August 15, 2018

Archives for July 2011

Tiny teeth that wore down by teeth grinding “grow up” to beautiful adult smile with porcelain veneers orange county

orange county porcelain veneers

Andrea's smile makeover after laser gum reshaping and porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner. Her treatment took approximately one month's time and she went from having extremely tiny teeth to normal size teeth and incredible smile!

Andrea had graduated from college.  In fact she had done very well, excellent grades and honors.  She got her first job but disappointingly, wasn’t taken very serious by her boss and colleagues.  Andrea knew it wasn’t her brains, eduction, attitude, effort or work ethics.  She knew what the problem was….her teeth!  Admittedly, Andrea was small in stature, but her teeth were extremely small, in the smallest 3% of the population. And when she smiled, not only didn’t you see much teeth, but she had a slightly gummy smile.  All these “dental features” made her look like she was in middle school when she smiled.  People do judge, and perceptions are reality to many.  In an adult world, dealing with fellow employees and customers her smile was holding her back, she knew this!

So, how does one go from small baby-size teeth to adult teeth? Cosmetic dentistry was the answer.  Andrea’s mother was a dental hygienist, and referred Andrea to Dr. Huefner’s cosmetic dental practice.

short teeth from bruxism

Before cosmetic dentistry Andrea had very tiny teeth and a gummy smile. Although in her mid 20s, her teeth and smile made her look ten years younger.

Upon careful examination it was noted that not only did Andrea have very small teeth to begin with, but she had a “grinding habit” (bruxism) for a number of years and had worn off about 20% of the enamel on her teeth, making them appear even shorter.  Also, she had some “excess” gums over her teeth, that also made her teeth look shorter and the slightly gummy smile made her look younger as well.

short teeth after laser gum reshaping, before placing porcelain veneers

Before placing Andrea's porcelain veneers her excess gums were reshaped with the dental gum laser. Although that reduced some of her gummy smile and made her teeth a little longer, they were still too short. Porcelain veneers to lengthen her teeth was the next step.

Andrea and her mother were pleased to learn that she could easily be treated by combining two very common cosmetic dentistry procedures.  First, we would reduce her gummy smile and lengthen her teeth at the gum line by using our dental gum laser.  That is a short, almost effortless procedure, essentially painless, that dissolves away unwanted excess gum tissue. Then we would lengthen all her teeth at their edges by placing porcelain veneers on her front and side teeth, and onlay restorations on several off her back teeth that had really worn down.

porcelain veneers coto de caza

To Andrea's delight, we were able to lengthen her short teeth considerably with porcelain veneers to now have teeth with an average tooth length. The difference in her appearance between the before and after photos showed that she looked like she matured over ten years to her actual age.

We proceeded almost immediately with her treatment, and Andrea got a fabulous result! We created for her a normal, adult-size smile with porcelain veneers and she almost instantly looked like she went from age thirteen to her real age, mid 20s in just a months time.  Since Andrea “was still a bruxer” (teeth grinder) we completed her treatment by fabricating a night guard anti-bruxism appliance that she would wear over her teeth at night to protect her teeth and new porcelain veneers.

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

Predicting how your new smile will look with porcelain veneers and cosmetic dentistry orange county

orange county porcelain veneers

Roy had crooked, discolored teeth and wanted a whiter smile with straight teeth, and WITHOUT braces. Porcelain veneers were utilized to give him the teeth and smile that he always wanted, and his complete treatment was accomplished in less than a months time..

Roy is very successful and is the CEO of his own company in Orange County. But, to use his own words, “My teeth are a mess!”  He understood that his clients all looked up to him, and when it came to his teeth and smile there wasn’t much to appreciate.  In fact, his crooked discolored teeth were pretty distracting.

