November 27, 2014

What do you do when you hate the way your front caps look? Jackie’s Orange County cosmetic dentistry story

all-porcelain vs porcelain fused to metal crowns

Jackie didn't like her old "caps" (lower photo) on her upper front two teeth. She thought they didn't "look real" and that the gums around them were darker. We replaced both old porcelain fused to metal crowns with all-ceramic non-metal crowns (upper photo) for a more natural and "real" looking crowns. By using all-ceramic material the natural pink color around her gums and her two front teeth returned back to normal. Also, take special note of the difference in surface texture. The new crowns (upper photo) has "slight texture" to match her other teeth. The old crowns were very smooth (unnatural) with no texture (lower photo). The difference in surface texture is clearly seen by how the light reflects off of the surface of the crowns.

Orange County Cosmetic Dentist

When Jackie (from Laguna Niguel, Orange County, CA) was younger she fell and chipped her two front teeth.  Her parents took her to their family dentist and he made two porcelain fused to metal caps for her.  Jackie was happy not to have to go around with two broken front teeth any more, but when she looked at herself in the mirror she thought they looked like “caps”, not natural teeth.  Thus she was always a bit dissatisfied with her cosmetic dentistry and self conscious when she smiled.

Years passed and Jackie graduated from college, got married and had a family but she never got over the way her front tooth looked.  Finally she was so dissatisfied that she came to our cosmetic dental practice in Orange County to ask us if there was any other way of remaking her “caps” so that (this time) they look like real teeth?

old porcelain fused to metal crowns before replacement with all-ceramic crowns

Jackie was self conscious about the way the two old porcelain fused to metal crowns looked when she smiled.

Before examining Jackie’s teeth we asked her specifically what she didn’t like about the way her two old porcelain fused to metal crowns looked?  She said:

  • “my gums are darker around the crowns”
  • “the color doesn’t look the same”
  • “they feel too thick”
  • “when people look at my smile I don’t want it to be apparent that my teeth have been capped”

Upon looking careful at Jackie’s two front caps it was obvious that, considering when her dentist made those crowns for her, he actually did a very nice job!  It is just that Jackie had high, but not unrealistic expectations.  Fortunately cosmetic dentistry now offers amazingly improved techniques and materials to the porcelain fused to metal crowns that her family dentist had used.  Yes, we could redo the two old caps and give her beautiful, natural looking all-ceramic (non-metal) porcelain crowns that would achieve her objectives—look like she had natural teeth that hadn’t been crowned!

Dark Line Around Gums

“But what about the darkness around my gums?” Jackie asked.

orange county all porcelain crowns

After replacing the two old crowns on her front teeth with all ceramic crowns Jackie loved her new smile!

We explained that much of the darkness was because with her old porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns the metal stopped light from going into her tooth, down the roots and gums.  We would use all-ceramic (non-metal) with her new crowns which would all light to pass through the crown, into the roots and gums like all her other teeth.  Thus her new crowns would be surrounded by healthy, pink gums, not darkened gums like she had with her old crowns.

When Jackie was assured that we could give her natural looking all-ceramic non-metal crowns that looked like “real teeth” and that her gums would look normal, without any darkness around the caps, she was ready to proceed with replacing her old porcelain fused to metal caps.

Orange County porcelain crowns

Now with all-ceramic crowns Jackie's front two teeth finally looked "real" and nobody would ever suspect that they had been broken and were anything but her own natural teeth.

Natural Looking All-ceramic Crowns

Jackie’s treatment went smooth.  The first visit we gently removed her old caps, took impressions for her new all-ceramic crowns, and made her temporary crowns.  Two weeks later she returned, we removed her temporary crowns and bonded (cemented) her two new all-ceramic crowns in place.

Natural Surface Texture

One of the special characteristics that was specifically added to Jackie’s new all-ceramic crowns to make them appear very “life like” was “slight surface texture” to match her other natural teeth.  This is contrasted by having no surface texture in her old crowns.  Surface texture can be best seen by how light reflects off of the front surface of teeth and crowns, as clearly demonstrated in the upper photo that shows both the before and after photos together.

Jackie was very pleased with the end results.  She got the natural looking teeth and smile that she had always wanted!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Jackie’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, Coto de Caza and Rancho Santa Margarita
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