August 23, 2017

The Real Housewives of Orange County Brooks Gets New Teeth

Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers of The Real Housewives of Orange County after Brooks' smile makeover with porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner

In early November The Real Housewives of Orange County star, Vicki Gunvalson, called me on the telephone regarding her boyfriend, Brooks Ayers. If you follow the reality show, you know that Vicki is going through divorce and that Brooks is the new man in her life. Brooks, who is sharing his time between Mississippi and Orange County, didn’t, in his own opinion have a great smile. As a matter of fact, in Vicki’s words, “Brooks’ smile definitely needed some HELP”! Vicki went on to say, “Brooks is a great man. He’s smart, hard working, successful, handsome, and a lot of fun to be with. His teeth and smile just didn’t fit with the Orange County image. Brooks and I think that he really needs an Orange County smile!” Vicki informed me that she chose me to do a smile makeover for Brooks in order to transform his teeth into the great looking, straight, white, “Orange County” teeth. Vicki also told me that she would like to have a film crew in our dental office during parts of Brooks’ smile makeover to document the procedure which would air on The Real Housewives of Orange County show in the early summer. “Could you do that?” she asked me. My answer was, “Yes… absolutely!” I knew we would have to work fast because his cosmetic dental treatment would have to be completed within a month in order to be filmed for Season 7 of The Real Orange County Housewives which was to begin airing February 7th, 2012.

Brooks had very crooked teeth and his upper right lateral incisor was in cross bite. His teeth were worn short and his upper lip was slightly longer than normal, masking much of his teeth when he smiled. Vicki wanted Brooks to have an "Orange County Smile", with straight, white, perfectly aligned teeth. We had less than a month to accomplish this, as we had to complete his new smile before the last week's filming of "Real Housewives of Orange County."

Vicki brought in Brooks for his first appointment with us, accompanied by The Real Housewives of Orange County film crew. We interviewed Brooks to find out what he didn’t like about his smile and what he wanted to accomplish. He was quick to point out that he was embarrassed about his smile, that his teeth were extremely crooked and that he was not able to get braces as a child like his children have been fortunate to receive. Vicki contributed to the conversation by explaining that since Brooks is now living in Orange County and that they are a couple portrayed on a reality show, it is important that he look “the Orange County” part. That is when the fun began. Seeing the drama of Brooks and Vicki banter back and forth about his teeth, his lips, his jaws and all his little “flaws” that I needed to correct, I realized our biggest challenges were neither Vicki nor Brooks, but the short time span we had to complete Brooks’ treatment and the correction of the cross bite he had on his upper right, lateral incisor. I explained to them both that ideally he should have braces to move the tooth in cross bite into a normal position, but that would take several months to accomplish. The other alternative would be to remove the tooth in cross bite and make a bridge. Although we prefer not to remove a healthy tooth, doing that would allow me to have the best control over giving him the “Orange County smile” that he wanted as well as staying within his time restraints. They both agreed that if removing one tooth would enable me to create beautiful, straight, white teeth for him within a month’s time that they would do that. So off Brooks went to the oral surgeon and the tooth was removed.

At the "trial smile" (temporary veneer phase), Brooks and Vicki got to preview the smile design Dr. Huefner created for him. Specifically, the "trial smile" is used to determine if the patient likes the length, shape, contour and color of the "new teeth." If he (or Vicki?) didn't approve, then Dr. Huefner would change the design until it met their approval. From the "trial smile" design, Dr. Huefner's ceramist, Dave Stohlman from LK Dental Studio, would make Brooks' final porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges.

A couple days after Brooks had the tooth extracted he returned to our office without Vicki. We prepared his teeth for four porcelain veneers and two porcelain bridges. Then we created Brooks’ “trial smile” which are temporary veneers and bridges that we used as our template for his final porcelain veneers and bridges. This was a very important step, as the “trial smile” is used to verify that we are designing his new teeth to his liking in regards to the size, shape, length, color and alignment of his new teeth. It’s kind of like a “test drive” of the new smile. If you didn’t like the “test drive” on a car, of course you wouldn’t buy it! Good cosmetic dentists use the “trial smile” as a “test drive” of sorts, making sure that the cosmetic dentist and patient are all on the same page before the final cosmetic dentistry is made duplicating the basic design of the “approved” trial smile.

After wearing the “trial smile” for a few days, Brooks was asked to return with Vicki to give his approval. Of course, in this situation, I needed to get approval from both of them. I gathered that Vicki would want to be on board with the design, too. Without Vicki’s approval, I am very sure that both Brooks and I would get our own “reality check” from her. If there was something Brooks and/or Vicki wanted to change, I would make (or note) those changes and finalize the design before sending it to our ceramist, Dave Stohlman, at L.K. Dental lab to adjust.

