Remember seeing Kanye West's diamond teeth on "Ellen?" Well, diamond teeth have started to become a trend among celebrities and non-celebs alike. Unlike traditional dental "grills" that are placed over the teeth, these new diamond-encrusted "teeth" are actually permanent dental implants.
Safety of Diamond Implants
HIPAA privacy rules prevent Kanye's dentist from revealing the actual dental procedure he underwent, but it's likely his front teeth were surgically removed and replaced with titanium dental implants before diamond-encrusted crowns were attached to them. Alternatively, his natural teeth could have been trimmed down and used to support a diamond-encrusted dental bridge. Either procedure leaves many people wondering how safe it is to wear diamond teeth.
Opinions about the long-term safety of diamond implants are mixed within the dental community. Some say that diamonds in your mouth can cause all sorts of negative side effects down the road because diamonds are so much heavier for the jaw than natural teeth or traditional dental implants. In addition, naysayers believe that diamonds can wear down your other teeth much faster.
On the other hand, some dental professionals say the medical risks involved with diamond implants are minimal. They believe there is very little harm in using diamonds (and gold) for restorative dentistry. Actually, some say these materials are actually better than materials traditionally used in dental restoration.
Benefits of Diamonds in Dentistry
In 2013, the Daily Mail reported that scientists believe diamonds are beneficial for dental patients. In the future, diamond-encrusted teeth could become more mainstream than they are today because diamonds help improve a patient's overall oral health and combat dental disease. Scientists have also discovered that nanodiamonds, the miniscule by-products of conventional diamond mining, can be used to prevent bone loss and improve the durability of dental implants.
Nanodiamonds can prevent bone loss that sometimes occurs next to traditional dental implants, causing them to become loose and painful. These tiny diamonds may also be used to treat osteonecrosis, a debilitating disease that deteriorates the jawbone and interferes with eating and speaking. Osteonecrosis causes bones to break down due to reduced blood flow, but nanodiamonds are known to promote bone growth by delivering proteins to the affected bones.
Researchers continue to study the effects of using diamonds and nanodiamonds in dentistry. For now, diamond implants are too cost-prohibitive for most people. However, some believe that diamonds and nanodiamonds could become the future of restorative dentistry.
If this is a topic that intrigues you, talk to your local dentist, such as Woodland Family Dental, to get further informed.