August 19, 2018

Archives for May 2011

Porcelain Veneers Used to Make Short Teeth Longer and Give Grace from Irvine an Attractive, Younger Looking Smile

irvine porcelain veneers

By utilizing eight porcelain veneers we were able to give Grace what she wanted, longer, whiter teeth and a beautiful smile!

Grace, who lives and works in Irvine, CA, is a perfectionist about her dress and appearance.  In her early 40s she has started noticing that visual effects of aging were starting to creep up on her.  Never really happy about her smile she said that was tired of never liking the way her smile appeared, especially in photos.  We treated two of Grace’s co-workers in Irvine, who convinced Grace that she should come to our Orange County cosmetic dental practice to discuss options she might have.

At her appointment Grace was quick to share that she felt her teeth were way too short and yellow.  What she really wanted was longer, whiter teeth.  A number of years ago she porcelain veneers placed on two of her teeth, her upper lateral incisors, because those two teeth were extremely small.  That fixed the problem of having two short teeth, but didn’t substantially improve her smile as a whole.  Now she was ready to really do something to improve her smile.  What  could we do to help her?

short yellow teeth before porcelain veneers irvine

Grace didn't like her smile. She felt her teeth were too yellow and short. Average patients show 90% of their upper teeth when they smile. In Grace's case she only showed 50%, so lengthening them to give her a more normal and attractive smile was a definite consideration.

We looked at Grace’s teeth, and yes, they were yellow and slightly smaller and shorter than average.  When we evaluated her smile we could see that there was another problem, that her lip covered more than the usual amount of teeth.  Usually someone with a great smile shows 90% or all of the length of their upper teeth when smiling.  In Grace’s case, she only showed about 50%.  Thus we agreed with Grace, that lengthening her upper front teeth would allow her to show more teeth.  And if we made her teeth whiter, that would also help solved her unattractive smile problem.

Since Grace had healthy teeth with no large fillings or cavities, she was a great candidate for porcelain veneers.

The next decision to be made was how many of Grace’s teeth should get porcelain veneers?  Grace thought we should put porcelain veneers on all of her upper teeth.  But Grace only showed eight upper teeth when she smiled, thus she was happy to learn that we would only need to put porcelain veneers on eight teeth.

In designing Grace’s smile the next decision we had to make was how much longer to make her teeth?  Many things are taken into consideration when deciding the length of the upper front teeth.  For instance, when the mouth is completely relaxed and teeth not touching, in general we would like to see 1-2mm of upper front teeth showing.  She didn’t show any teeth when that was done.  Another point to consider is that when smiling we would like the edges of the upper front teeth to follow the curve of the lower lip.  Cosmetic dentists call this concept “following the smile line.”  Speech patterns, phonetics, comfort, normal teeth proportions and average tooth lengths are also considered.  After careful consideration we decided to make Grace’s porcelain veneers on her front teeth 1.5mm longer than they were.

orange county cosmetic dentist

By utilizing eight porcelain veneers, utilizing a BL1 tooth shade and lengthening her teeth 1.5mm Grace got a huge improvement in her smile, a beautiful bright white teeth that looked great when she smiled and in photos.

Another consideration was what color to make Grace’s teeth.  That decision is something that we insist that the patient makes.  We will generally discuss color with the patient at three appointments before they make their final decision as to the color.  We will make recommendations and discuss many important things about tooth color with our patients, but the ultimate decision will be theirs.  In Grace’s case we explained to her that since her upper lip covered more than the average amount of her upper front teeth that they would all be shadowed more than the average person.  This shadowing would make the teeth appear slightly darker for a given tooth color.  Thus, we suggested that Grace slightly overcompensate and utilize a tooth color that is slightly lighter than she wants.  Grace ultimately chose a BL1 color from the tooth shade guide.

