The “New Bling” For Your Smile -- Better Than Grills

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One of the popular trends with many hip-hop and R&B artists is to get a snap-on “grill” for their teeth. Typically, grills are fabricated in flea markets or more black market locations other than a dentists’ office. Not necessarily inexpensive, they are usually made of gold or even platinum, and can be plain or perhaps encrusted with diamonds or other gems worth tens of thousands of dollars. There are also more permanent versions of grills using gold jackets with embedded jewels, or even initials or words, including everything from gang affiliations to even cell phone numbers, etched or inlaid onto the facing of a tooth’s metal jacket.

It is not new that through the years and in different cultures, people have expressed their sense of style through flashy dental jewelry. In fact, there was a time when gold was dentists’ first material of choice in many cases for restoring teeth that were broken or needed repair. As gold has been a precious material for jewelry and considered a symbol of wealth through the ages, gold teeth also came to be viewed as a symbol of success on the street, particularly in the poorer areas of the South.

As the hip-hop community has adopted dental grills as the cool new “bling,” many have experienced the fact that wearing these metal attachments can cause permanent damage to the wearer’s smile. It is common to experience everything from poor fit, bite problems, to irritated gums and decay underneath the crowns or “grill” contributing to bone loss and periodontal disease.

In Atlanta, a major hot bed of southern rap and hip hop, the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry is starting to see a new trend emerge… a “new bling,” says Dr. Richard Creasman. A number of wearers are realizing the disadvantages to grills and turning to a more natural-appearing alternative – a beautiful white smile.

“We are now helping large a number of R&B artists and rappers that have come to have these same grills removed and replaced with beautiful new porcelain veneers,” says Dr. Creasman.

Success has provided motivations other than oral health for replacement of the grills with as well. A number of these music artists are trying to expand into movies and films and finding that a more natural looking beautiful smile plays better on the big screen, on videos, and is what the broader entertainment market wants to see.

About the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry: The Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry is routinely consulted by media such as Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, CBS Morning Show, Fox News Channel, Vogue, and The Wall Street Journal, for trends in cosmetic dentistry and innovations in making the dental experience a pleasant and pampering one. For more information please visit

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