October 16, 2017

Archives for October 2011

Mission Viejo Businessman with severely discolored front teeth and congenitally missing lateral incisor tooth gets amazing smile enhancement with porcelain veneers

Porcelain Veneers for Mission Viejo Businessman

mission viejo porcelain veneers

Jeff had four porcelain veneers placed to give his front teeth a whiter, youthful and more attractive color and hide the fact that he had a fractured off his left central incisor and was congenitally missing his right lateral incisor.

Jeff from Mission Viejo has been a longtime patient and personal friend for decades.  Back in the 1980s his dog crashed its head against Jeff’s left front central incisor tooth and broke a good part of it off.  Porcelain veneers had not been invented yet, so Dr. Huefner came to Jeff’s rescue by placing a bonded plastic composite resin veneer which gave Jeff a normal looking front tooth again.  However 25 years passed and the old fashioned plastic veneer severely discolored and was very distracting.  Jeff finally realized it was time to replace his old dentistry and get his smile into shape!

Very clear about what he wanted, Jeff told Dr. Huefner he just wanted his four front teeth to look good and match with his other side and back teeth. He didn’t want a complete smile makeover, just to correct the major problems.

congenitally missing right lateral incisor before porcelain veneers

Twenty five years after having old fashioned plastic bonding that had severely discolored, Jeff realized it was time to get the appearance of his smile back into shape with cosmetic dentistry.

After closely examining Jeff’s teeth and smile Jeff’s cosmetic dental problems were determined to be:

  • right lateral incisor missing
  • right canine tooth (the long pointed tooth in the photo) had moved into the normal position of the missing lateral incisor
  • left central incisor was chipped off in half and restored over 20 years ago with old fashioned material that had now severely discolored to a dark brown color
  • left lateral incisor was also discolored brown

Jeff also said that he wanted not only his front teeth to match, but also if possible to make them a little lighter in color than his other teeth.  “Just a little whiter would be good,” said Jeff.

mission viejo porcelain veneers

Jeff got a terrific smile enhancement with four porcelain veneers. The four veneers were made whiter and slightly longer for a more youthful look. The gum on his left lateral incisor was reshaped with the dental gum laser to make it the same length as his right lateral incisor veneer. He was congenitally missing his left lateral incisor, so the left canine veneer was made the same shape as a lateral incisor, giving the illusion that Jeff wasn't missing a tooth.

The solution to Jeff’s problems was to make four porcelain veneers for him.  However, to make Jeff’s smile look its best we also added a few things to the design that really improved the overall look of his front teeth:

  • made his front two teeth a little longer (the size they originally were before the right central incisor wore down a little and the left central incisor broke off)
  • since his right canine was in the place of his right congenitally missing lateral incisor, we made the veneer for it the shape of a lateral incisor.  This gave the illusion that Jeff wasn’t missing his lateral incisor
  • since the new right lateral veneer was longer at the gum line, as can easily be seen from the pretreatment photo, we did some minor laser gum reshaping on Jeff’s left lateral incisor with the dental gum laser.  Our goal was for both lateral incisors to be as close to the same length as possible.
orange county porcelain veneer treatment

Jeff, a successful businessman from Mission Viejo with a younger, more attractive and professional smile with four porcelain veneers that goes well with his handsome features.

The end result for Jeff was a cleaner, more youthful and professional looking smile with the four porcelain veneers and minor laser gum reshaping on his left lateral incisor.  He got the whiter, more youthful looking smile that he had always wanted and it no longer looked liked he was congenitally missing his right lateral incisor.  Jeff was very happy with the end result and nothing pleased us more than to give our long time patient and friend from Mission Viejo a great smile, the smile he deserved to have!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Jeff’s porcelain veneer treatment and how we corrected his smile to hide the fact that he was congenitally missing his lateral incisor.

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

Porcelain Veneers Fullerton Change Unhealthy, Unattractive Teeth and Gums into Beautiful Smile Before Erica Goes to Graduate School

porcelain veneers fullerton

Erica before and after treating her gingivitis, laser gum reshaping and eight porcelain veneers to cover over her unattractive discolored teeth.

Erica didn’t like her discolored teeth and gummy smile

Erica from Fullerton didn’t like her smile.  “My teeth are discolored and I show way too much gums,” she told us at her cosmetic dentistry consultation.  “I’m going to graduate school and I would really like to have pretty teeth and a less gummy smile before I get there.”