After designing Grace’s final smile and three dental appointment Grace ended up with a fantastic smile, a huge improvement over what she originally had.  Her teeth were whiter, brighter and longer and she happily reported that she is very happy with results, especially when she sees herself in photos.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

Actress Model with Spaced Peg Teeth Jump Starts Her Career with Porcelain Veneers Orange County

orange county porcelain veneers

Actress model Andrea after getting ten porcelain veneers. Cosmetic dentistry and photography by Dr. Huefner

Andrea from Laguna Niguel, Orange County, was aspiring to be an actress and model.  One big problem stood in her way, she had huge gaps and spaces between her teeth!  It was very obvious to her that needed to solve this problem if she was going to achieve her goals and “break into the film and modeling industry.”

spaced teeth peg incisors

Andrea felt that he malformed incisors with spaces between them would hinder her in her chosen career of modeling and acting.

Committed to her career and not afraid of hard work and doing “whatever it takes”, Andrea was very diligent in researching cosmetic dentistry.  When she came to our office for her cosmetic dentistry consultation she knew precisely what she wanted to accomplish.

“I need to fix the spaces between my teeth,” Andrea told us.  “When I smile my teeth look like a picket fence.”  She went on to explain her career goals and how important having a nice smile was to her career and future.

Upon evaluating Andrea’s teeth and smile it was very obvious what she was talking about.  She had moderate spaces between her teeth, but not because her teeth were too small, which it looked like at first glance, but because her incisors were malformed.  Malformed teeth such as she had are also referred to by many as “peg teeth” or “peg incisors.”

Many people get braces to try to close the spaces between their teeth, but in Andrea’s case that wasn’t even an option.  The treatment of choice for someone with malformed teeth such as Andrea had was porcelain veneers. When Andrea learned that her “peg teeth problem” could easily be corrected in just three dental appointments by placing porcelain veneers she was ecstatic!

enhanced smile design porcelain veneers

A very attractive and natural looking result was achieved for Andrea with ten porcelain veneers. The "enhanced" smile style was utilized and a BL3 tooth shade. The malformed incisors with spacing between the teeth was solved.

“Wow, that sounds great”, Andrea exclaimed!  “How many teeth would I need to have porcelain veneers,” she then asked?”  We explained that the four front teeth were the only upper teeth that were malformed, so a minimum of four porcelain veneers should be done.  However, if we only did four porcelain veneers for her we should match the color of her other visible teeth or it would be very obvious that she had porcelain veneers.  If she wanted whiter teeth, then at least eight, or possibly ten porcelain veneers would be the best way for her to be treated.

After carefully looking at her teeth and understanding the problem Andrea said that she really hated the yellow color of her teeth and definitely wanted whiter teeth.  After looking at how many of her upper teeth showed when she smiled she decided to have ten porcelain veneers placed.  Now that she had decided to do that the next decision for Andrea was to tell us how white she wanted her new teeth (porcelain veneers).

“OK, I know I want them whiter,” she said.  “But if I’m being photographed, on stage or in a film it’s really important that my teeth look natural, like real teeth,” she exclaimed!  After listening very attentively to Andrea’s objectives and requests we now had enough information to design the perfect smile for her.

porcelain veneers for model actress

Now with a beautiful new smile Andrea pursues her modeling and acting career with confidence.

In three visits we made and placed ten porcelain veneers for Andrea’s new smile.  We filled the gaps, as she requested.  We fixed the peg teeth (malformed incisor) problem as well.  Her porcelain veneers were made slightly longer than her natural teeth were.  We utilized the “enhanced” smile style for the shape of her teeth from the tooth shape library.  She chose the BL3 tooth shade from the tooth shade guide.  The BL3 tooth color is lighter than most natural tooth colors, but not an over the top white color that might look “too white” or artificial.  Slight surface texture was incorporated into the smile design, which imparted a very natural look, especially when light is reflected off the surface of the teeth.  Since Andrea is obviously young we also incorporated some slight incisal translucency, also a characteristic of younger people’s teeth.  All and all, a very natural and attractive smile design was achieved.

