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Tattoos for your teeth, a new trend in dentistry

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - It would seem as though people are running out of places to tattoo themselves. Tattooing is now showing up in the dental world.

We've seen the body tattoos, and we've heard of grillz for your mouth, now dental trend a combining the two tattooing teeth with some call it a 'tatooth.'

"You know it's a conversation piece," said Scott Atkin.
    
Scott Atkin, the President and CEO of Creative Dental Laboratory in Scottsdale, says his lab has been tattooing teeth for years.
    
"You start talking then, "oh you have a beautiful smile", oh yeah, well you want to see this," said Atkin.
    
Using a high heat color, ceramic, technicians draw the image or tattoo the tooth by hand. "It's miniature artwork; we do all the artwork under microscopes with the heads of needles," he said.
    
Tattoos can only be put on crowns or bridges, not real teeth.
    
"They will fire in the oven like this which bonds the ceramic to whatever surface we're applying it to," said Atkin.
    
Atkin says his lab has tattooed everything from a cardinal to a smiley face onto teeth.
    
"The smiley face right smack dab in the middle of their front tooth," he said.
    
Atkin says teeth tattoos can range from an extra 100 dollars for a smiley face to 1,000 dollars for a dragon design. Prices go higher depending on the complexity of the design that can span multiple teeth.
    
"Like in the posterior region here from the molar we've done a wagon train with horses, we've done an elephant grabbing another elephants tail, we've done frogs , we've done all kinds of things like that," he said.
    
A ceramist with Oak Tree Dental Lab and Artistic Dental Ceramics in Columbus, Ohio shared photos of her work. She's been tattooing teeth for 15 years.

"I just did one on my sister in law it was the logo for her company, so she loves it," he said.

FOX 10 asked him whether the designs were removable. "Is it removable? Absolutely, you can take a diamond or rubber wheel and grind of that portion of the half you don't like repolish it, and it's all salvageable," he said.

Atkin says teeth tattoos are most popular among 20 to 30 year-olds, but he says they're for all ages.

"I actually have way in the back I have a gold cowboy hat... And I look at it when i'm brushing my teeth, so you know look it's my little bit of being a cowboy," said Atkin.

Atkin says teeth tattoos are not new, but he feels they're growing in popularity. He's done a couple hundred a year.

"That's the first thing you see in most people is their smile," said Atkin.

And after all, a good smile can make a great first impression or at least a lasting one.
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