August 15, 2018

Archives for October 2010

Peg Teeth and Misshaped Incisors Transformed Into Sensational Smile with Porcelain Veneers

peggy's beautiful new smile with empress porcelain veneers

Peggy's beautiful new smile with eight empress porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner

Peggy, a mother of two in her 40s from Mission Viejo, had been coming to our practice since she was a teenager.  As a youngster she had braces, but still was never happy with the way her smile looked.  The problem was her front four teeth were malformed and the shape didn’t look like normal teeth.  She was ready to go back to her professional job, but felt that now was the time that she finally do something to get the smile she had always wanted.  Peggy had talked to Dr. Huefner for the past ten years about having him place porcelain veneers for her and now she was ready to proceed with cosmetic dentistry.

Before creating porcelain veneers for Peggy, Dr. Huefner took photos of her teeth and smile.  Using those photos Peggy and he sat down together, evaluated her teeth and discussed what type of smile she wanted from her porcelain veneer treatment.  Doctor asked her to tell him everything she saw in her smile that she didn’t like, and how she wanted those things changed.  First, Peggy said she definitely wanted whiter teeth.  But they had to “look real”, definitely not super white fake looking veneers that she had seen on some people. Next, she wanted normally shaped teeth.

eight empress porcelain veneers placed to correct peg teeth

The eight porcelain veneers placed by Dr. Huefner accomplished the many things Peggy had for her new smile.

peg laterals and malformed incisors before porcelain veneers

Peggy didn't like the appearance of her abnormally shaped incisors. The lateral incisors were peg shaped and the central incisors didn't have the normal round-rectangular shape.

Her peg lateral incisors needed to be larger, normal size.  And her central incisors needed to have normal shapes too.  She thought her canine teeth were too pointed and too “fang-like”.  Could those be softened a little?  Another thing was that her front six teeth seemed too

pronounced compared to the side teeth, which leaned in.  Could those side teeth be brought out to give her a fuller, well balanced smile? It was obvious to Dr. Huefner that Peggy had been giving much thought to her smile for a long time and now knowing what she wanted he could design her teeth and smile.

Dr.Huefner designed and placed eight porcelain veneers for Peggy, and the entire treatment was completed in just three office visits over a three week period.  Empress porcelain was used, as it is one of the strongest dental porcelains used for porcelain veneers, and also because it allowed a whiter color and at the same time had very natural translucency.

Porcelain Veneers Used to Correct Petra’s Crooked Smile

crooked teeth and poor looking porcelain crowns on her front teeth

Petra didn't like her crooked teeth, and especially the way the two caps looked on her front teeth.

Petra, a new patient of ours from Orange County, CA, didn’t like her crooked teeth and the unlifelike porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns on her front two teeth.  Fair-skinned, blond, blue-eyed, she knew she would look much better with whiter, brighter teeth.  She had done her homework, and knew what she wanted to have done before making her appointment for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.  She wanted her caps replaced and porcelain veneers.

Mismatched porcelain-fused-to-metal caps

Not only did the caps lack natural translucency, but it had a space between them and there was too much gum tissue, making those two teeth appear too short.

At her consultation appointment, we tooth the above photos of Petra’s teeth and smile and asked her, “What else don’t you like about the appearance of your teeth and smile?”  She pointed out that there was a space between her front two teeth, that the color of her two crowns looked unnatural and that the two crowns looked too short because there was more gums around the crowns than the rest of her teeth.

Regarding having more gums on the front two teeth, we recommend that we recontour her gums with our dental gum laser.  There would be no bleeding or unsightly healing period, only some minor discomfort that would last a couple days.  Petra was excited to learn that portion of her treatment would be so easy.

A major concern was that she really wanted “white teeth”, but she also wanted them to appear natural and lifelike.  Thus, Dr. Huefner recommended that he utilize Empress porcelain, one of the stronger and more translucent porcelains available and a particular favorite of Dr. Huefner’s.

Petra's smile with Empress porcelain veneers and crowns

Petra's beautiful new smile with Empress porcelain veneers and crowns.

white, bright porcelain veneers and crowns worked well with Petra's skin and hair color

Petra's white, bright porcelain veneers and crowns worked well with her skin and hair color.

The end result really pleased Petra.  Her teeth were finally straight, she had the whiter, brighter tooth color she had always wanted.  The excessive gums that made her teeth look too short were corrected, enabling her to have normal length teeth (which is especially important on the front two teeth).

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?

Connie wrote, “How much do veneers cost?

Catherine's beautiful smile with porcelain veneers

Catherine's beautiful smile with porcelain veneers

Connie, this is probably one of the most frequent questions we’re asked.  But before that can be answered there are some things than have to be addressed.  First, what type of veneers are you referring to?  Hand sculpted composite (plastic) veneers or porcelain veneers?  If the former, are you needing a veneer on just one tooth, custom matching all the other teeth, or multiple teeth and choosing a color from the tooth color shade guide?  If the latter, again, are you referring to just one tooth and requiring that the ceramist custom match your adjacent teeth, or again doing multiple teeth and choosing a standard shade?

Another question is are you referring to no-preparation veneers like Lumineers, minimal preparation veneers, standard preparation veneers or moderate-plus preparation as would be necessary when there are large cavities or fillings or the teeth are significantly out of normal alignment?  Are you referring to feldspathic veneers or stronger and generally longer lasting veneers like pressed-ceramic Empress veneers? Other questions are what are your expectations and how difficult will your treatment be?  How skilled is your dentist and in what city are you located? Are you wanting your treatment to be covered by insurance or is this elective cosmetic dentistry? Which lab will your dentist be using?  A lab with considerable experience that specializes in cosmetic dentistry and veneers, a general lab or a discount lab?  I’m sorry to ask you so many questions before answering yours, but the reality is all those things go into consideration when dental fees are determined for cosmetic dentistry.  The range of fees is considerable, and we’ve seen dentists advertise veneers for as low as $300 and some of the “experts” in major metropolitan cities are charging as much as $3,000 per veneer.  Obviously the two are not the same.  My point is that “a veneer” is like many other purchases you will make, like a TV or a car.  It can be high end, in the middle or low end economy.  The most important thing is that you get the results you want and that you’re given a fair fee based on the time, effort, training, expertise, skill level and final results from your cosmetic dentist.  I suggest that you not make your decision as to the dentist on fee alone.  In our cosmetic practice at least one-third of all the cosmetic dentistry we do is REDOING work done by other dentists that have not achieved the results that they patient wanted or expected.  Many of these patients based their initial decision on fee alone, and were subsequently disappointed.  Thus, first interview your cosmetic dentist, explain your goals and expectations, have him/her evaluate your smile and discuss with you the proposed treatment, answer many of the questions I’ve previously asked you, and give you an estimate of the fee.  Good luck, and again, sorry to give you such a long-winded diatribe to what at first would seem to warrant a one-word answer.

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