Almost one in three Americans has a tattoo, according to the Harris Poll in 2015. What once made someone seem unique and possibly a little extreme is now commonplace. What’s an artistic, self-actualized Millennial to do to stand out nowadays? Perhaps consider a crown tattoo.
Companies such as Oral Arts in Alabama and Tennessee advertise the ability to add various custom designs to all-ceramic and PFM crowns and bridges. They encourage any design that can be made small enough to fit on a restoration. Suburban Dental Lab in Connecticut prides itself on being an early adopter. According to an October 2014 article on DentistryIQ, they’ve been adding decorations to their indirect restorations since the 1950s, when they began embellishing with white images on their popular gold crowns. As demand for ceramic restorations grew, they shifted to porcelain glaze images instead.
It’s not just young people who have jumped on this trend bandwagon. Suburban Dental Lab explains that most of their clients are middle-aged and request designs with children’s names or sports teams. Their most popular request, in fact, is for dogs. Their ceramists paint each design by hand in layers added to the porcelain before firing to set the image.
I myself encountered one of these ceramic crown tattoos just recently in Logan Square in Chicago. After striking up a conversation with a young woman next to me, it came out that I’m a dental student. She got really excited and explained that she’d just gotten a heart tattooed into her new crown. Even though she normally hates going to the dentist, her new dentist had won her over with this fun bit of flair. She even let me snap the above picture as another chance to show it off.
Remember, a tattoo is permanent! Oral Arts boasts that these designs will not wear off over time (unless the whole crown comes off). It will add one more day to the lab processing time, however. Once you’re sure you really want one, that gives you one more day to figure out how to explain your latest tattoo to your poor grandma.
~ Rachel Bush, Las Vegas ’18, electronic editor