June 30, 2003
Contact PDA: (717) 234-5941
Think Tongue Splitting is Cool? PDA Urges You to Consider the Long-term Consequences of Oral Modifications
Although relatively new procedures to the mainstream public, tongue splitting and tooth filing have deep roots in several Eastern cultures. Tooth filing rituals have been documented and performed in Bali for more than 2,000 years, protecting teenagers against evil forces as they transition into mature adults. Tongue splitting is noted in several forms of yoga and has been growing steadily in popularity among heavy body modifiers since early 1998. Heavy body modifiers typically perform the more extreme modifications to their bodies.
Other modifications made to the teeth are elongation of the canine to produce a "vampire fang" appearance, tooth piercing, replacing a normal tooth with a metal tooth and an inlay veneer with a diamond or precious stone set in the hole.
Before you split or file anything, make sure you have thought about the long-term consequences of such actions by looking beyond the immediate trend of the modification. Is this a decision you will be pleased with when you are 25 years old and trying to seek gainful employment in a professional setting? What about at age 40 when your teenager is testing the limits of your authority? How about 75 when your grandchildren ask you why you have a snake-tongue or vampire fangs? Just remember, these are life-long modifications.
Surgery to restore your tongue could be the most dangerous part of the tongue-splitting procedure. The reversal procedure consists of opening the healed split and stitching the lobes of the tongue together. Despite reconstruction costs averaging $2,500, potential long-term effects of this surgery consist of nerve damage, scarring and decreased tongue flexibility.
Costs to reverse the tooth modifications mentioned above range from $70 to $800, depending on the procedure(s) your dentist must perform to reshape the tooth. Because the materials used to recreate your tooth are no substitutes for the real thing, you could be back in your dentist's chair as soon as five years after correcting the modification.View more information about tongue splitting and oral health.
About the Pennsylvania Dental
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. Learn more about PDA.