Andrea was extremely pleased with the end result of her new smile.  She has since moved to Hollywood and to date has modeled, been in a TV series on the Disney Channel and co-stared in film.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

When a Front Tooth is Missing and It’s Time to Replace an Ugly Porcelain Bridge and Make a Younger Looking Smile

enhanced smile style and non-metal all-porcelain bridge orange county

Sara chose the best treatment to restore her older, ugly bridgework with obvious black lines around her gums and give her a more attractive and younger looking smile. We replaced her old porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge with a non-metal all-ceramic bridge and also placed seven porcelain veneers. She chose a BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide and "enhanced" smile style from the tooth shape catalog. The end result was she got a whiter, more youthful looking smile; a beautiful result to help make an incredible lady look her very best.

Sara knocked out one of her front teeth as a teenager.  In her twenties her family dentist made her a porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge.  Twenty-five years passed and the bridge served her well.  It was very functional and wasn’t obvious that she was missing one of her front teeth.

However, the appearance of her teeth and smile did change.  Sara’s gums receded around all of her teeth, but it was particularly noticeable around the two teeth that anchored her porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge.

Now approaching fifty, decades had its toll on Sara’s teeth, gums and porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge. When she smiled everyone could see black lines around her bridge at her gum line and the dark roots underneath were also very noticeable.  Sara is an attractive lady and her porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge was now greatly detracting from her smile and appearance!  She was now motivated to replace her old bridgework that had served her so well for almost three decades.

Sara wanted us to replace her old porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge.  But before making any specific recommendations it was important that Sara tell us her expectations.  Did she:

  • just want to replace the bridge, matching the color to her other teeth?
  • if so, did she want another porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge or one of the newer types (EMax or Porcelain pressed to Zirconia, both non-metal all-porcelain bridges) that wouldn’t ever have any black metal lines showing and would look more like natural teeth
  • or, did she want to have her smile greatly improved by covering up all the areas of recession and erosion around her gum line with porcelain veneers?
  • if she did both porcelain veneers and a non-metal all-porcelain bridge then instead of matching the older, yellow color she could have them all done with a whiter more attractive and natural-looking color and end up with a smile that could look 20-30 years younger than she currently has

After talking in great length about all of these options Sara that she definitely did not want another porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge and really liked the idea of a non-metal all-ceramic bridge and porcelain veneers on her other teeth.    “I’ve been waiting to fix my teeth again and get a nice smile for years now,” Sara said.  “If I’m going to do it again, I want it to look really good.  I want the best you can do for me!”

It was very obvious that Sara getting a “new smile” was very important to her.  We were able to work out a convenient payment schedule that allowed her to get the treatment she really wanted,  seven porcelain veneers and a non-metal all-ceramic bridge.  Sara chose a BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide and an “enhanced” smile style from the LVI tooth shape catalog.

And the results?  Look at the before and after photos and judge for yourself!

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

Creating a more attractive masculine smile by replacing old crowns with newer cosmetic dentistry techniques and materials

masculine smile design

When we replaced Warren's old crowns we utilized a more natural looking porcelain (Empress porcelain), a whiter color and a more masculine smile design.

Warren had most all of his teeth “crowned” by another dentist.  He said he didn’t like his porcelain crowns from the beginning and came to us to discuss his options.  “If you redo them for me, how would you do them differently,” asked Warren?

After carefully looking at Warren’s porcelain crowns and smile it was obvious that the dentist was very skilled and had worked very hard with Warren’s treatment.  We told Warren upfront, all of his crowns fit properly, his bite was good and the treatment was well within the standard of care.
But to answer his question, it was obvious that Warren had very high expectations and had particular ideas of his own about what he wanted his smile to look like.  We asked Warren to explain just what it was that he was displeased with his dentist’s porcelain crown work?
He was very quick to list his concerns:

  • The teeth aren’t white enough
  • The teeth don’t look “real”
  • They are too thick
old porcelain crowns orange county

Warren was displeased with his old porcelain crowns. He didn't like the color, thought the teeth were too thick and bulky, and thought they were unattractive and unnatural looking.

