August 15, 2018

Archives for February 2013

Younger Looking Smile with Porcelain Bridges and Porcelain Veneers

whiter teeth

Lower photo: Thirty years ago Adrienne had two porcelain on metal bridges for her six front teeth. A yellow color was used to match to her other teeth. Upper photo: Adrienne felt her teeth were dingy and old looking and she wanted a whiter, younger looking smile. Dr. Huefner redid her old dentistry with two new all porcelain bridges using a much whiter color. He also placed four porcelain veneers on her side teeth. The end result for this amazing lady in her 70s was a much more attractive and “younger looking” smile.

Adrienne from Laguna Hills has been a patient of mine for over 30 years.  I first met her after she had an accident.  She had fallen on her face, knocking out one tooth and breaking several others.  So, we fixed Adrienne’s smile by making her two bridges for the front of her mouth.  But back then, in the 1980s, cosmetic dentistry wasn’t anything like it is today.  I did for Adrienne what most other dentists were doing at that time, I matched her bridgework to her other teeth.  Back then ideal dentistry centered around the word “natural”, and that meant any new dentistry “should” match the other adjacent teeth, regardless of how yellow, dark or discolored those other teeth were.

Adrienne wanted a younger looking smile

After several decades Adrienne’s bridges were still holding up fine, but her teeth had moved slightly, creating a slight space between the front two central incisor teeth.  That didn’t seem to bother Adrienne.  What did bother her was that she felt like her teeth were dingy yellow, making her look older.  Adrienne has a great personality and very positive attitude, always laughing, but now she was getting self conscious about smiling!  She said she was ready to redo her old dental work, but she wanted whiter teeth and a younger looking smile!  This is a very common remark that we hear from many of your patients today that we really didn’t hear to much thirty years ago.

dark dingy teeth

Adrienne loved to smile, but her dark, dingy looking teeth were making her self conscious. It was time to replace her old dentistry and get the kind of teeth that would enhance her smile and her appearance.

We discussed some of the new options I could now offer Adrienne.  An all ceramic bridge without any metal understructure would look much more natural than her other bridge.  However if we were going to make her her six front teeth whiter, then we still had to contend with her very dark side (bicuspid) teeth.  Dr. Huefner asked her if she would be willing to have him place four porcelain veneers on her side teeth? That would solve the color match problem.  If we did that, all the teeth she showed when she smiled would be white and younger looking.

all porcelain bridges and porcelain veneers

Adrienne loved the new smile that Dr. Huefner made for her with two new all porcelain bridges and four porcelain veneers. “I love to smile now,” she told Dr. Huefner.

“In a heart beat”, Adrienne answered Dr. Huefner.  “Just promise me that my smile will be more attractive and younger looking.  I don’t expect you to make me look like a young girl, because I’m certainly not, but I don’t want my smile to be an old lady’s smile anymore!”

In only six weeks Adrienne got the younger looking smile that she had always wanted

We started Adrienne’s cosmetic dentistry, replacing her old unattractive dentistry the following week.  We made her two all porcelain bridges for her front six teeth, and also four porcelain veneers for her side teeth.  Her treatment was completed in less than three weeks time and Adrienne was elated with the results because she got the younger looking smile she asked Dr. Huefner for.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Laguna Niguel cosmetic dentist serving Orange County, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo and Irvine

Male athlete’s tiny teeth transformed to masculine handsome smile with porcelain veneers

Luke’s short, tiny teeth really bothered him. His soccer teammates used to make fun of his teeth and over the years it was starting to affect his self esteem. About to graduate from college, Luke and his parents thought that a handsome masculine smile would help in a competitive job market. Luke came to Dr. Huefner to discuss his options with cosmetic dentistry.

Teeth size and body size are not always proportionate and when there is a huge disparity between the two, an abnormal looking smile often results.  Unfortunately, this was the case with Luke.  Strong and athletic, Luke played a lot of soccer.  In high school his teammates would tease him about his “tiny teeth.”  At first this didn’t bother him, but by the time he got to be a senior in college it has taken its toll on his self confidence.  Luke and his parents talked about this a lot, as he would soon be graduating and job hunting.  A handsome athletic looking man who also has an handsome smile can often mean the difference in who gets hired, especially in these competitive and tough economic times.

Luke scheduled a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Huefner and discussed his concerns.  “My tiny teeth really bothers me,” he said.  “They are so short and I don’t like the spaces between them.  On top of that, I hate the color.  The color isn’t very attractive and there are all these white spots.”  It was clear the Luke had been studying his teeth and fretting over they way his smile looked for some time.

Dr. Huefner placed eight porcelain veneers over Luke’s tiny teeth. He made the new teeth look longer and wider, filling the spaces in between. Luke chose a light, natural color, BL4 and Dr. Huefner specifically made the shape of his teeth look more squarish, which results in more masculine looking teeth.

Fortunately, there is a cosmetic dental treatment that is just perfect for solving Luke’s  tiny teeth problem.  Dr. Huefner recommended placing eight porcelain veneers over Luke’s tiny teeth.  By utilizing porcelain veneers, he could make Luke’s teeth longer, wider, which would fill the spaces, and make them all one consistent color.  And even better, Dr. Huefner would create the teeth to have a very masculine size and shape, which would be very congruent with Luke’s athletic looks.  Regarding color, Dr. Huefner would let Luke choose the color for his new porcelain veneers.

