SUPERLIST NO. 813: Bling it on

Pub date March 29, 2006

Grills, plates, slugs, pullouts — whatever you want to call them — the gold tooth phenomenon, once a staple of hip-hop culture, has now become fashionable among indie rockers, parents, and high schoolers of all ages and races. Though the American Dental Association has strongly advised against bringing the bling to your gum line, as long as Oscar-winning rappers are dropping $30K on their choppers, the golden craze will surely blaze on. Caps are removable, can be made of yellow or white gold, silver, or putf8um, and usually come in two settings: solid, which covers the entire tooth, or open-faced, which has a square cutout to expose the normal tooth. Most grill shops specialize in custom designs and will cater to whatever your fancy might be — whether it’s grilling your teeth into white gold vampire fangs with diamond tips or etching your dog’s name into your caps with emeralds, rubies, or sapphires. Though we can’t vouch for the quality of a gold tooth, and prices may vary depending on the griller at each of these jewelry stores, we can certainly point you in the right direction for getting your pearly whites to shine through all that Bay Area fog.

Bling Master Jewelry (3746 San Pablo Dam Rd., El Sobrante. 510-669-0457, has just the thing for your bling. On the Web site you can check out various designs of four-cap and six-cap grills in 14-karat yellow or white gold with diamond-cut settings. Service prices range from $80 for two 14k caps to $900 for six 22k caps.

For more than seven years, EJ Jewelry (2605 International, Oakl. 510-434-0700) has set polished grills into the smiles of folks all over the Bay Area. The glass cases within this bustling shop display a selection of open-faced and diamond fronts. One yellow gold tooth will cost you $20; a white gold tooth goes for $25.

Located on a gritty SoMa corner, Gold Teeth (986 Mission, SF. 415-357-9790) offers a twinkling assortment of gold caps and bars, adding luster to the dingy posters plastering its walls. Inside, you can get your grills cast in putf8um or 14k, 16k, or 18k gold and get your favorite stone inlay for $40 and up.

Gold Tooth Master (10623 International, Oakl. 510-636-4008), in East Oakland, has posters of rappers flashing their glistening fronts covering the peach-colored walls. Two display cases flaunt an impressive collection of fangs etched with various letters and designs. A 14k gold cap starts at $20, and dental gold costs $50.

A giant set of golden incisors grafed to the storefront of JC Jewelry (1940 Broadway, Oakl. 510-763-5556) welcomes visitors as they set foot in this boutique, located just off the 19th Street BART station in the heart of downtown Oakland. Here you can buy or trade gold teeth and even get repairs done for $25. Your options for grills include a solid or open-faced cut with diamond initials or gemstones ranging from rubies to sapphires.

Koko Gold Teeth (4838 International, Oakl. 510-533-2345, gives you the most bling for your buck. Choose from an astounding array of beautiful designs and features. If the heart-shaped caps with rubies don’t have you salivating, then the jagged 3-D bars with diamonds will have you forking over your rent money in no time.

The original Mr. Bling Bling (1836 Geary, SF. 415-928-5789,, which is also the sister shop of Koko Gold Teeth, is crammed into a row of shops across the street from the Fillmore. Like Koko, this pocket-size store offers customers gold and silver fronts in a variety of diamond-fanged cuts and designs. Get there early because business tends to boom once the local high school lets out for the day.

Mr. Bling Bling Jewelry (13501 San Pablo, San Pablo. 510-215-0727) specializes in making repairs to damaged caps in need of a "bling-tastic" makeover. The store will also brighten your choppers with a tooth cast in yellow or white gold for $25.

Grilling at Nomad Body Piercing (1745 Market, SF. 415-563-7771) has gotten off to a slow start, due in part to its employees still trying to perfect the gold cap craft, but you can have your mouth cut in yellow or white gold for $25. Or you can just get your tongue pierced.

Tom’s Jewelry (693 E. 14th St., San Leandro. 510-430-8087) is a hop and a skip from the San Leandro BART station. Here you can get your plates filled with 14k and 18k gold, dental gold, and putf8um, as well as with different cuts and engravings with shimmering diamonds and colored gems. *