We explained to Warren that the issues that concerned him were probably a result of several things:

  • The dentist and he not really communicating before treatment about what he wanted (we would make sure that we were all on the same wavelength before beginning any treatment)
  • The dentist’s choice of very opaque porcelain (we would recommend more life-like Empress and EMax porcelain crowns)
  • The choice of color (since he knew he wanted whiter teeth it would be easier for his to choose the color he wanted from the tooth shade guide)
  • The actual style of porcelain crowns done by the dentist’s technician (we utilize a nationally known maser cosmetic ceramist with three decades of experience and has also been the recipient of many awards for his outstanding achievement in cosmetic dentistry)
  • The smile style prescribed by the dentist (see tooth shapes).  Warren said he didn’t remember his dentist discussing tooth shapes with him at all, so it may be that the dentist didn’t actually prescribe a specific style of tooth shapes and the decision was left up to the ceramist who actually never met or spoke with Warren.  Most cosmetic dentists today will discuss smile design with the patient and specify a smile design for the ceramist to follow.

Further explaining to Warren, now really understanding what he wanted accomplished, if we were going to remake them for him we would use a more natural looking porcelain for his crowns that would not only be lighter in color, but also would have more natural looking translucency (Empress porcelain for the front teeth, EMax porcelain for the back teeth).

laguna niguel cosmetic dentistry

Although Warren's old dentistry (left photo) met the standard of care he was displeased with the appearance of his teeth and wanted them whiter and more naturally shaped. In addition to doing that for Warren, we utilized a more masculine smile design for him by making his front four teeth straighter along the edge and with less rounded corners (right photo).

Warren was pleased to know that our ceramist has a very consistent style of creating crowns that really look like natural teeth and don’t look “too thick” or “bulky” like Warren currently had.

The last thing we suggested was a more masculine smile design.  Warren is a very masculine looking man and his current porcelain crowns were very generic looking, especially having rounded corners on his four front teeth which sometimes is considered a more feminine or youthful look.  We suggested a more masculine looking smile design (see tooth shape library) by making the front four teeth flatter without the rounded corners.

After more discussion Warren decided that he was ready to redo his old porcelain crowns.  “I like your plan,” he said.  “I think we’re communicating well and on the right track together.  I really hate the way my porcelain crowns look so  I’m ready to go ahead and get started.”

We preceded with Warren’s cosmetic dental treatment, removed his old porcelain crowns and made new ones for him.  We met all of Warren’s treatment goals and the end result were teeth (all-porcelain crowns) that were whiter, “real looking”, more life-like translucency and a smile design that was masculine more natural looking than his previous dentistry.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

Big Front Teeth with Spaces Changed to Attractive Smile with Well Proportioned Porcelain Veneers Mission Viejo

porcelain veneers mission viejo

Angelina had good teeth but didn't like the way her smile looked. Eight ultra thin porcelain veneers were utilized with her smile makeover.

Angelina is an attractive woman in her late 20s from Mission Viejo, CA.  She had good teeth, but felt they weren’t very pretty and definitely wanted a whiter, more attractive looking smile.  As a dentist I would be hard pressed to suggest that there was actually anything wrong with any of Angelina’s teeth, only that she didn’t like the way they looked and wanted a substantial improvement in the appearance of her smile.

When taking basically good teeth and an “OK looking smile” it is very important that the cosmetic dentist and patient communicate very specifically about the goals.  In Angelina’s case we looked at each tooth individually and her smile as a whole, and agreed that these were the issues that we wanted to solve:

  • two front teeth appear too big
  • whiter teeth
  • fill the space between the front two teeth
  • other than the front two teeth, the rest of her teeth looked too short
  • the canine (eye teeth) were too pointed
spaced teeth pointed cuspid teeth

Angelina didn't like the color or space between her two front teeth. She also thought her two front teeth were too big and the rest of her teeth too small. She also wanted the aggressive look of her pointed cuspids changed.

After realizing precisely what Angelina wanted, and examining her teeth to find they were healthy and actually in pretty good alignment, Angelina was learn that she was a perfect candidate for eight ultra thin porcelain veneers (e.g. Lumineers, Durathin Veneers, Nano Veneers).

ultrathin porcelain veneers

By carefully listening to her goals and expectations Angelina's porcelain veneer treatment was designed to give her the beautiful smile and teeth that she had always wanted.