First, we discussed Erica’s teeth.  She didn’t like the color of her teeth and that was very understandable.  She fell on her two front teeth in middle school and ended up getting a cap on her left central incisor, which didn’t match the color of any of her teeth.  The trauma of the fall caused both of her central incisors to get infected, so they both turned dark and she ended up getting two root canals.  The rest of her teeth were yellow and moderately discolored.  She was very clear about her goals, telling us “I want whiter teeth and I want them all the same color.” Our recommendations for Erica to give her great looking white teeth was to place porcelain veneers on her upper eight teeth.  That way all of the upper teeth would not only be the same color, but the color she chooses.

Gingivitis and laser gum reshaping treatment

gingivitis and discolored teeth

Erica has a "high lip line" and when she smiles she shows a lot of her teeth and way too much of her gums. Her red, swollen gums caused by gingivitis made her gummy smile even more pronounced. She wanted a great looking smile with white teeth and to show less of her gums.

Then we looked at Erica’s gums, which had two problems.  First, is that she had gingivitis, and so her gums looked very red and inflamed. Second, she had what we commonly call “a high lip line”, meaning when she smiled her upper lip raised up, exposing all of her upper teeth and also a lot of gums.  The first of the two gum problems was easy to fix.  We would clean her teeth, remove all the tartar and plaque and teach her how to properly clean her teeth on a daily basis.  With very little effort at all we expected that her red, inflamed gums would turn to a healthy pink color in a weeks time.  Regarding the second gum issue, showing too much gums when she smiled, Erica could benefit from a simple dental procedure called “laser gum reshaping“.  She had some excess gums overlapping her teeth, but by removing a little of that with the dental laser she would show less gums and more teeth!

Erica was quick to understand her problems and the solutions that we recommended.  “The only problem is,” Erica said to us, “all this had to be done in the next month before I leave Fullerton and go to school out of state!”

laguna niguel dental hygienist

Catherine is Dr. Huefner's dental hygienist.

She was very happy to hear our response, “Yes, all of your cosmetic dentistry can be completed within the next month provided we get started right away.”

We started by Erica seeing Catherine, our dental hygienist.  Since Erica hadn’t had her teeth cleaned in several years it took two appointments with Catherine to get her cleaned and caught up.  But, as we had predicted, within a week Erica no longer had gingivitis and her gums weren’t red any more, but instead pink and very healthy looking.

Then we did some minor laser gum reshaping to reduce the amount of gum tissue Erica showed when she smiled.  This averaged 1-1.5mm per tooth, so she showed a little longer looking teeth and a little less gums.

Porcelain Veneers completed Erica’s smile makeover

Finally, we placed eight porcelain veneers on Erica’s upper teeth.

orange county porcelain veneers

Erica's entire treatment was completed in less than a months time. First, her gingivitis was treated and a little of her excess gum tissue removed with the dental gum laser. Then eight porcelain veneers were placed.

The end result was Erica had beautiful teeth and a gorgeous smile in less than a months time and she went away to graduate school with the smile she always wanted to have!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Erica’s porcelain veneer treatment and/or laser gum reshaping

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, Rancho Santa Margarita and Fullerton

Incisal Translucency and Surface Texture – essential components to perfectly matching a single porcelain veneer to an adjacent tooth

mission viejo porcelain veneer

Lower photo: Christopher had an old porcelain veneer that didn't match well and finally broke. Upper photo: A perfectly matched porcelain veneer was achieved by duplicating the color, shape, size and length of the adjacent tooth and most importantly matching the surface texture and incisal translucency.

Christopher, a young man from Mission Viejo, CA, in his early 20s broke his left front tooth when he was a teenager.  His family dentist placed a porcelain veneer on it, but according to Christopher, “It never looked right. It was too white, too thick and didn’t look like a real tooth”.  One day Christopher was out with his buddies and got bumped in the face and his old porcelain veneer broke.  He said he was actually glad that it broke because now he could get it replaced with a “real looking porcelain veneer.”

Essential Components to a Perfectly Matched Porcelain Veneer or Crown

At his cosmetic dentistry consultation we explained to Christopher that placing a single porcelain veneer and matching it to his other front tooth is one of the most difficult and challenging procedure in cosmetic dentistry.  For a single porcelain veneered tooth to match adjacent tooth exactly a number of things have to be done.  Any one of the following that isn’t the same as the natural tooth will make veneered tooth obviously different:

  • length and width
  • shape
  • thickness
  • color
  • translucency of the porcelain, especially at the edge (called incisal translucency), which is how much light is able to pass through the porcelain
  • surface texture, how smooth or rough the surface of the tooth is, which has a huge effect on how light reflects off of the teeth

We’ve all seen people with an obvious crown or veneer on one of their front teeth, and that obviousness is usually the result of one or more of the above not taken into consideration.

