Animal Tooth Jewelry How-To
May 23, 2007 9:59 AM   Subscribe

How do I clean and prepare my dog's extracted tooth to be made into a charm necklace?

My dog developed an abscess around one of his molars, and we had to have it extracted. It had bacteria inside it, and it split cleanly in half when it was removed.

My dog is large, and so is this tooth. I want to clean it, and get all the biological gunk off the pieces, and then make it into matching charm necklaces for my wife and I. (I know this sounds sort of bizarre, but if you saw the halves of the tooth it would make more sense.)

What should I use to clean the tooth that won't degrade it? Should I try to seal the tooth with anything to protect it, or strengthen it? Finally, does anyone know if dog teeth are strong enough to withstand drilling a chain hole without cracking it. The two halves are approximately 1/4" wide.

Thanks.
posted by imjm68 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
 
Could you try denture cleaning solution?
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:27 AM on May 23, 2007


one of these days i'm going to make earrings out of my own extracted teeth.
posted by sdn at 10:35 AM on May 23, 2007


As a recent user of denture cleaning tablets, I'm not super impressed with their efficacy. (I got stuck with a temporary sublingual retainer for six weeks.)

Can we get a picture? My curiosity is piqued.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:40 AM on May 23, 2007


Boil it up in some bleach?
posted by Solomon at 11:00 AM on May 23, 2007


Piano restorers do it with hydrogen peroxide.
posted by popcassady at 11:15 AM on May 23, 2007


People who clean skeletons for science classes and research use maggots to clear away any organic matter.

But I would be worried about the tooth cracking when you try to drill it. Perhaps a jeweler could set the two halves in little metal bases with chain rings.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 11:29 AM on May 23, 2007


I think you might have the best luck if you cast the tooth in resin. Then you can drill a hole through the resin, add a jump ring, and you've got a pendant. Given that the tooth broke in half upon removal, I would be very wary of drilling through the actual tooth. And this way, you won't have to worry about the tooth getting knocked into something and breaking while you're wearing it.

Craftster.org should have some good tutorials on how to make resin jewelry. I am using an irritatingly slow computer right now, or else I would find one or two for you.

Whatever method you decide to use, post pictures when you are done!
posted by kitty teeth at 11:45 AM on May 23, 2007


I would advise you to check your phonebook and call a local taxidermist, both about cleaning the teeth (tooth parts?) and also about drilling them.
posted by anastasiav at 12:49 PM on May 23, 2007


seconding hydrogen peroxide for starters. did this with my kids baby teeth and it really cleans out all the organics.
posted by joeblough at 1:25 PM on May 23, 2007


I'm no expert but tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body and dentists drill the bejeezus out of rotten teeth all the time. Don't blame me if it breaks though.
posted by chairface at 6:11 PM on May 23, 2007


So I got on the phone to my local taxidermist (as anastasiav suggested above), and they recommended medical strength hydrogen peroxide for short periods followed by rinsing.

In addition, they said to lightly scrape off the gore with a knife, being careful not to erode the enamel.

I posted a picture for the curious at my blog.

It shows before and after hydrogen peroxide. There still some crud on it.

Thanks for all the suggestions. It's not the coolest looking tooth or anything. We just love our dog, and once I got the idea of trying this, I wanted to see if I could do it.

It's off the local artisan jeweler.
posted by imjm68 at 7:29 PM on May 23, 2007


I made a necklace out of my wisdom teeth without drilling holes in them. I wrapped string around the teeth, attached metal loops & then dipped them in polyurethane. To get the teeth clean, I soaked them in peroxide, scraped off any gunk with an exacto knife & them let them dry in the sun for a few weeks. It's been almost 20 years and the necklace is still intact & solid. Although, to be honest, I don't wear the thing on even a semi-regular basis.
posted by pluckysparrow at 10:05 PM on May 23, 2007


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