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News / March 13, 2008

Making a mark with a tooth tattoo

by Guy Hiscott

A US dental technician is blazing a trail as one of the world’s first tooth tattooist.

Steve Heward is also a trained tattooist and hand paints minute works of art onto crowns.

His company, Heward Dental Lab, based in Utah, US, has been established for 20 years and his team of technicians are trained to be artists first, and taught to construct crowns afterwards.

Steve says: ‘I don’t know of any other dental technicians that can do what we do.

‘I’ve been tattooing teeth since the early 1980s and depending on the complexity, it can take from five minutes to and hour or more. But I usually spend a half hour.’

He says US dentists ‘love them and are amazed’.

Prices for the permanent tiny tooth etchings range from $75.00 up to $200.00 for more complicated designs which include anything from Mickey Mouse, Elvis and Abraham Lincoln to eagles, bowling balls and spiders.

‘After people see my website and ask the dentist to have artwork put on their teeth, the dentist usually contacts his lab and asks them to do the artwork.

‘When the lab is asked to do something complicated, like what might be seen on my website, that’s when they contact me to do it for them,’ he adds.

‘I also get inquiries from labs asking if there is a trick to what I do, or is there a secret to what I’m able to do? There isn’t any secret at all just artistic ability.’

And do clients go to the extreme of having teeth removed before purchasing a piece of his artistry?

‘I hope they wait until they need a crown, but I bet some people have them done just because they want a piece of artwork on their tooth,’ he says.

Go to for further details.