Younger Teeth have Incisal Translucency and Surface Texture

porcelain veneer surface texture

By perfectly matching Christopher's porcelain veneer to the adjacent tooth Christopher's smile looks great and his dentistry has a very natural appearance. Notice how the color match is identical and how light reflects the same off of the porcelain veneer as the natural tooth (called surface texture).

Being a young man, in Christophers case his teeth had two distinguishing features of young teeth that we had to match to give him a perfectly matched porcelain veneer.  First, since his teeth hadn’t worn down yet they showed the distinct clear enamel of the edge of the teeth, called incisal translucency.  Many times this appears to be a slightly clear or gray color that actually reflects the darkness of the mouth showing through the translucent enamel.  Second, since the surface of his teeth hadn’t worn down yet from brushing, eating and repeated exposure to food acids it had a slightly rough surface texture which could easily be seen by how light reflected off of the surface.  This was a characteristic of a young tooth.  Most people lose this by the time they are in their 30s or 40s, and shows as a very flat and shiny surface.  But since Christopher still had surface texture then it was essential that we duplicate that in his new porcelain veneer.

To Christophers delight we achieved the perfect match that we strived for with his porcelain veneer.  Obviously the length and shape and color of the two front teeth are identical, but look closely at the photos at the way the light reflects off the surface of the teeth and the subtle color change at the edges of the front two teeth that are a result of properly matched incisal translucency.  End result, one very happy young man from Mission Viejo now smiling away with confidence!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Christophers 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

Orange County Porcelain Veneers Love Story With a Very Happy Ending

Dark Line Around Porcelain Crowns

black line around old porcelain crowns

Over several decades Kathy's gums receded around her crowns, exposing a black line and dark roots. She wanted her front two teeth to look natural, but she also wanted whiter teeth that were straight, but didn't want to go through braces again.

Kathy is a health care professional who lives in Dana Point.  When she was a young girl she fell and chipped off the edges of her two front teeth.  One of her teeth turned dark, but Kathy didn’t get them fixed until as young lady in her 20s her dentist made her two porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.  The dentist did the best he could, but in that era dental techniques and materials still had much to be desired.

Decades past and Kathy’s gums receded, exposing both the black metal line of the crown the dark root underneath.  As a health care professional she realized that her teeth didn’t look very good and her smile wasn’t an adjunct to her looking professional and presenting herself as the best that she could be.  Time to get some cosmetic dentistry.

Before discussing her options we needed to know what Kathy’s ultimate goals were?  Did she just want to replace the front two crowns, upgrading the old style porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns with all-porcelain crowns, matching the color of the new crowns to her other teeth, or did she want to improve the appearance of her other teeth as well? Really the question was did she just want better looking front two teeth or did she want great looking teeth and a fantastic  smile?

porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns dana point

By replacing Kathy's old crowns with all-porcelain crowns and placing porcelain veneers on her other upper teeth Kathy got a beautiful smile!

Kathy said that she had three goals in mind:

  • Most importantly, she wanted her front two teeth to match all the rest
  • Second, her son was getting married and she wanted her teeth whiter for wedding photos
  • Thirdly, Kathy had four bicuspid teeth extracted as a child and then braces.  After the spaces were closed with the braces the result was that her side teeth leaned so far inward that it made her six front teeth look very prominent.  She wanted to know if it would be possible with cosmetic dentistry to make her side teeth lean out straight?

Cosmetic Dentistry for Optimum Esthetics

Kathy was pleased to learn that her front two crowns could be remade as non-metal all-porcelain crowns to look natural, wouldn’t have any underlying metal, would hide the underlying dark root and match her other teeth.  That would achieve her first goal.  But if she wanted the other two goals achieved the best treatment would be to place porcelain veneers on her other upper teeth, something we often called “instant orthodontics“.  Although not actually orthodontics, the porcelain veneers could make her other teeth look straight “as if” she had undergone braces (orthodontics).  Best news of all, everything, her entire cosmetic dentistry treatment could be completed in just a couple weeks, not a couple years as was her original orthodontic treatment.

orange county porcelain veneers

Kathy got a beautiful smile with straight, white teeth by placing new all-ceramic crowns and porcelain veneers. She looked terrific in family photos at her son's wedding.

It didn’t take Kathy long to make her decision.  She wanted to look her very best and chose to do the cosmetic dentistry that would make all of her teeth and smile look its very best!  Thus, Kathy asked us to replace her two old porcelain-fused-to-metal caps with all-ceramic crowns and place porcelain veneers on her other upper teeth.

