I received this beautiful Bull shark jaw from a client who had attempted to clean and restore it himself. Although he had done quite a good job with it, the jaw had some heavy staining on the lower jaw symphisis, there was yellowing around the upper teeth, and a number of deep cracks on the upper jaw on the sides.
The jaw also appeared to be a bit too rounded. Although I have seen quite a number of Bull shark jaws in that shape, one needs to stay faithful to the overall shape of the jaw and the shark’s mouth.
The jaw was soaked over a period of about 3 days, as it was quite dry. I used a special solution which I have developed over the past few months, and have tested it on a number of jaws, both fresh and dried. It has achieved excellent results, although you need to monitor the amount of time the jaw is left in solution, as it can affect the cartilage and the gumline if left in too long. Bleach, or sodium hypochlorite, is never used on my jaws as it has a detrimental effect on both the cartilage and the tooth enamel. In addition, I have had a number of request regarding getting some DNA samples from some of my jaws, mostly Great White shark, and bleach will in fact destroy any DNA in the cartilage.
The Bull shark jaw was then removed and placed on the usual drying board, where it stayed for around 10 days. As the cartilage on this jaw is quite thick, the drying process was quite fast, and the jaw remained in its original position, with very little discernible movement.
To improve the appearance of the gumline, and remove the stain from the lower jaw, a paste was made using fine dust chalk and my solution and brushed on the gumline and lower jaw. The gauze was then placed on top, and more paste was added to it, and left there for the duration of the drying period.
The jaw was then removed from the board, rinsed, and then placed in a drying tent for around 4 hours to fully dry.
This crack was in the lower right jaw. This shows it before it was repaired.
This shows the same area after the repair on the jaw.
The completed Bull shark jaw.