“Vampires are total sexual metaphors; there’s just no way around that.” — Alan Ball
Maybe by the time you read this, I’ll have come up for a witter title for it than, “Get fanged.” But probably not. Sorry.
As you’re well aware by now, I started the process of getting a set of fangs some weeks ago, in that dreamscape week between Christmas and New Year’s where no one knows what day it is or what to do with themselves. I didn’t either, until after dinner and a movie and another movie with a friend, when I remembered I wanted to do it and she’d offered to pay for them as the bulk of my Christmas gifts.
Long before that fateful night, I did some research. Turns out a lot of the “custom” fangs you can get on the internet for relatively cheap are actually pre-made blanks that you glue to your teeth, or, if you’re lucky, ones that someone – either the person that’s selling them, or, more likely, you, with materials provided by the seller – fits to your teeth with additional acrylic. That’s great if you want something fast and cheap, but not what I was going for. I wanted something full-on custom, where I could participate in the process by communicating exactly what I was going for with my fangsmith. (Prior to this, I wasn’t aware that fangsmith was a word, but it is, and I dig it.)
The smithy I found was Kaos Kustom Fangs, which I could wax poetic about here in this post, or I could just turn you over to their page on their owner/head fangsmith, a man named Stavros. If you want the TL;DR version, here it is: This place is run by a true creative, who has taken the time to be trained in professional dental craftsmanship so he can help other people turn their banal smiles into something sharper. This is a guy I’d like to know, and a guy I’d trust to build something amazing to augment my teeth. Aside from that, KKF completes every step of their work in-house, requires that you describe your own perfect fangs, and offers a lifetime guarantee on them should they ever be damaged.
So I did it. I bit the bullet. I included in my description that I’d like to be able to wear my new fangs even to work at my conservative job, and that I’m looking for something that produces more of a double-take than outright shock. Within a day, I got the email that my impression kit had been sent out, which is saying something for a company that sends out their email manually. I got the package a few days later, and even before I opened it I was bubbling over about it.
Inside, two bite trays to get the perfect impression, and a bag of alginate, which is the stuff that will go inside the trays, which will then go inside your mouth, to take your bite impression. The website says the container lists the alginate as “spearmint flavored,” but it doesn’t really taste like spearmint. It just tastes like plastic. Which isn’t terrible, as far as dental supplies go.
(some of the captions on these photos are overlong – click them to see the pics full-size and read the captions in their entirety)
I completed this whole process at a friend’s place, so when I was finished, I could send a quick pic to my fangsmith, who approved the impressions. Then both trays got wrapped in a wet paper towel, and then sealed in a plastic bag, and driven posthaste to the post office, to return everything so the process could continue as quickly and smoothly as possible. Also in the box was an envelope with the cash for shipping my finished fangs back. All told, the process for making two impressions took about half an hour.
Once my impressions were delivered, there was a bit of a wait on the turnaround. Their website claims a 3-day to 2-week turnaround time, but I didn’t get an update about mold-making until about two weeks after they received the impressions, and after that, it was another two weeks until I got the shipping confirmation. There was another email in between which said the company was in the process of moving their offices during the time I’d sent in my impressions, so I can’t fault them for taking a bit longer than I’d anticipated. I sent the original package to an address in Maryland, and got my fangs postmarked in New Mexico, so that’s a hell of a move. (I also got no fewer than one question per week about the status of my fangs during the waiting time – apparently I wasn’t the only one who expected it to be quicker.) The whole process, from ordering to receiving my finished fangs, took about six weeks.
Everything came packaged in the same sort of bubble mailer with the same logo stamp on the back.
Inside the two small vials are the two ingredients which KKF labels as a “tightening kit.” Mixing them in a certain proportion creates the same dental acrylic used to build the fangs in the first place, and can be used to adjust the fangs for a tighter fit. The square-ish package is the mold of my impressions. The small round container is the residence of my new teeth, which look like this:
From the side, they’re more or less V-shaped, so they fit all the way around the front and back of your real teeth.
The fangs fit perfectly on the mold – which they should, because its how they were made. Unfortunately, the right side didn’t quite match my natural tooth, so I did have to use the tightening kit to adjust it. Because the process of mixing the acrylic must be done so quickly, I didn’t take any photos of how I did it. The only really important thing to note is that the liquid – whatever it is – smells awful and is very, very strong. Once you mix up the acrylic in the right way, you put it inside the cavity in the fang and then press the fang back to your natural tooth for about 30 seconds, during which time the acrylic will set and voila, now your fang fits perfectly. It’s actually really simple and much less scary than KKF’s instructions about it make it sound.
And this is what they look like in my face, with a comparison for your viewing pleasure.
They’re not terribly exaggerated, which is exactly what I wanted. They’re definitely noticeable, but when speaking normally, you can easily miss them. It’s only really when I laugh or smile that they’re apparent. I am surprised at just how closely the color of the acrylic matches the color of my natural teeth. KKF advises two weeks of wear during typical activities that would stain your teeth (drinking, smoking, etc) to color match, but straight out of the box, they’re almost dead on, which is exciting.
They do feel a bit strange in your mouth for the first few wears – sort of the same as if you lost a tooth or got a new filling – but you get accustomed to them pretty quickly. I also had to learn to talk around them, because I can’t quite close my jaw all the way with them in (which means I also can’t eat with them in, either) and they do sit right against my bottom lip, so I couldn’t enunciate as clearly as usual. That was easy to overcome, too, though, and now I can speak with them in just fine.
I really do love them, and I will probably wear these things around until the day I die. I lack the commitment levels required for permanent alterations such as tattoos, but I have always loved the cosmetic appeal of fangs, and I’m so, so happy to have a set of my own.
If you’re interested in getting a set for yourself, KKF can craft just about anything your heart desires, from subtle fangs to zombie teeth and orc tusks – no joke. Here’s a link to their product page, and another to their FAQ.