When Roy came to Dr. Huefner’s cosmetic dental practice in Orange County he wanted to know what Dr. Huefner could do to give him a nice smile. We took photos of his teeth and smile and together we discussed the things about his teeth that made them look so bad:

  • they were crooked
  • his one front tooth and left cuspid really stuck out
  • his gums were uneven
  • his teeth varied in color, were mostly yellowish, and he wanted white teeth

After carefully listening to Roy’s concerns we made two suggestions.  One, he could have braces to make his teeth straight, and bleach his teeth and place ultra ultra thin porcelain veneers over his upper front teeth.  The second option was to skip the 6-12 months of braces and just place porcelain veneers over nine of Roy’s teeth, a procedure we often call “instant orthodontics“.  By doing this Roy could have his new smile completed in less than a month’s time.

crooked discolored teeth before cosmetic dentistry

Not only were Roy's teeth crooked and discolored, but his right central incisor and his left canine teeth really stuck out.

Roy was very quick to respond that there was “no way in hell” that he would ever even consider braces.  “I’m just too busy and too old,” he said.  “Sounds like the porcelain veneer treatment in a month’s time is the way for me to go.”

At that point it Roy brought up some other thoughts.  “I really want to know exactly how my smile will look after your done.  In my business know exactly what they’re getting before they pay one penny.”

Viewing before and after dental photos help patients plan their cosmetic treatment

We explained to Roy that everything we do is custom, but that he will be involved in the entire design, beginning to end.  Unfortunately it is impossible for us to be able to show him in advance exactly how it will look, but there were two ways that we are usually able to overcome that.  First, I showed him before and after photos of a number of other patients I have treated with problems very similar to his (i.e. very crooked discolored teeth).

The “trial smile” is the ultimate dental tool to patient satisfaction with their porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns

trial smile temporary veneers orange county

Roy with his temporary veneers and "trial smile". After wearing his trial smile for a few days Roy returned to ask us to shorten one tooth and lengthen another. He also decided he wanted his final veneers a little whiter. The cosmetic ceramist used the photos, models and measurements of Roy's approved trial smile as the template or prototype to make his final porcelain veneers.

Second, that we would incorporate a special process we call the “trial smile” to help us all visualize the final appearance.  Basically the “trial smile” are temporary veneers made in the shape, length and color of the smile design that we will plan for Roy.  Roy will wear the trial smile for several days, kind of like a “test drive.”  Then he will come back to us and we will discuss all the features, length, shape, color, smile design, etc.  If Roy wanted us to make any changes we would make those in the “trial smile” and then when he accepted the changes we would take photos of his trial smile along with measurements of the length of all the teeth, the tooth shade he wanted, and take an impression of his adjusted “trial smile” for make a model of the adjusted and accepted final shape.  Those would all go to our ceramist in addition to any other subtle changes or refinements that Roy  wanted.  Roy was assured that we wouldn’t bond his new porcelain veneers into place without his written approval both at the “trial smile” stage and when the final porcelain veneers were tried in.

Once Roy realized that he would be intimately involved in the whole smile design process his treatment went like a breeze.  We first did some laser gum reshaping to make all the gums a the same level.  Then we prepared his teeth and put on his trial smile. Like we had spoken about, a few days later Roy returned to us and we made a couple adjustments in the trial smile that he wanted us to make.  One temporary veneer was a little too long for Roy, so we shortened it.  Another tooth on the opposite side was too short, so we added length to it.  After looking at the color he decided he wanted the final veneers just a little bit lighter in color, so we noted that as well.  Then we measured the length of all his approved temporary veneers, took photos of them and an impression to make a model of the approved trial smile for our ceramist to follow.

coto de caza porcelain veneers

Roy with his very handsome new smile created with porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner.

The end result for Roy was just short of amazing.  He went from having very crooked and discolored teeth, to having straight, white teeth that was very becoming for a CEO of a very successful business.  He also got what he wanted, intimately involved in the final design, which we accomplished to his satisfaction with the “trial smile” process.