To make her short teeth look a little more normal in size and shape we made them slightly longer by removing a slight amount of excess gum tissue and also increasing the length at the tips of the teeth with eight ultra thin porcelain veneers.  The porcelain veneers allowed us to close the space, as she requested.  Also, by doing this her two front teeth didn’t appear quite as large.  A color (or shade) BL1 from the tooth shade guide was used to give her the whiter color that she wanted.  Utilizing the LVI “softened” smile style from the tooth shape catalog, Angelina’s canine teeth were made rounded, which was a much softer look than the pointed canines she originally had.  Angelina’s porcelain veneer smile makeover went extremely smooth and was completed in four dental visits in less than a months time.  The end result was a beautiful smile that made her even more attractive

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

When the Two Front Teeth Don’t Match – Would Two Porcelain Veneers Be the Perfect Solution?

"two porcelain veneers"

By doing two porcelain veneers rather than one, we had extremely good control over achieving Mark's goal of having great looking and perfectly matching central incisor teeth.

Mark is a great  athlete.  In college he was a pitcher for the University of Arizona.  Now a businessman working and living in Newport Beach, he was quick to recognize the value of his appearance.  One of his two front teeth had been chipped and several times a bonded filling was placed to repair the chip, and each time he was dissatisfied with the way it looked.  He had seen several dentists, but he was confused because each dentist recommended a different solution.  According to Mark, one wanted to do a bonded composite filling again, another recommended braces, and a third wanted to place a single porcelain veneer.  He went on to say that a fourth Newport Beach dentist even recommended placing porcelain veneers on ten of his upper teeth!  He was outraged as all he wanted was to get his front two teeth to look the same.

At his cosmetic dentistry consultation with us we closely looked at Mark’s teeth to determine what was the best treatment option to achieve his goal.

chipped front tooth newport beach

Mark had chipped his right central incisor several times. Each time it was repaired with a plastic bonding filling. The end result was that his front two teeth did not match and he was dissatisfied with the way his smile looked.

Mark was happy with the color, length and shape of all his other teeth, therefore doing multiple porcelain veneers was not the treatment of choice for him.  Doing braces would straighten his teeth, but that would do nothing to make his front two teeth appear the same.  When we measured the width of his two front teeth, his right central incisor (the one that was chipped and had the unsightly bonded filling on the corner) was actually wider than the other front tooth.

Doing a single porcelain veneer usually requires that the cosmetic dentist match the adjacent tooth as closely as possible.  Unfortunately the adjacent tooth, which had some discoloration, was actually narrower than his right chipped tooth.  The end result on placing just one porcelain veneer would be either that the front two teeth would both be discolored and the veneered tooth would be wider, or if made the same size as the unveneered tooth, would leave a small space on one side.  It was clear that doing a single porcelain veneer would solve the chipped tooth issue, but still not give him two great looking and symmetrical front two teeth!

laguna niguel lumineers

Since the unchipped front tooth was discolored and because the width of the two front teeth were different, the best treatment for Mark was placing two porcelain veneers. A great color match along with the two front teeth being ideal in length, width and proportion gave mark the final look that he had been wanting.

The solution we suggested to Mark was to place two porcelain veneers on his two central incisors.  This way we would have the maximum control over creating two ideally symmetrical teeth, identical in shape, color and length.  And by doing two we wouldn’t end up with a space around one veneer or one veneer that was wider than the other.  Doing two porcelain veneers was the perfect solution to give Mark the great looking two front teeth that he wanted.

After listening very attentively, Mark really grasped the concept that we had recommended.  “That makes perfect sense to me,” he said and scheduled two appointments two weeks apart for us to make his two porcelain veneers.

He said he liked the length of his left central incisor (the unchipped one), so we made both porcelain veneers that same length.  We also matched the color to his other upper teeth and not to the discolored left central incisor.

