Vogue cover boy Ryan Lochte had a lot to celebrate this weekend. He snagged the U.S.’s first gold medal at the London Olympics after winning the men’s 400m individual medley, and beat out swimming’s golden boy (and marijuana enthusiast) Michael Phelps.
When Lochte accepted his medal on Saturday, he made a major fashion statement by popping in a diamond American flag grill as soon as he left the podium. (According to reports, he wasn’t allowed to wear it on the actual medal stand.) Lochte also apparently has three other sets of grills that he’s worn on podiums in the past, though he made this one custom for the Games. Naturally, the Internet has been abuzz with discussion of Lochte’s fabulously accessorized teeth, and that made us wonder: Is the return of “grills” upon us? Rappers like Nelly and Paul Wall have been wearing custom grills for years, but bejeweled teeth references seem to have taken a hit as of late. Our guess is now that Lochte has donned one, it’s only a matter of time before replicas begin to pop up everywhere.
We spoke to an expert from Gold Teeth NY, a Brooklyn-based establishment specializing in “custom removable yellow and white gold teeth grills” to get a better idea of how much this would set you back.
The process goes a little something like this: First, you send them a mold kit of your teeth, and then they formulate the grill based on your ideal design. A basic gold grill will only take about three to four days to complete, and they start around $150. A custom diamond grill with a design like Lochte’s can cost around $16,000, and takes about two weeks to complete. Of course, Lochte hasn’t yet revealed who made his set of grills and what exactly they used, but it’s safe to say he spent a pretty penny. Don’t worry about his bank account though, because he’s likely got a slew of endorsements around the corner.
Click through the gallery above for a detailed look at Lochte’s grills, and some gratuitous shots of that gold medal body.