August 15, 2018

Archives for December 2011

Lance’s Congenitally Missing Tooth and Disheveled Smile Becomes Handsome and Normal Looking with Porcelain Veneers Mission Viejo

old porcelain veneers and congenitally missing tooth

Lance had a congenitally missing front tooth and his dentist placed six porcelain veneers placed back in the 1980s. Over the years his gums receeded and he chipped one veneer. Lance decided to replace the six old porcelain veneers with new ones that were stronger, lighter and more natural in color and had better shaped teeth to hide the fact that one tooth was missing.

Lance from Mission Viejo, was congenitally missing his upper left lateral incisor.  In the late 1980, when porcelain veneers were first introduced into dentistry, Lance had several porcelain veneers placed by his dentist.  At the time it was a huge improvement.

After over twenty years had passed Lance experienced some gum recession around his veneers and then one day he hit his mouth while working with some equipment and one of his porcelain veneers chipped.  Lance realized it was finally time to have his porcelain veneers redone. But Lance’s first question was will they better than the first set he had a few years after porcelain veneers were first introduced to dentistry? One challenge to Lance’s treatment is that he had only had six porcelain veneers and all his other visible teeth were very dark.  If he wanted the color of his teeth to be consistent when he smiled he would best served by doing eight or possibly ten porcelain veneers.  But Lance was adamant that he only wanted to have the six old porcelain veneers replaced, and not have porcelain veneers placed on his dark side teeth.  Lance also asked us to know how different and improved the new design of his smile would look?

porcelain veneers mission viejo

Lance's masculine and natural looking smile with six new porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner. Lance was extremely pleased with the end results of his new cosmetic dentistry.

The answers to Lance’s questions were encouraging. First, huge improvements in both the porcelain materials and bonding techniques have been made over the past two decades.  Second, using some advanced cosmetic techniques to mask the congenitally missing tooth and give the allusion that all teeth were present (called lateralizing the cuspid and cuspidizing the bicuspid) he would have a vastly improved smile that would look like he had the normal compliment of teeth.

improved results of missing tooth and porcelain veneers

Lance was pleased with how his new cosmetic dentistry masked the problem of his missing tooth, and the final results were an absolutely normal looking smile.

Lance proceeded with his porcelain veneer treatment, Lance was very pleased with the end result. He got a natural looking smile that was greatly improved compared to his original dentistry. We also used a stronger porcelain called “Empress pressed ceramic”.  Beginning to end, Lance’s new smile was completed in just two visits that were fourteen days apart.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about porcelain veneers or smile makeovers when there are congenitally missing teeth.

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 Lake Forest, CA.

How much do porcelain veneers cost in Orange County, CA

Orange County Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers by Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County, CA

Connie wrote, “How much do dental veneers cost in Orange County, CA?

Connie, this is probably one of the most frequent cosmetic dentistry questions I’m asked.  But before can answer it there are some things I need to know from you.  First, what type of veneers are you referring to?  Hand sculpted composite (plastic) veneers or porcelain veneers made by a lab?  If the former, are you needing a veneer on just one tooth, custom matching all the other teeth, or multiple teeth and choosing a color from the tooth color shade guide?  If porcelain veneers, are you referring to just one tooth and requiring that our ceramist from our lab custom match your adjacent teeth, or again are you wanting multiple teeth porcelain veneered and would we be able to choose the color from a standard tooth shade guide?

Another question pertaining to porcelain veneers is are you referring to no-preparation veneers like Lumineers, minimal preparation veneers, standard preparation veneers or moderate-plus preparation as would be necessary when there are large cavities or fillings or the teeth are significantly out of normal alignment?

Again, if referring to porcelain veneers, are you referring to feldspathic veneers or stronger and generally longer lasting veneers like pressed-ceramic Empress or EMax veneers?

Another question is what are your personal expectations?  Do you expect an absolute “ideal” result of “perfection” ?  Do you have a good foundation of teeth and gums to work with?  Is your mouth asymmetrical? How many teeth do you see when you smile? How difficult will your treatment be?  In addition to all the aforementioned questions how skilled is your dentist and in what city are you located also influences the fee? Are you wanting your treatment to be covered by insurance or is this elective cosmetic dentistry?

In addition to the actual porcelain material, the skill, expertise and artistic ability of the cosmetic dental lab which actually makes the porcelain veneers for the dentist greatly impacts the fee.  A cosmetic dental lab with considerable experience that specializes in cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers, will charge the cosmetic dentist more for their work than if he/she uses a general dentistry lab or a discount lab?

I’m sorry to ask you so many questions before answering yours, but the reality is all those things go into consideration when dental fees are determined for cosmetic dentistry.  The range of fees is considerable, and we’ve seen dentists in Orange County, CA, advertise veneers for as low as $600 while some of the “movie star cosmetic dentists” in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills charging as much as $2,000-3,000 per veneer.  Obviously not only are the fees considerably different, but I am absolutely sure that the results achieved will be different as well.  My point is that “a veneer” is not a veneer, apples are not oranges, and the two types of porcelain veneers will not be the same and neither will the fees be.  Like many other purchases you will make, cars, TVs, vacations, clothes, houses or electronics, porcelain veneers can be high end, in the middle or low end economy.  Some patients would be happy with a basic porcelain veneer that looks reasonably decent, while others want a result that not only looks great, natural and improves their appearance, but also is of the quality that will last them for many years to come.  I think you will agree by looking at our photos of porcelain veneers in our blog that we have made for our patients that our cosmetic dental practice strives to create beautiful, natural looking, strong and long lasting porcelain veneers.

