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Your Local Dentist Explains Where Gold “Grillz” Came From

September 10, 2017
Grills or “grillz” are popular these days. Made of precious metals like gold and platinum and often studded with diamond, most of these “blingy” smiles are removable and worn over your front teeth. But where do they come from?

There are many songs that may lead people to think that this phenomenon started in the early 2000’s, they’re actually much older than that. Not just a few decades either, we’re talking ancient history. In this week’s blog post, your dentist is going to explore jewelry its impact on dentistry.

Using Dentistry as a Social Status

In Latin America, the Mayans actually cut holes into their teeth and filled them with precious stones, typically jade. This was a trend for only royalty and the wealthy that could afford. The appearance of bedazzled teeth symbolized riches, power, and a higher status within the community.

In the 15th century, gold teeth were found when the Spaniards colonized the Philippines. Gold teeth were used as a social distinction method for the political classes of Southeast Asia. Even today, gold teeth can be found in the mouths of celebrities or people with “status.”

Although the concept of a grill seems harmless—and maybe even cool, they can cause dental issues if they’re not properly cared for. There are two types of grills that can cause dental problems:

  • Removable grills promote tooth decay and encourage bacterial growth along your smile and gum line from having your teeth being covered in this metal case throughout the day.
  • Permanent grills work just as porcelain veneers, masking your natural teeth. But, just as veneers require regular dental work, so do permanent grills! Once you get one, there’s no going back.

Many People Prefer Tooth-Colored Dental Work Today

Although “grillz” can be popular in music and entertainment today, many people prefer tooth-colored dental restorations rather than metal ones for their dental work. Most patients don’t want dark or differentiated spots in their smile when interacting with friends, family, or coworkers.

Dental crowns crafted from high-grade dental materials like ceramic or porcelain can be matched to your permanent teeth. Your dental crown camouflages against your natural smile. In fact, you can even get a dental crown that matches your teeth in one single appointment with CEREC technology!

Why might someone need a dental crown?

Here are some reasons why a dentist may recommend getting a dental crown:

  • Prevents a weakened tooth from fracturing or restores an already fractured tooth.
  • As a tooth replacement when not enough tooth remains.
  • To serve as a cover from a recently performed root canal, dental implant procedure, or discolored tooth.

Some people may prefer a gold dental crown, but there are many who want their dental restorations to blend easily among their natural teeth. The decision is yours!

About Your Doctor

Dr. Wael Elosta had graduated dental school in 2000, making him a great modern dental professional to visit. Although he understands the culture of today and popular practices like jeweled teeth or gold-plated grills, he’s here to keep your teeth healthy. If you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to reach out to our Leesburg office.

(703) 729-181819415 Deerfield Ave #309
Leesburg, VA 20176
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Tuesday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
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