Two days later, we saw Brooks, Vicki, and The Real Housewives of Orange County camera crew again in our office to film for the show. We proceeded to take photos of Brooks’ “trial smile.” After which, the three of us looked at the photos and discussed our goals. Were the teeth long enough? Straight enough? Was the shape a masculine smile design that worked well with his lips and face? Did the edges of his teeth nicely follow the contour of his lower lip when he smiled? Once we were in agreement regarding Brooks’ smile design, the actual color needed to be selected. They definitely wanted his “new teeth” to be whiter than the BL4 tooth color of the “trial smile.” I pointed out that since Brooks has a longer upper lip that naturally shadows his teeth, we should over compensate by making his teeth at least one or two shades lighter than they originally requested. Using a custom shade guide by LK Dental Studio made of actual EMax porcelain, Vicki and Brooks chose the whitest natural looking tooth color, BL1.

EMax custom shade guide LK Dental Studio

In choosing the color for Brook's "new teeth," we utilized a custom shade guide of EMax porcelain made by our ceramist, Dave Stohlman at LK Dental Studio. Right, top to bottom: A1,B1. Left, top to bottom: BL4, BL3, BL2 and BL1. Brooks and Vicki chose BL1 for his new porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges.

Now that the details of the smile design were agreed upon, there wasn’t any guesswork for our ceramist, Dave Stohlman, at LK Dental Studio to follow. Once I gave Dave the specific details that Vicki, Brooks and I required, he added in the artistic details – that master ceramists like him do – to make the cosmetic dentistry look exceptionally beautiful and extremely lifelike. Brooks was instructed to wear his “trial smile” (temporary veneers and bridges) for another week while Dave was completing his porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges.

Brooks had an amazing transformation with his smile makeover with porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges. We not only made his new teeth considerably whiter and slightly longer, but they were now straight, without any cross bite. The shape of the teeth created a very masculine smile and improved his self confidence.

The following week, Brooks returned without Vicki. We gently removed his temporary veneers and tried on his porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges for his approval. He loved the BL1 tooth shade and the masterfully created porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges that Dave made for him. We then bonded Brooks’ cosmetic dentistry into place with a porcelain bonding laser and he left very happy with his new smile. The real test would be the following day….”the reveal”…..when Vicki would see Brooks for the first time with his “Orange County Smile.”

The before and after photos of Brooks' teeth show an amazing transformation. One might think that orthodontic braces would have been the only way that crooked teeth could be made straight. However, it was clear that a patient with as many dental problems as Brooks, that cosmetic dentistry is oftentimes the treatment of choice. Can you see which tooth had been removed and replaced with a porcelain bridge?

The next day Brooks returned for his normally scheduled post-insertion adjustment accompanied by The Real Housewives of Orange County camera crew. We took our final photos of Brooks’ completed smile makeover while anxiously awaiting Vicki’s arrival. Once Vicki arrived, we brought her back to our studio/consultation room and for the first time she saw Brooks with his new smile. I’m not going to spill the beans about the drama of “the reveal” visit – you’ll just have to tune in and watch Season 7 of The Real Housewives of Orange County. I will spill the beans about one thing, Brooks and Vickie were both so delighted with the results that they both returned together the following week and we did a “couple’s photo shoot” for them (see photo collage at top of the blog).

Brooks Ayers, Vicki Gunvalson's boyfriend and one of the "stars" on the Real Housewives of Orange County reality show needed an "Orange County Smile." We transformed his "crooked, discolored, Mississippi" smile into a stunning "Orange County Smile." No longer is Brooks self-conscious about his teeth and smile.

This professional quality portrait photo shoot that my assistant, Kathy, and I did for Brooks and Vicki is a gift we actually have been doing for most of our smile makeover patients over the last eight years. These photo portraits serve to celebrate our patients’ “new smiles” and new beginnings that their beautiful teeth and improved appearances have created.

In a cosmetic dental practice like ours, we deal with complex smile makeovers like we did for Brooks all the time. But for us, having a film crew in our office while doing such intense dentistry in an extraordinarily short period of time was a new and challenging experience. As you might imagine, there was definitely some stress involved, but we love taking on new challenges and we certainly enjoyed our experience with The Real Housewives of Orange County reality show. In the end, Vicki was pleased with the results and we were pleased to have met her high level of expectation. I’m also very sure that if she wasn’t pleased, she certainly would have communicated that with me.

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.

 

 

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