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

Saving a Smile in Mission Viejo – Heroic Cosmetic Dentistry to treat Spaced Teeth, Pronounced Overbite and Periodontal Disease

Cecilia from Mission Viejo is a professional salesperson.  Very smart and in tune to her clients, she realized that first impressions mean a lot. She knew her teeth looked pretty bad and noticed on multiple occasions that some of her clients would stare at her teeth.  Over the last few years she became increasingly more self conscious about them.  Then she noticed that sales were starting to slip off and one of her colleagues mentioned that “maybe it is because they don’t like your teeth?”  Thinking about that for a while Cecilia decided it was time to do something about it and came to our Cosmetic Dental Office to discuss possible options that cosmetic dentistry might have for her.

spaced teeth before cosmetic dentistry mission viejo

Cecilia was self conscious about her teeth and smile. She had a marked overbite and periodontal disease that caused her teeth to become spaced. She was hoping that cosmetic dentistry could be done to give her a nice, white smile.

Cecilia had a huge overbite and on top of that, marked periodontal disease (disease of the gums and bone that surrounds the teeth). Her teeth were all slightly loose and they had been moving over the last few years, leaving her with an even more pronounced overbite and spaced, crooked teeth.  Fortunately she came in to see us early enough that we could save her teeth for her.  Had she waited a year or two longer she most likely would have lost several teeth and needed dentures.

After her periodontal treatment was completed and her condition stable we were able to do cosmetic dentistry for Cecilia.  We placed eight porcelain crowns on Cecilia’s upper front teeth, closing the gaps and making them straight.  We recommended a natural tooth color because in contrast Cecilia had a dark complexion.  However Cecilia wanted “white teeth”, and accordingly, we allowed her to choose the tooth color for her porcelain crowns from the tooth shade guide.

spaced teeth and huge overbite treated with porcelain crowns

After Cecilia's periodontal treatment was completed and her gum and bone around the teeth were stable porcelain crowns were done to close the spaces between her teeth and give her the bright, white smile that she wanted.

Beginning to end, Cecilia’s treatment including all periodontal treatment and cosmetic dentistry was completed in just a few months time.  She can now smile with confidence, Cecilia got the straight, white teeth that she had always wanted and wasn’t going to lose any of her teeth.

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

Small Discolored Peg Teeth Transformed Into Beautiful Smile with Porcelain Veneers Orange County

laguna niguel porcelain veneers

Holly got a beautiful smile with eight porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner.

Holly is a beautiful young lady.  She has a loving husband is the mother of two children.  Unfortunately, she was very unhappy with the appearance of her teeth!  She came to Dr. Huefner’s Cosmetic Dental practice in Laguna Niguel, Orange County, CA to discuss what options Dr. Huefner might recommend “to give her a beautiful new smile.”

Before making any suggestions Dr. Huefner really needed to know more about Holly.  Why now?  Why did she finally decide to do something about her teeth?  Specifically, what didn’t she like about her teeth?  What did she want changed? If she could design the perfect smile for herself, what would she like her teeth to look like?

small discolored teeth with gaps and spaces

Holly didn't like her teeth because they were short, malformed (peg teeth), discolored and had gaps (spaces) between them. She wanted a whiter smile and beautiful teeth.

Holly said that she had been busy being a good wife and raising her children, and now it was time for her to do something for herself.  With regards to how her teeth looked, she didn’t like:

  • the color of her teeth, not only were they not white, but three or four of her teeth had different colors
  • that her teeth were too short because she said you couldn’t see much of her teeth when she smiled
  • the spaces (gaps) between her teeth
  • the shape of her teeth because she felt that her teeth looked like they were “little peg teeth”
dental bonding before and after

Holly got a dramatic improvement in the appearance of her teeth and smile as clearly demonstrated in the upper photo. Her teeth were made white and longer, the spaces were closed and she got the normal shaped teeth that she had always wanted.

Next Dr. Huefner examined and took photos of Holly’s teeth and smile.  He downloaded her photos up on the computer monitor so that Holly and Dr. Huefner could look at them together, which would aid in visualizing Holly’s teeth and enable them both to better discuss her options.  Dr. Huefner agreed with everything that Holly had said.  Her teeth were small, discolored and missappen. But fortunately Holly was the perfect candidate for porcelain veneers.

