The trend for dental tattoos or “tatteeth”, as they are commonly becoming known, is following on from the jewellery fashion for giving your teeth a little more sparkle.

It seems more and more customers are requesting this unusual form of body art when they are visiting the dentist.

The most popular designs include cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Homer Simpson, as well as band images like The Rolling Stones and iconic brands such as Harley Davidson. Floral designs are also popular and there was even an increase in football related images during the World Cup. One individual even immortalised their family pet by having a portrait of their dog added to their dental crown.

Previously these dental tattoos were only available to patients who were undergoing serious dental repair work involving crowns. This is because the design is added to a man made crown. This is created from an impression of the tooth and the decoration is glazed onto the crown itself rather than directly on to the natural tooth. This meant it was interchangeable and a reversible procedure by simply replacing the crown with a plain one.

Doesn't damage the tooth

However it seems demand has dramatically increased enough for a new method to be created. This has developed into producing caps which fit over the top of the natural tooth and are fixed with dental cement onto the tooth. This then showcases the design without damaging the natural tooth’s surface and can be removed easily by a dentist. They can last up four to five years with proper care and maintenance.

This is not an entirely new phenomena as the first decorated crown was fitted in the US over 20 years ago. This was by a patient who wanted an image of a Corvette added to their new crown when they were having dental work done at a surgery that specialised in customisations.

It seems that individuals are seeking out even more unusual body modifications, piercings and forms of tattooing to make themselves stand out from the crowd.