The end result was superb and Mark was extremely happy with the way we improved his smile by just placing two porcelain veneers.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Cosmetic and General Dentistry, Laguna Niguel, CA

Hodgepodge Teeth Changed to Beautiful Uniform Smile with Porcelain Veneers Orange County

laguna niguel porcelain veneers

Claudia's hodgepodge smile was transformed with beautiful Empress porcelain veneers and all-porcelain crowns. A shade BL2 was utilized along with an "enhanced" smile style from the LVI smile catalog.

Claudia had the same problem so many people have today.  Every few years she had a cavity, chipped tooth or broken filling on one particular tooth and then had the single tooth fixed.  But also she moved numerous times over the past two decades, so each time she went to a different dentist.  Then after the years of this type of one-tooth-at-a-time dentistry had been repeated over and over, she ended up with a hodgepodge smile.  Her teeth were a shamble of various styles, techniques and different kinds of dental restorations and none of them matched or looked “real”.

One day Claudia was having lunch with one of her dear friends.  She kept looking at her friend trying to figure out why she looked different? It was obvious that she didn’t have plastic surgery, but she looked younger.  Finally Claudia broke down and asked her friend why she looked great, what did she have done?

Old mismatched dentistry needing replacement and upgrade

Claudia's mismatch of different types of dental restorations, colors and techniques was long overdue to be upgraded into a uniform and pleasingly attractive new smile. Her old dentistry was replaced with new Empress porcelain veneers and all-ceramic crowns.

Claudia’s friend explained that she had recently had cosmetic dentistry.  After hearing her story, Claudia realized that she should do the same thing herself and came to see us the following week for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.

Upon evaluating Claudia’s old dentistry on just her six front teeth alone it was noted that she had two plastic veneers, one large composite filling, one natural tooth without any restoration, one tooth with a mismatched porcelain-fused-to-metal crown and one tooth with a 25 year old crown that had broken and been repaired.  Only two of her six front teeth matched and five out of the six had different colors!

Claudia explained to use that she wanted a nice smile like her friend has.  She wanted whiter teeth and for them all to match.  And if possible, for her teeth to look like they haven’t had any dentistry at all done over the years.

After carefully examining her teeth we were all relieved to learn that she didn’t have any infections or new decay, that she just needed to have her old dentistry replaced and upgraded with new cosmetic dentistry, but this time have all her teeth treated at the same time and utilizing the same kind of material.  In Claudia’s case we chose to utilize Empress porcelain veneers and all-porcelain crowns.  This material was chosen because it does not need to be combined with metal to make the restorations (as her old dentistry was).  All-ceramic Empress porcelain without metal is very natural looking and today considered by many dentists as the state-of-the-art material for porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns on front and side teeth.

In designing Claudia’s new smile, we chose to make her teeth slightly longer and a little more round, both characteristics that make teeth appear more feminine and youthful.  She chose shade BL2 from the tooth shade guide and an “enhanced” smile style from the LVI smile catalog.

The results we achieved for Claudia were extremely pleasing to her.  When she looked at her before and after photos she commented that she couldn’t believe she ever let her smile get that bad and how appreciative she was that we given her such a beautiful smile.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Laguna Niguel, CA

Competitive Athlete Needed a Great Smile with Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry to Complete His Professional Image

orange county cosmetic dentist

Jerry wanted a perfect smile and this is the end result we created for him with two new all-ceramic crowns and eight porcelain veneers. He chose a masculine smile style from the tooth shape library and a BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide.

Jerry is a competitive athlete from Laguna Niguel and a pretty sharp businessman.  If you saw him you would agree that he’s impeccable in his dress and appearance.  Everything about Jerry is a cut above the crowd, except for his teeth and smile.

Before recommending cosmetic dental treatment it is always very wise for the dentist to actively listen to the patient’s concerns.  Does the patient already know what he/she wants?  What end result is in mind?  What specific teeth are of concern?

In Jerry’s case he said that he really hated the two caps on this front two central incisors.  There was a black line from the underlying metal that showed under both of his old crowns.  Also, his teeth were all mismatched with regards to size and shape and the color of his teeth was extremely yellow.

