Dentists are rightly “on the warpath over the application of tooth jewellery” and the provision of grills (spelled “grillz” in hip-hop culture) by “studio technicians” and other unqualified providers (From £35 crystals to £30,000 diamonds: the jaw-dropping rise of tooth jewellery, 5 March).

Apart from being the illegal practice of dentistry, as confirmed by the General Dental Council, the application of gems and trinkets and the provision of grills, let alone DIY tooth adornments and online (remote) provision of grills, may have many unintended consequences, including accidental inhalation, permanent damage to teeth and gums and, in the case of grills, disruption of the occlusion (the way the teeth meet and articulate), as we reported this year in the journal Dental Update.

As we concluded in our article, if an individual is determined to have tooth jewellery or grills, it would be in their best interest if a dentist provided them. The fees would be a small price to pay to avoid irreparable damage that may be costly to manage both immediately and subsequently through life.
Nairn Wilson
President emeritus, College of General Dentistry; emeritus professor of dentistry, King’s College London
Sugan Shegar
Senior house officer, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust

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