At Clean-a-Jaw we offer a high standard shark jaw restoration process. Every jaw will be taken care of with the utmost care and delicacy to restore it to its former glory. The process of restoring such a shark jaw is a long and painstaking one.
Jaws may come to us in bad condition due to improper storage, which, because they are cartilage, may also have developed very bad cracks and holes. Another common problem is discolouration and hardening of lacquer or varnish. Ironically although this very hard to remove, it does in fact protect the cartilage below, thus ensuring the cartilage will be successfully whitened when it enters the whitening solution.
Once the jaw is received, it is photographed and examined carefully and the extent of the work is assessed and quote provided.
The jaw is then washed and placed in the whitening solution where it may stay for up to 1 week, sometimes more.
DRY AND SET
Once the jaw is whitened sufficiently, it is removed, rinsed, and dried in a closed position in front of a fan for a couple of hours.
It is then repositioned and shaped on a drying board and left there for up to one month.
Most of the work is carried out on the jaw once it is dry. During the drying process, although the jaw is held in place with wooden slats so it doesn’t curl, the cartilage will crack in places, especially the upper flanges.
This is particularly common with Great whites and Mako shark jaws.
SHARK JAW RESTORATION & REPAIRS
In some instances when the jaw is badly damaged, extensive repairs need to be carried out.
Other times, the cartilage on the jaws is rotten and peels away, necessitating major patching to be carried out.
During the repairing process, its important that the fixes to the jaw cannot look fake or plastic and so it is a painstaking job ensuring the repairs blend in with the rest of the cartilage. Rarely needing to resort to spray painting the repairs, the putty is colour matched to the cartilage producing a much better and natural result.
When clients request broken teeth on the jaws replaced, the broken teeth are removed as well as the tooth behind the broken one. Once cleaned up, the unbroken tooth is then set up for casting.
A flexible silicone mould is poured over the tooth and placed inside a de-gassing chamber to remove all bubbles. Once the cast is dried, a special dental enamel-like resin is used to make a cast of the tooth.
The real tooth is placed at the front, and the cast tooth is placed behind it.