August 15, 2018

Orange County patient is a very clear example that demonstrates the life changing aspect of porcelain veneers

extremely discolored teeth before porcelain veneers

Thao had braces treatment which had straightened her teeth. But her old fillings, cavities and extremely discolored teeth had produced such an unattractive smile for her that she was very self conscious and ashamed to smile.

Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry

Thao, who recently moved to Orange County, was ashamed by her smile.”My teeth are ugly,” she said.  “I just finished braces and had some periodontal treatment, so they are straight now, but I want pretty teeth.”
After speaking with Thao for a while we learned that she immigrated to the U.S. from a country that had very little opportunity for dental care when she was growing up.  As an adult, she had huge discolored fillings and existing decay.  The result was that the appearance of her teeth showed straight, but unfortunately very discolored and extremely unattractive teeth!

She had learned that our dental practice is one of the leading cosmetic dental practices in Orange County and came to us to solve her “ugly discolored teeth problem.” Before making our recommendations we asked Thao what she had in mind?  Did she just want the fillings replaced and cavities repaired with new fillings or was she really looking for a more perfect smile?  She told us she wanted white teeth and all her life she wanted a pretty smile, so she ready now to get dentistry that gives her that.

Porcelain Veneers Often Treatment of Choice for Severely Discolored Teeth

As a cosmetic dentist, it was quite obvious to us that the best way to treat Thao’s severely discolored teeth problem was with porcelain veneers.   Although many dentists might place full porcelain crowns, in our opinion that would have required too much drilling away of Thao’s teeth.  Porcelain veneers are a much more conservative treatment that retains much more of ones tooth structure and has a much lower incidence of possible root canal treatment, especially on teeth like Thao’s with a history of periodontal disease and bone loss.

trail smile temporary veneers orange county

This is the "trial smile" of Thao's temporary veneers which enabled her to "test drive" the smile design that Dr. Huefner had planned for her. She was very pleased with the length and shape of her "trial smile", but wanted the color to be just a little bit whiter.

Test Driving Veneers with The “Trial Smile”

When we explained our recommended treatment with Thao, she quickly understood the benefits of porcelain veneers and how and why in our opinion that would be the best treatment method to give her the teeth and smile that she has always wanted.  The biggest problem that Thao had was that she didn’t know how she wanted her new smile made, but yet wanted to make sure that she would like her new smile.  She didn’t have any idea what color she wanted her new porcelain veneers, but definitely wanted them much whiter than her dark, dingy teeth were.  Also, how long would we make her new teeth?  And what shape?  She looked a many of the photos of the thousands of cosmetic dentistry patients we’ve treated over the past three decades in Orange County, which seemed to confuse her even more.

We explained to Thao that we had the perfect method to overcome her concerns, allowing her to become more involved in the design of her porcelain veneers and getting to see what she was going to get, and approve of the smile design before her new porcelain veneers were made.  The method we were referring to is one we use for almost every cosmetic dentistry patient that we make porcelain veneers for, the “trial smile” phase of porcelain veneers.  We would make preliminary temporary porcelain veneers for Thao, called the “trial smile“, with the shape, color and length that we felt would best fit her face, lips, skin color, age, etc., and let her “test drive” the design for several days.  Then she would come back to our office and we would evaluate her “trial smile” together.  If she wanted them longer or shorter, we would make those changes.  If the color was too light or dark, we would be able to tell the lab specifically what color she wanted.  Also, that we wouldn’t even have her new porcelain veneers made until Thao gave us her written approval of all the aspects of the smile design…the teeth shape, color, length, etc.

porcelain veneers orange county

Per Thao's instructions, her porcelain veneers were made just a little whiter than her "trial smile".

Now Thao was becoming more and more comfortable with having chosen Dr. Huefner for her cosmetic dentist and the whole process of having porcelain veneers made for her eight upper front teeth.
From then on out, Thao’s porcelain veneer treatment was a breeze.  We made her trail smile and she like the design so much that only made on change in the design, she wanted her teeth to be just a little bit whiter.  She signed off on all aspects of the smile design, so now our ceramist knew very specifically what she wanted and then proceeded on fabricating her new porcelain veneers.

Thao continued to wear her “trial smile” for two more weeks, then returned to get her new porcelain veneers.  We gently removed the plastic “trial smile” veneers, and then placed her new porcelain veneers on her teeth to preview and get her final approval.  She loved them!  After signing her final approval, stating that she accepted the porcelain veneers, we bonded them into place and she finally got the beautiful new smile that she had always dreamed of!

life changing porcelain veneers orange county

Thao never thought she was pretty. But after replacing her "distracting and unattractive" teeth with beautiful porcelain veneers it was obvious how really pretty she is!

This brings up an important question, what if Thao didn’t like the porcelain veneers that we made for her?  Well, the truth is that by going through the very detailed process as we do that that is rarely the case.  We do so much planning and communicating with our patients, that almost all of the guess work is over before the porcelain veneers are ever made.  But, if any or all of the porcelain veneers did not meet her expectations, we would have placed her back into her “trial smile” temporary veneers, and then had the lab make any changes that Thao specifically requested.  You can clearly see from Thao’s final photo that was not the case.  She loved her new smile!

Life Changing Cosmetic Dentistry

One of the most rewarding things about cosmetic dentistry that we really love is that by fabricating beautiful teeth we make beautiful smiles.  And, of course, this greatly enhances the appearance of the face and can be life changing for the patient.  No one could ever dispute that in Thao’s case this certainly is true.
A month after Thao’s porcelain veneer treatment she came back to our office and we did a portrait photography photo shoot for her.  When we showed her the best portrait of her she was almost in tears.  “I never thought I was ever pretty,” she said.  “I definitely feel pretty now!”

before and after porcelain veneers orange county

With her new porcelain veneers nobody would ever suspect that Thao's teeth were as discolored as they were. The homogenous white color of her porcelain veneers dramatically effected her facial appearance.

Words like that are what motivates us to be the best cosmetic dentist that we can be and to go the extra mile for our patients, to create for them the beautiful teeth that gives them an amazing smile.  We are so pleased that Thao got the beautiful smile that she had always wanted and we were integrally involved in this life changing process.

But Thao’s story doesn’t end there.  She just came back to our office a few weeks ago with some great news.  She is engaged!!!!  What a beautiful bride she will be.  There is no doubt in our minds that she will be smiling much differently for her bridal photos than she would have a year ago with her teeth the way they were then.  Congratulations Thao, you are a beautiful woman with a pretty smile!  You are very deserving and we are confidant that you will be a great wife to your new husband.

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

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