration much more than restoration work.
As with all trends, its popularity ebbs and flows through the years. In the 1980s, Raheem the Dream and Kilo Ali popularized grills in Atlanta. Not long after, Eddie Plein, owner of Eddie’s Gold Teeth located in New York kickstarted the trend there. Eddie has made grills for many celebrities such as Flavor Flav, Lil Jon, Ludacris, and many more. Nowadays, gold grills have expanded in popularity and design. There are companies that can send you mold kits in the mail as well as jewelry stores that offer gold teeth in most major cities. Gold teeth don’t even have to be just gold now. For pops of color, enamel of any color can be added to grills. For those with more expensive tastes, diamonds or other gemstones can be added to the teeth.
There are two main ways to manufacture gold teeth, grills, or grillz. One important factor to consider when you’re purchasing a grill is the quality of the gold. The minimum gold karat you should even think of putting in your mouth is 10k and it should be stamped with whatever karat it’s made of. Wearing grills that are either less pure or unmarked is putting your oral health at great risk. The first and earlier method involved reshaping the individual teeth so they would socket into the grill but this used up much more time and labor than most people are comfortable with. Nowadays, gold grills are fitted to a custom dental mold and are much easier to put in and take out. The molding process is very simple, you just bite into a dental mold filled with alginate impression material and hold for a couple minutes. Once the impression is set, dye stone is poured into the impression to produce an exact mold of your teeth. The mold is then sent to a manufacturer where they’ll shape a sheet of wax over the teeth and add in whatever design elements were requested. After that, the wax model is sent through the same casting and finishing process as any other piece of custom jewelry. The finished gold teeth are sent back to us where you can come pick them up and get a final fitting done. Usually the teeth snap right in but occasionally the jostling around in shipping or force applied during polishing may change the fit but it’s nothing a few minutes of tweaking can’t fix.