“OK,” said Dr. Huefner, “you’re concerned about the bad caps, the yellowish color and the size and shape of your teeth.  What would your really like your smile to look like after I treat you?”

yellow teeth before cosmetic dentistry

Jerry had an impeccable image except for his teeth. He knew he wasn't presenting himself as the best that he could be and was hoping that cosmetic dentistry could solve his problem.

“If I’m going to go through this much time and trouble I’d really like a perfect smile,” Jerry replied.  “I want  to have even, straight, white teeth.  I want as close to perfect as you can do for me.”

After carefully listening to Jerry, we recommended replacing his two front caps with all-porcelain crowns, and in addition placing eight porcelain veneers.  This would give us the maximum control over creating a perfect smile for him and give him white, even and well proportioned teeth.  And of course, the end results would work in harmony with his over wise very professional image.

Jerry didn’t have to think to hard about whether or not to proceed with our recommended treatment.  “When can we start?”, was his only question.

orange county porcelain veneers

Jerry bleached his lower teeth and we placed two new all-porcelain crowns and eight porcelain veneers on his upper teeth. The end result was a perfect smile. The teeth were a beautiful white color, the shape of the teeth incorporated a masculine smile design, the proportion and size of the teeth all worked well together. Best of all, according to Jerry, was no more yellow teeth or bad caps on his front two teeth.

The end result for Jerry?  You be the judge, look at the photos of Jerry’s “perfect smile.”  We created a masculine smile design for him from the tooth shape library.  Jerry wanted whiter teeth, so he chose the BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

Dingy Blackish Teeth Gets Beautiful Smile Makeover with Porcelain Veneers Orange County

dark gray-black teeth

Evelyn grew up in Texas where the natural well water had a very high minteral composition that was incorporated into her teeth while they were forming, severely discoloring her teeth and caused her to be very self-conscious about her smile. She wanted to get rid of the darkness of her teeth, and get a whiter, brighter smile. A combination of tooth bleaching and porcelain veneers were utilized to successfully treat her "dingy" smile.

Evelyn grew up in a rural town in Texas where the natural water supply had a very high mineral level in it.  Thus, as a child when her teeth were forming the high minerals were incorporated into her developing teeth, resulting in the very dark, grayish-black color.

She had heard about dental bleaching, and came into our office for a cosmetic dentistry consultation, hoping that just bleaching her teeth would solve her tooth-color problem.  We explained that bleaching is pretty effective whitening the color on teeth that are more yellowish in color.  Unfortunately, bleaching is not as effective or predictable with gray teeth, like she had, or teeth discolored due to tetracycline therapy as a child (i.e. tetracycline discoloration).  We also pointed out that she had numerous old worn and leaking fillings in between her upper front teeth, and those fillings will not bleach out and would replacement anyway.

porcelain veneers orange county

Bleaching Evelyn's lower teeth and placing ten porcelain veneers on her upper teeth transformed Evelyn's smile. She got the beautiful bright, white teeth that she had always wanted. A more opaque color porcelain was required to successfully block out the underlying dark tooth color.

Evelyn said she still wanted to try teeth bleaching so she did the Day White tray home bleaching technique (one of the most popular methods utilized by cosmetic dentists in the U.S. today).  After several weeks her lower teeth did well with the tray bleaching and became much whiter, but as we predicted her upper teeth did not.  She came back in to discuss other options with us.

For Evelyn and most people with severe tooth discoloration porcelain veneer treatment is often the treatment of choice.  It is much more conservative than “capping”  (utilizing “full crown” restorations) and gives the cosmetic dentist very good control at hiding the dark underlying tooth color.  However, when wanting white teeth while the underlying teeth are extremely dark it generally requires that the dentist use a more opaque porcelain to block out (hide) the dark color.  This deviates slightly from our normal technique whereby we use a semi-translucent porcelain that has very natural life-like and enamel-like qualities to it.  If semi-translucent porcelain were used with the underlying tooth is very dark, then the color would not be blocked out and the teeth would still have somewhat of a dark color.  Once Evelyn understood that we had to compromise slightly to achieve her goals, she said she wanted us to proceed with porcelain veneers.  “I don’t expect perfection,” she said.  “As long as my teeth look better and aren’t black anymore, I’ll be happy!”