By placing porcelain veneers on eight of Holly’s upper teeth and bleaching the rest of her teeth, Holly could get the smile of her dreams!  Her teeth would be whiter and she could even choose the color of her new porcelain veneers.  Dr. Huefner would make her teeth larger, normal in shape and a little longer, so she would show more teeth when she smiled.

Holly accepted Dr. Huefner’s recommendations and scheduled her appointments for eight porcelain veneers. Holly was an excellent patient!  Her treatment went extremely smooth and her porcelain veneer treatment was completed in less than three weeks time.

orange county porcelain veneers

Holly got the beautiful smile that she had always wanted with eight porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner

Was Holly happy with the results?  Absolutely!  Not only was she extremely pleased, but very grateful as well.

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

Orange County woman says that she wants white porcelain veneers

BL1 shade porcelain veneers orange county

Lori wanted whiter, brighter teeth. She chose one of the lightest natural shades, Bl1.

Lori had porcelain veneers done for her by her family dentist about ten years ago.  But as time passed she became dissatisfied with the way they looked.  “They just aren’t as white as I want”, said Lori.  “And when you look near my gums and around the roots you can see where my old porcelain veneers end.  Where you can see my natural roots it doesn’t look right and you can tell there is something wrong!”

Actually Lori’s ten year old porcelain veneers looked pretty good considering how long ago they were done.  It is just that techniques and materials have vastly improved since then.  And Lori is a real perfectionist and really wanted a whiter, brighter smile.

b1 shade porcelain veneers

Lori's old porcelain veneers were a shade B1. She chose to replace them with a BL1 shade which is four shades whiter.

Replacing Lori’s old porcelain veneers wasn’t difficult.  We carefully removed them and reprepared her teeth to accept a new, improved design. We evened out her gums a little with the dental gum laser.  Since her gums were different on her left front tooth compared to her right front tooth, the laser gum reshaping added a lot to give her the more perfect look that she wanted.

Regarding the shade or color of her teeth, Lori wanted them white.  We measured the color of her old porcelain veneers and they were a B1 shade, which is the lightest tooth color.  However since teeth whitening (tooth bleaching) has become so popular over the past 10 years dentists have been using new colors that are even whiter.  In Lori’s case she chose a BL1 tooth color, which is four shades whiter than the B1 color of her old veneers.

bl1 vs b1 tooth shade porcelain veneers

Looking up close at both the before and after photos of Lori's porcelain veneers shows quite a difference. Not only are the new porcelain veneers whiter and brighter with the BL1 shade, but Dr. Huefner evened out the gums around her front two teeth with the dental laser and changed the shape and fit around her roots and gums. The end result with the new porcelain veneers was a huge improvement over her old ones.

Lori got a terrific end result with her new porcelain veneers.  They were much whiter and brighter than her old porcelain veneers, and certainly fit around her teeth and gums much better too!

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

Short Unattractive Teeth Transformed to Incredibly Beautiful Smile with Longer, More Beautifully Shaped Porcelain Veneers Orange County

porcelain veneers orange county

Courtney's smile makeover with porcelain veneers was entered in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Gallery competition.

Courtney had six porcelain veneers placed when she was in high school.  At the time she was happy, as the porcelain veneers really improved the way her teeth looked.  A decade past and Courtney moved on to a successful professional career.  In that period she became much more aware of the value of a smile in her business and became increasingly dissatisfied with the way her teeth looked.  She came to our office to see what we suggested she have done to improve the appearance of her teeth and smile?

Before making any suggestions, we really wanted to know what Courtney thought about her existing porcelain veneers.  What didn’t she like about them?  What and how did she want them changed?

porcelain veneers too short

Courtney didn't like the way her old porcelain veneers looked, feeling especially that they were too short. She felt her old veneers were too thick and bulky and wanted a whiter, bigger smile.

