Lancaster Dental

Healthy Smiles for the Whole Family

What Exactly Is a Tooth Piercing?

You’ve probably heard about ear, body, and even oral piercings. But what about a tooth piercing? This trend involves placing a gem, stone, or other types of jewelry right onto a tooth in your mouth.

While the procedure can add some sparkle to your smile, it doesn’t come without risks.

Read on to learn how tooth piercing is performed and the potential complications.

What is a tooth piercing?

With tooth piercing, a hole isn’t drilled through your tooth. Instead, the jewelry is carefully attached to the tooth’s surface.

Gems are available in all different shapes and sizes. Some popular choices include:

  • diamonds
  • sapphires
  • rubies
  • crystals

Tooth piercings are usually done on a tooth in the front of your mouth, away from the gum area.

According to Bang Bang Body Arts in Massachusetts, a temporary tooth piercing can last up to 6 weeks. If you opt for a semi-permanent tooth piercing, you can leave it on as long as you like.

What’s the procedure like?

The tooth piercing procedure is fairly straightforward. You shouldn’t experience any pain before or after the jewel is placed.

  • Tooth prep. Before the procedure, your tooth enamel will be cleaned and prepped. An acid etch will be used to clean your tooth.
  • Composite application. A bonding agent and a composite (a resin material made for teeth) will then be applied to the area where your jewelry will be placed.
  • Jewelry placement. Next, a piercing expert or dentist will use instruments to secure the jewelry into the composite.
  • Setting. A special lamp cures (hardens) the composite. It only takes about 20 to 60 seconds or so for the jewel to set into the composite.
  • Aftercare. You should avoid brushing your teeth vigorously and eating spicy or sticky foods. It’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene after a tooth piercing. Also, try not to touch or play with the jewelry once it’s placed.

Typically, drilling isn’t needed to place a tooth piercing, though some people may have their teeth drilled by a professional.

Tooth rings are placed by drilling a hole through the tooth to secure the ring. This is not recommended due to irreversible damage to your tooth.

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Who performs the procedure?

You can get tooth piercings at a dental office or piercing parlor.

As with any type of piercing, look for a trained professional who works in a clean, sterile establishment. Some dentists even perform the procedure.

To remove a tooth gem, you can wait until it naturally falls off or visit a dentist to remove it.

Are there any complications to be aware of?

One of the biggest concerns with a tooth piercing is that the jewelry can potentially break from the tooth and be swallowed or aspirated.

Other potential risksTrusted Source and complications include:

  • tooth sensitivity
  • allergic reaction
  • chipped or damaged adjacent teeth
  • enamel wear or abrasion
  • gum inflammation or recession around the jewelry
  • damage to your lips if the jewelry rubs against them
  • tooth decay due to impaired brushing
  • a bad smell in the mouth
  • mouth infection

Additionally, the process of prepping and conditioning the tooth for a piercing can often permanently change the tooth’s surface.

There’s limited research on the safety of long-term wear of tooth jewelry and piercings. Not all dentists will provide this service.

Why get a tooth piercing?

There are many reasons people opt to have a tooth piercing. For one, it’s a popular fashion statement.

A piercing — is placed in the right spot — might also hide a tooth discoloration or a stained area.

It can also shift attention away from irregular teeth in your mouth and is sometimes used to fill in small gaps between teeth.

Many people also like that tooth piercing can be a temporary, minimally invasive, and painless procedure.

Key takeaways

Tooth piercing is a hot trend that involves placing jewelry on your teeth.

It’s done by embedding a jewel into a composite applied to the surface of your tooth. It’s a temporary procedure that doesn’t pose as many risks as other oral piercing techniques.

Still, tooth jewelry can lead to complications.

It’s recommended that only people with a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene habits should consider the procedure.

It’s important to have dental check-ups every 6 months to make sure the jewelry is not damaging your teeth or gums.

If you choose to get a tooth piercing, make sure you find a credible and experienced professional to perform the procedure.