Kathy’s cosmetic dentistry treatment was completed in a couple weeks.  She got the whiter color teeth she wanted, her teeth all looked straight and her side teeth no longer leaned inwards.  There was no longer any darkness or metal around her two front teeth, which was a huge relief.

At her son’s wedding Kathy looked elegant.  In the family wedding photos her smile was ravishing!

Dr. and Mrs. Norman Huefner

Kathy's dental story had a very happy ending!

Very Happy Ending to this Porcelain Veneer Story

Fast forward five years, there is a great ending to Kathy’s cosmetic dentistry story.  She got married!  Actually she married the cosmetic dentist who created her beautiful smile.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Kathy’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

Anaheim Businesswoman’s Deformed Teeth Transformed into a Stunning Smile with Porcelain Veneers

Anaheim businesswoman wants smile makeover with cosmetic dentistry

disfigured teeth before cosmetic dentistry Anaheim

Susie was very self conscious about her smile, especially in front of her customers and grandchildren. Her whole life she had always wanted a "perfect smile" with white teeth!

Susie has a family owned business in Anaheim, CA, and is the main person involved in dealing with their customers on a person to person basis.  Unfortunately, over the years her teeth showed the signs of wear and age, and Susie became increasingly uncomfortable with their appearance.  Finally, one of her grandchildren made a comment that really made her self conscious, “Grandma, why are your teeth so ugly?”

At her first consultation Susie expressed her concerns.  “At our business I’m in front of our customers all the time.  I know my teeth are a wreck and it’s time for me to do something about it.  All my life I have wanted nice white teeth, so how can you do that for me?”

In Susie’s case her teeth were very healthy, but her two front teeth were very unsightly and she had numerous old fillings at her gum line that had deteriorated.  We explained to her that there were three basic approaches.  One is to take a “minimalist” approach, replace all her gum line fillings and place two porcelain veneers on her two front teeth.  The second approach would be to do porcelain veneers on her upper teeth, bleach her lower teeth, and then replace the gum line fillings on her lower teeth.  The third approach would be to place porcelain veneers on both her upper and lower teeth.

“Which of the three will look the very best?”, Susie asked. “If I’m going to finally do this I want my teeth to look the very best that you can do for me.”

After explaining the difference between the three options Susie chose to do porcelain veneers on her upper and lower teeth. That would enable her to get the perfect looking white teeth that she had always wanted.

Temporary veneers help choose the best size, length, shape and color

temporary veneers for Anaheim businesswoman

The first step in Susie's smile makeover was to place temporary veneers, also called the "trial smile". This is important to help determine the best size, length, shape and color teeth. Susie like the color of her "trial smile", but wanted her porcelain veneers to be a little whiter.

We started out by placing temporary veneers on Susie’s upper teeth, which we call the “trial smile” stage.  This is part of the process is extremely important to help us determine the best size, length and shape of porcelain veneer teeth along with giving her an opportunity to test out the color.  The temporary veneer color we used was a BL3.5.  She really liked the color compared to her dark, discolored teeth, but asked if we could make her final porcelain veneers even lighter.  “Of course,” we told Susie.  “You choose the color teeth you want from our tooth shade guide.”

After careful consideration, Susie chose a BL2 tooth shade, and approved the size, length and shape of the temporary veneers. Then our ceramist fabricated Susie’s final veneers using IPS Empress porcelain.

porcelain veneers Anaheim

Cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers enabled Susie to get the beautiful white teeth she had always wanted. Many of her Anaheim customers have commented on how beautiful her smile is!

New Improved Smile with Porcelain Veneers

Susie’s final smile makeover with porcelain veneers came out beautiful and when she smiled it was an amazing!  “I feel so fresh and clean now when I smile,” Susie said.

One thing that we didn’t point out is that before we started her treatment Susie’s right front tooth stuck out much more than her left one, which resulted in the gum levels around the two front teeth being slightly different.  When Susie smiled her lips didn’t raise up enough to show that, so it wasn’t something that we needed to fix.  However, some patients have a upper lip that raises up when they smile, and if they had the same problem as Susie had they might require an additional dental procedure to make the gums even for the front two teeth.

Anaheim cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers

Can you tell which is the before and after photos? OK, that's obviously not a serious question. But Susie getting a smile makeover was obviously a serious decision that she never regretted!

At Susie’s business in Anaheim she told us that now she gets compliments all the time on what a beautiful, friendly smile she has.  And most importantly, Susie said she is happy that her porcelain veneer treatment keeps her from ever being embarrassed about her teeth around her grandchildren!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Susie’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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