Without hesitation, Courtney said the following:

  • My teeth are way too short
  • My old porcelain veneers are too thick
  • I want a bigger smile
  • I definitely want whiter teeth

After listening to Courtney very carefully, we took photos of her teeth and smile so that we could put them up on the computer monitor and talk very specifically about the things that she mentioned.  I also examined her teeth, gums, lips, facial features, trying to get a good idea of how I could design a new smile for Courtney with new porcelain veneers that would achieve the objectives she mentioned.

As both Courtney and I looked at her photos together I pointed out that I definitely agreed with her.  In general cosmetic dentists like to design the length of the upper teeth to follow the curve of the patient’s lower lip when they smile.  We call that following the “smile line.”  In Courtney’s case, her previous dentist didn’t do that.  There was a huge gap between the edges of her upper porcelain veneers and her lower lip when she smiled.  Thus, if she wanted longer teeth, I would make her newer porcelain veneers so that they would follow her “smile line.”

Regarding the thickness, we would make her new porcelain veneers with a more natural shape, promising her that they wouldn’t be thick and bulky like her existing porcelain veneers were.

orange county porcelain veneers

We created a whiter, bigger smile for Courtney with ten Empress porcelain veneers. Since the veneers that were made for her ten years ago were way too short we gave her longer porcelain veneers, following the curve of her lower lip when she smiled (a concept that cosmetic dentists call "following the smile line").

Addressing the “bigger smile” and whiter teeth, those would both be effected by how many teeth she wanted to have done.  She currently had six porcelain veneers.  If we only replaced the six and made them whiter, then when she smiled the darker side teeth would show and be obvious.  Since she showed ten teeth when she smiled, wanted a whiter and “bigger” smile, we suggested we place ten porcelain veneers.  That would give us the best control over creating a beautiful, full smile for her.

Courtney agreed with our recommendations and started the process of us making ten porcelain veneers for her almost immediately. Her entire treatment from beginning to end went very smooth.  The first visit was an exam appointment, whereby we took x-rays, impressions for models and did Courtney’s exam.  From her models we created a prototype model, or template, for the smile we were designing for her.

At her second visit we removed her six old porcelain veneers and prepared her ten upper front teeth for new porcelain veneers. We the placed ten temporary veneers on her teeth, which we call the “trial smile“.  The temporary veneers were longer and whiter and the shape that we had designed to achieve her objectives

After wearing the “trial smile” for three or four days, Courtney returned for her third visit.  At that visit she gave her approval in wring of the smile design we made for her, specifically the color, length and shape of the ten temporary veneers that would be used as a model for her ten porcelain veneers.

Two weeks later, Courtney returned to get her ten new porcelain veneers.  We removed her “trial smile” temporary veneers.  Placed her ten porcelain veneers to preview so that she could give us her final approval to bond them into place on her teeth.  This was her last chance to make any changes in the final design.  Courtney looked at them carefully for ten minutes and absolutely loved the smile design we created for her.  She gave us her final approval and we then bonded her ten porcelain veneers on with our Argon curing laser and she left grinning ear to ear with her new smile.

The next week Courtney returned for her final polish and adjustment of her bite (occlusion).    Her entire treatment, beginning to end was completed in just a little over a months time.

Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers

Courtney's new smile with porcelain veneers looked stunning. We entered this portrait we took of her and her before and after dental photos in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Gallery competition.

About month later Courtney returned to our office for her portrait photo shoot.  Although not a model, you wouldn’t have know that by the way her portraits turned out.  We were so pleased that we entered the photos of Courtney’s porcelain veneer smile makeover in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Portrait Gallery competition.

Regarding the specifics of her treatment, we used Empress porcelain for her veneers.  Empress is one of the strongest porcelain veneers materials and has great fit and very natural lifelike translucency.  She chose a BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide and an “enhanced” smile style from the tooth shape library.

So, how was pleased was Courtney with her new porcelain veneers and her smile makeover?  When you look the photos of beautiful Courtney with her sensational new smile, I think you can answer that question yourself.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Courtney’s porcelain veneer treatment.

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
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