20616329 © Maksym Bondarchuk | Dreamstime.com
Tooth gems are the new dental trend your patients may be asking about.

Tooth gems: The new trend dental patients are asking about

June 18, 2024
By now you may have had patients visit you who have gems on their teeth, and there's a pretty good chance you'll see more. Fortunately, these aren't harmful if handled correctly.

Trends define our culture. A trend can affect all ages, genders, cultures, and people differently. When someone says, “It’s trending,” they’re usually referring to something that’s popular on social media. Trends come and go, and sometimes they’re good influences and sometimes not.

Dentistry is not immune to trends. Dental professionals may purchase certain equipment or learn about a specific topic due to its trendiness. Likewise, dental patients may request certain services due to their trendiness. Some of the latest dental trends are oil pulling, at-home impressions, DIY whitening, oral jewelry, lip tattoos, and dental grills. A new recent trend is tooth gems.

Tooth gems are small plastic rhinestones about the size of a grain of rice. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.1,2 People can have them placed on any tooth. Men, women, and teens may all want a tooth gem placed in their smile line, and they can keep their new look for several weeks.

Should dental professionals be concerned?

While this trend may seem harmless, we must ask if there’s cause for concern. Tooth gems are not applied only by dental professionals in the dental operatory. I found during a quick online search that anyone can purchase tooth gems or apply for a tooth gem application certification course.3

The tooth gems purchased online come with retention mechanisms designed by an individual manufacturing company.3 The public does not necessarily know what kind of glue they’re using to apply the tooth gem to the enamel surface. In addition, some people may not realize that their tooth has demineralized or weakened enamel, and by applying the tooth gem they may be altering the enamel further.

When patients apply a tooth gem themselves, postoperative instructions may not be provided to maintain the beauty of the tooth gem. Textures and colors of certain foods may alter or stain the gem and at-home application kits may not notify consumers about this. Finally, when consumers are done with this trend, they’ll need to remove the tooth gem without causing any damage, or they may choose to wait for the gem to fall off on its own.1,2

How to approach the new trend

Patients who want a tooth gem should discuss this with their dental team. Together, dental professionals and patients can identify any concerns or limitations that could hinder tooth gem placement and retention. During application, the dental team can ensure the tooth gem has the best preservation by drying the entire facial surface of the tooth and maintaining a dry field during placement.

As a dental professional, you can ensure the tooth gem is properly centered on the facial surface with the help of dental instruments. Professional dental bonding adhesive is cured to maintain the best retention for longevity. Finally, you can dispense postcare instructions to make sure patients know how to treat their tooth gem. When the trend is over, patients can return to their dental office to have the tooth gem professionally removed.

Dental professionals want to provide the best care for our patients to maintain a great relationship. By having conversations about why professional treatment of tooth gems is better than a DIY approach, you can guide your patient to the finest treatment. You can encourage patients to purchase a tooth gem and then return to the office for application.

If a patient arrives with a gem already applied, you can tell them how to care for it. You can also remind patients that there’s trained help to remove the gem if they choose. Tooth gems are a stylish way for patients to feel confident in their smiles, and we need to stay up to date.


1. Tooth gems. PRV Dental. 2022. https://prvdental.com/tooth-gems/

2. The dangers of tooth gems. Stensland Dental Studio. October 16, 2013. https://mywilliamsburgdentist.com/dangers-tooth-gems/

3. Tooth gem training kit. Amazon. 2024. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tooth+gem+training+kit

About the Author

Tracee S. Dahm, BSDH, MS

Tracee S. Dahm, BSDH, MS, is an adjunct clinical instructor for the North Idaho College School of Dental Hygiene in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Tracee also works in private practice, and has published in several dental journals, magazines, webinars, and a textbook. Her research interests include trends in dental hygiene and improving access to dental care for the underserved. She can be reached at [email protected].

Updated May 29, 2024