They are all passionate about cosmetic dentistry! In the 1980’s renegade dentist Eddie Plein ignited the connection between cosmetic dentists and hip-hop artists when he made gold crowns for rapper Flava Flav (of rap group Public Enemy). Dr. Plein then began to design bespoke “grillz” (bedazzled removable veneers) for the wider hip-hop community. These were usually constructed from silver, gold or platinum and could be encrusted with expensive jewels.
“I put my money where my mouth is and bought a grill…”This dental trend was adopted by hip-hop heavyweights such as Ludacris, Lil Wayne and Kanye West over the next two decades, and were showcased in their music videos. After 20 years of fluctuating popularity, in 2006 Nelly released his number one hit “Grillz” and solidified this dental trend in pop cultural history. Grillz are made in much the same way that Dr. Curtis Couch would perform a veneer restoration at his Thousand Oaks dental practice. To construct a cosmetic dental grill:
- First a dentist will take an impression of the teeth.
- This impression is then used to create a plaster model of the teeth.
- This model is then used as a guide to fabricate the “blinged up” grills to fit the teeth perfectly.
- Unlike permanent veneers, grills are generally clip-on for easy removal.