We discussed how many teeth to place porcelain veneers on.  This was really dependent on how many teeth Evelyn showed when she smiled.  Since when she smiled wide she didn’t want to show black teeth on back bicuspids, Evelyn chose to do ten porcelain veneers.

Evelyn’s treatment went very smooth and was completed in under three weeks time.  She chose a BL2 opaque shade from the tooth shade guide and an “enhanced” smile style from the tooth shape library.

The end result for Evelyn was like night and day, a beautiful transformation from dark, blackish teeth to a bright smile!  Looking at the before and after photos, you can see why Evelyn was so happy with the final results of her smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry and Porcelain Veneers. Serving the surrounding cities of Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Newport Beach, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita

Fixing an Unsightly Gap Between the Two Front Teeth with Porcelain Veneers Orange County


Lydia hated "the gap" between her upper central incisors. After many years she finally decided to do something about it. She wanted a whiter, brighter smile without the gap. She chose to get the beautiful smile that she had always wanted by having porcelain veneers.

Lydia had a huge space between her two central incisor teeth (two front teeth).  She told us that she has always “hated that gap”.  It started when she was a child.  Her classmates and friends would tease her!  She never forgot that and was always self conscious about her teeth and smile.

Decades past by and in her 40s Lydia finally decided to find out what could be done about it.  At her cosmetic dentistry consultation with us she expressed her concerns, stating that not only would she “like that gap closed“, but also wants a whiter more attractive smile as well.

orange county porcelain veneers

Lydia got a beautiful smile with eight porcelain veneers. Dr. Huefner "closed the gap" between the central incisors, made the teeth whiter and slightly longer to "follow the smile line" (curvature of her lower lip). The end result was that her teeth were now all normal in proportion and she was extremely pleased with her new smile.

Upon evaluating her smile we noted that not only did she have a huge gap (a dental diastema), but that the edges of her upper incisors did not follow the contour of her lower lip when she smiled (called “following the smile line“), which is generally considered a more pleasing look.  Instead, the edges of her teeth were straight and flat, and this characteristic is considered by many cosmetic dentists to not be a very youthful or feminine look.

Lydia was hoping that she could just bleach her teeth and then do two porcelain veneers on her upper central incisors.  Although bleaching would make all her upper teeth whiter, doing only two porcelain veneers to close the gap would make the two front teeth too wide and very disproportionate to the rest of her teeth.  It only took looking at the photo of her smile for her to appreciate that.  She didn’t want to change having to gap to having two huge, over proportionate front two teeth.

“Well, if you can’t fix my smile with just two porcelain veneers, what can you do?” Lydia asked.

We explained to Lydia that we actually could solve her problems with porcelain veneers, but to do it right and get a pleasing result we would need to do more than just two porcelain veneers.  This would allow us to not only give her teeth the color she wanted but we would be able to close the gap with normal proportions and she wouldn’t end up with two huge teeth in the front of her mouth.  Also, this would enable us to lengthen her teeth slightly to follow the contour of her lower lip (the “smile line”).  If she accepted our recommendations, Lydia would end up with an absolutely great looking smile!

When Lydia looked at her teeth and how wide her smile was she understood and decided to do eight porcelain veneers.  That was a very wise decision on her part, as that would give us considerably more control on giving her the beautiful smile that she wanted.

During the course of her treatment Lydia chose a BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide.  She also chose a “softened” smile style from the LVI tooth shape library.  The end result was an amazing.  No more gap between her two central incisor teeth, whiter color teeth that were normal proportioned teeth that followed the curve of her lower lip (the “smile line”).  Her entire treatment was completed in less than three weeks time in just a few office visits to Dr. Huefner’s Orange County cosmetic dental practice.

Copyright © Website Designed, Developed, and Optimized by Page 1 Solutions, LLC