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Expert talks about the metal denture trend

Following the cover of ‘Interview Magazine’ with Rihanna, we spoke to Dr. Fernando Soria about metal dentures.

Expert talks about the metal denture trend

A rebellious, wayward and probably sinful nun’ is the character that the Barbados singer embodied for the latest cover of Interview Magazine. The photos, shot by Nadia Lee Cohen, have caused a huge controversy on social networks for ‘parodying a nun’. In this case, we are here to talk about one of the images in which the singer appears in a shirt and tiewith metal teeth from Gabby Elan Jewelry. A fashion very common among rappers like Kanye West and which has now spread to the popular imagination. We talk to Dr. Fernando about “METALLIC DENTURES”.

HIGHXTAR (H) – Is metal teeth a fad?

DR. FERNANDO SORIA (DR) – In the world of Hip Hop it is something common, which later became a trend among its followers, a trend that is also present in other singers. It is a particular trend of a specific group of the population in which they try to modify the appearance of their smile in a sui generis way, with metallic inlays on their own teeth, preserving the integrity of them.

(H) – What differences do you see between Rihanna’s metal teeth on the cover of “Interview Magazine” and Kanye West’s?

(DR) – Both are metal prostheses, custom-designed to fit over the teeth or cemented to the teeth. The metal or alloy used is most likely the same in both. They are usually alloys (a mixture of two or more metals) composed of titanium, platinum and palladium. The difference between one metal prosthesis and the other lies in the design and shape.

By means of CAD-CAM technology (computer-aided design and production) we can design this type of restoration with specific software on the computer with the shape and anatomy of our choice. Subsequently, a metal block composed of the aforementioned metals will be modelled in a milling machine and will reproduce the shape of the metal prosthesis previously designed in the computer.

(H) – Do you think the trend for metal teeth is here to stay?

(DR) – Probably in the Hip Hop world yes. However, for the general public my opinion is that no, I think it will be temporary.In the conception and definition of dental aesthetics, these patterns and new smile designs, of course they don’t fit or are not compatible. It is something very peculiar that attracts the attention of a small group of the population. But even for those people who wear them, wearing this type of smile continuously and for many years will tire or bore them.This is why it will be short-lived, both for the current wearers and the trend itself.

(H) – What do you think is Rihanna’s treatment for wearing these dentures? Can metal dentures be made removable?

The treatment is a metal prosthesis design based on precious metal alloys (titanium, platinum and palladium). It is individually designed for each patient so that it can fit perfectly over each person’s teeth. Just like the bridges or crowns we fit to patients for therapeutic purposes.

The patient can take them off and put them on whenever they wish as they are superimposed on the teeth, simulating or imitating what in Prosthetic Dentistry we call telescopic prostheses, i.e. they are not cemented, they are only maintained by the friction between the inside of the prosthesis and the teeth.

However, there is another method for fixing them to the patient’s teeth in which a cement is used, which in this case should be a provisional cement that only allows the dentist to remove it easily at the moment he/she wishes, but the patient cannot remove it by him/herself.

(H) – What would such a treatment cost?

(DR) – The cost will vary according to the precious metal used (Titanium, Platinum and Palladium), it will also depend on the quality and experience of the technician who makes the prosthetic restoration and finally the dentist who develops and controls the entire clinical process from start to finish. It is common knowledge that the cost of Kanye West’s metal prosthesis was $850,000.

(H) – Is it a healthy treatment and can it cause health side effects?

(DR) – The risk of this type of treatment lies in the fact that it is a foreign body, and therefore carries a risk to dental health, mainly to tooth enamel and gums. The cause of this risk is due to the fact that this type of prosthesis accumulates more bacterial plaque than if it were not in the mouth. Therefore, the patient must be extremely careful with self-care in their oral hygiene, thus avoiding inflammation of the gums and the risk of dental caries.

Another factor to bear in mind is that these metallic prostheses need an insertion axis, for their entry and exit, in order to be placed on the teeth. To achieve this insertion axis, it is necessary to micro-wear the dental enamel, eliminating retentive angles so that the prosthesis can be seated correctly and precisely on the teeth. This wear on the tooth generates an irreversible loss of dental tissue, as dental enamel is a tissue that does not regenerate again.

(H) – Have you ever had a case in your practice asking you about this trend? And for grillz that are less extravagant?

(DR) – Yes, we have cases in our practice requesting this type of treatment. They are mostly young people who want to imitate their idols. The most common are the Grillz. With regard to metal prostheses, we have made very few restorations of this type.

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