Connie, the most important thing is that you get the results you want and that you’re given a fair fee based that will fit into your budget that is based on the time, effort, training, expertise, skill level and final results YOU EXPECT from your cosmetic dentist.  Yes, the amount of the fee is important but I suggest that you not make your decision as to the dentist on fee alone.  Many times affordability and payment plans offered by the dental office will enable patients on a budget to still get the best cosmetic dentistry to meet their goals.

BL1 BL3 tooth shade

Alicia didn't like the appearance of her porcelain veneers done by another dentist (lower photo). She wanted whiter teeth, smoother front surface, thinner teeth and a more "perfect" smile. We replaced her BL3 shade feldspathic veneers done by her previous dentist with BL1 shade Empress veneers (upper photo) done by master ceramist Dave Stohlman at LK Dental Studio. To Alicia's delight, we achieved her goals of a "perfect" smile.

In our cosmetic practice at least one third of all the cosmetic dentistry we do is REDOING work done by other dentists that have not achieved the results that their patient wanted or expected.  Many of these patients based their initial decision on fee alone and they were subsequently disappointed.  As a cosmetic dentist who has been in practice here in Orange County for over thirty years I can state categorically that doing dentistry right the first time is much easier than redoing another dentist’s work the second time around.  You would best served to have your dentistry satisfy your expectations THE FIRST TIME!  Choose your cosmetic dentist well.

Complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation

Connie, in order to do that I strongly suggest that you interview your cosmetic dentist, explain your goals and expectations, have him/her evaluate your smile and discuss with you the proposed treatment, answer many of the questions I’ve previously asked you, and give you an estimate of the fee for the cosmetic dentistry and/or porcelain veneers.  Get a couple opinions, make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  Since you are in Orange County we would be happy to offer you a complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation.  At that appointment we will answer your questions, discuss what type of porcelain veneers, how many would be indicated and the costs to achieve your goals. This is really the best first step to determine if cosmetic dentistry and/or porcelain veneers are for you!

Good luck, and again, sorry to give you such a long-winded diatribe about how much porcelain veneers cost in Orange County to what at first would seem to warrant a one-word answer.

More Attractive Smile and Better Lip Support for Vicki from Laguna with Porcelain Veneers

porcelain veneers laguna

Vicki's porcelain veneers gave her a younger smile and more lip support.

Vicki, from Laguna, CA, had several problems with her teeth and smile that had bothered her for many years.  Finally, after being encouraged by her friends and family she consulted with Dr. Huefner, Orange County cosmetic dentist, to discuss the options that cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers might have for her.

First, Dr. Huefner asked Vicki to prioritize the problems that “she saw” with her teeth.  She answered, “I just hate the way they look!  They are too dark, too short, and the shape isn’t pretty or youthful either.  I was told that my teeth are so dark because they gave me tetracycline as a child.” Dr. Huefner also pointed out that because she had a malocclusion, her front teeth didn’t have a normal overbite which if corrected would give her upper lips more lip support.  Vicki answered, “I like the idea of making my lips look better but there is absolutely no way would I ever get braces at my age!  Can’t you fix my teeth and give me a nice smile without braces?”
Dr. Huefner said “Yes”, and Vicki was ready to hear how he would solve her problems with cosmetic dentistry.

Tetracycline discoloration before porcelain veneers

Vicki's had tetracycline discoloration of her teeth and an under-bite. She wanted a whiter, more attractive smile and wasn't willing to include braces in her dental treatment.

Dr. Huefner said he could place eight porcelain veneers on her upper teeth, and he would bleach her lower discolored teeth.  The veneers would be made longer and positioned slightly outwards to give her lips more lip support.  Also, since her teeth were worn and square, Dr. Huefner wanted to shape her teeth with more rounded edges, which would give Vicki a more youthful and feminine appearance.

Vicki agreed to Dr. Huefner’s treatment recommendations, but said she would be very particular about color teeth she gets.  “I’ve seen so many people who have had porcelain veneers or porcelain caps, and sometimes they look way too white and fake,” Vicki explained to Dr. Huefner.  “I want my new teeth white, but not too white.  It’s important to me that they look like I have real teeth.”  Vicki was relieved when we explained that she would be very involved in choosing the color of her new porcelain veneers.  We would make suggestions as to what we think would look best for her, but the final choice will be hers.”

Several weeks later Vicki began her porcelain veneer treatment, which was completed 2 1/2 weeks later.  By making her porcelain veneers slightly longer than her real teeth were, and bringing them out she had a much nicer and fuller smile, and much better support of her upper lips.  Regarding the color of her new porcelain veneers, Vicki chose a BL2 color from the tooth shade guide and an “enhanced”s smile style from the tooth shape library.  Dr. Huefner used Empress porcelain because of it high strength, natural tooth-like translucency and long track record among cosmetic dentists.

Laguna porcelain veneers

Vicki's beautiful new smile after porcelain veneers were placed.

Vicki was very pleased saying she got nothing but compliments from her family and friends.  “The best thing was,” she said, is that I feel great with my new smile and my veneers even make my face look younger.”

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Vicki’s smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

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