Rapper and producer Kanye West claimed in an Instagram story that he replaced all of his teeth with a permanent titanium prosthesis. An eccentricity at a high price which no longer surprises those around him. But with what impact on his jaw?
Bling-bling all the way to your canines? In an Instagram story from January 17, rapper and producer Kanye West, known for his eccentricities, revealed that he had “replaced” all his teeth with a titanium prosthesis, with a brilliant image to support it. A madness which would have cost him more than 800,000 dollars (780,000 euros). In 2010, the man previously claimed to have replaced all of his lower teeth with diamonds.
A unique “permanent” dental prosthesis
Kanye West appeared this time with imposing metal dentures, with elongated canines, resembling the jaws of a shark. A desired appearance since the artist also indicated that he wanted to resemble the “Shark” (Jaws), the famous James Bond villain of the 70s.
But his announcement, as resounding as it was, would be partly inaccurate. On the networks, one of his relatives clarified that “his teeth were not removed and replaced” as the story may suggest. They would thus be “covered” with a titanium prosthesis. However, the accessory is a unique operation.
“The technical term is ‘fixed prosthesis’. They are fixed and permanent. This goes way beyond veneers or grids. It’s unlike anything that’s been done before,” reports the Washington Post citing an anonymous source close to the rapper.
Kanye West’s jewelry would therefore be permanent. A notable difference with other prostheses already seen: in recent years, Rita Ora, Rihanna and Madonna have all worn such dental jewelry, with precious metals covering part or all of their dental enamel.
Unnecessary risks and impossible chewing
What impact could this choice have on the rapper’s teeth and health? For Dr. Lequart, dental surgeon and member of our consulted committee of experts, the trend of dental jewelry (or “grillz”) or rhinestones glued to the surface of the teeth is already problematic:
“These removable or glued jewelry will retain dental plaque (a mixture of bacteria, saliva and food debris), will increase the risk of caries formation and lead to gum disease, gingivites or periodontitis. Friction from appliances can also cause premature wear of teeth. A big defect when you know that damaged enamel doesn’t grow back.”
But Kanye West’s titanium dentures, if permanent, seem to him to be a total aberration:
“It doesn’t have the shape of teeth at all. While each tooth has a very specific function in chewing and the prosthesis does not reproduce them, how can it chew?”
The problem is not only practical: chewing is the first step in digestion, without it, saliva and its enzymes do not begin their work properly and the stomach will therefore have to make an unusual effort.
An artistic decision or a reprehensible mutilation?
Details to which Kanye West does not seem to attach importance. On the contrary, proud of his new teeth, he considers them an artistic decision. A way of seeing things shared by your own dentist.
“Kanye West was a pleasure to work with every step of the way. His vision of unique art design transcends dental progression” exclaimed Dr. Thomas Connelly in the DailyMail.
It is quite different in Europe:
“If it really is a fixed prosthesis, this means that healthy teeth have been prepared and cut out so that this “thing” is fixed. For a health professional to do this, in Europe could be condemned ethically for voluntary mutilation. ” concludes our expert.