After discussing the recommended treatment with his parents, Luke was back in Dr. Huefner’s office the following week to begin his porcelain veneer treatment.  Two weeks later the eight porcelain veneers were bonded onto the front of Luke’s teeth and his treatment was complete!  His tiny teeth were gone forever and handsome Luke had a great looking masculine smile!

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County cosmetic dentist serving Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach

Hodgepodge teeth transformed with new all porcelain crowns and veneers

Photo below: Leslie’s unattractive smile with unnatural looking porcelain crowns on her six upper front teeth. The very dark bicuspid side teeth dramatically contrasted with the color of her front teeth and something needed to be done to correct that. Photo above: Leslie’s new smile with six new all ceramic crowns on her front teeth and four porcelain veneers on her bicuspid side teeth. This dramatic improvement was completed in just over two weeks time.

Leslie is a graduate student in her late 20s.  She was raised in the mid west where she also graduated from college.  As a young lady she had numerous cavities and her parents took her to a dentist who placed porcelain fused to metal caps on both six of her upper front and six of her lower front teeth.  But the sad thing was that even though the cavities were “fixed” the appearance of Leslie’s teeth had much to be desired.

Now in graduate school here in Southern California where people are much more conscious of their appearance, Leslie began to hate the way her teeth looked.  When she came into Dr. Huefner’s office for a cosmetic dentistry consultation Leslie had much to say about what she didn’t like about her teeth and the way she wanted them changed.

Leslie said that her front six caps were ugly and didn’t look natural. One of the porcelain fused to metal crowns had chipped and a dentist tried to repair it. However the repair filling became discolored and started chipping off.

First, she said that she asked for “really white teeth”, and that is what the dentist gave her.  However, they were so opaque with no translucency that they “fake.”  The  color was white all right, but certainly not a natural looking tooth color.  Second, when she turned to the side the extremely dark bicuspid teeth that weren’t treated showed a marked contrast to her front teeth, making it obvious that she had “caps” on her teeth.  Third, because the porcelain caps had metal underneath, the edges or her crowns at the gum line showed an unattractive black line.  And last, the porcelain on one of her front caps had chipped off.  A dentist had tried to fix it, bonding some filling material over the metal.  But it was starting to peal off and discolor, making it the worst looking tooth in her mouth.

By replacing the six ugly porcelain fused to metal crowns with natural looking all ceramic crowns, and then placing porcelain veneers on her four side bicuspid teeth, Leslie got the beautiful smile she wanted. Her teeth were white and yet looked “real” and she can now smile with confidence!

After clearly understanding Leslie’s concerns and expectations, Dr. Huefner recommended replacing the six upper porcelain fused to metal crowns with all ceramic crowns.  Then, covering up the four dark bicuspid teeth that showed on her side teeth with porcelain veneers.  But doing that she could still have the white teeth she wanted, but they would have natural translucency and look like clean, white teeth!  Also, from the side all of her teeth would be the same uniform natural-white color.  Dr. Huefner promised her a beautiful smile that she would love and enable her to smile with confidence!

Leslie agreed to Dr. Huefner’s treatment recommendations and her entire treatment was completed in just over two weeks time, before she returned back to graduate school after her holiday break.  Because Dr. Huefner didn’t use crowns with metal underneath, there were no black lines around her gums.  All ten of the teeth treated were of the same white color, but the new crowns and veneers done by Dr. Huefner looked very “lifelike” and natural, clearly giving Leslie the beautiful smile she really wanted.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County cosmetic dentist, serving Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Irvine

Agnes’ Smile Looks 25 Years Younger with Porcelain Veneers & Crowns

New dentistry makes Agnes look 25 years younger

After replacing Anges’ old dentistry with new porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns, she felt that her smile now looked 25 years younger.

Agnes was sick and tired of the appearance of her teeth!  She’s a happy lady in her 50s who loves to smile, but also was very self conscious regarding how old and dingy her teeth look.  She has gone to the dentist her entire life, always doing whatever her dentist recommended.  However now most of her dentistry was so old, discolored and unattractive that she knew it was finally time to redo much of her old dentistry.

When Agnes spoke to Dr. Huefner about her goals she made it clear that her smile made her feel old and she didn’t want that.  Rather, she wanted much whiter teeth, and seeing how so many of her teeth differed in color, she definitely wanted all her teeth to be a uniform color!

Agnes’ whole life she had gone to the dentist and done what was recommended. However the old dentistry was failing her esthetically. A happy lady who loved to smile, she became very self conscious about her dingy and old looking teeth. It was time for a little rejuvenation, and replacing her old dentistry with new all ceramic dentistry was just what was needed to give her a younger, healthy looking smile that she would be proud of.

After carefully examining Agnes’ teeth and dental work it was amazing that much of it, albeit 25-30 years old, still fit and had actually served her very well.  It is just that the ugly appearance of the old dentistry had finally failed her.

Restoring Agnes’ old dentistry with new all ceramic dentistry, with natural color and appearance, would be very straight forward, Dr. Huefner told her.  The two main things Dr. Huefner needed to know from Anges was what color she wanted her new porcelain veneers and crowns, and how many teeth she wanted to have retreated?  Agnes decided on a relatively white color that was significantly whiter than her old dentistry, shade BL2 from the tooth shade guide.  And Agnes had a broad smile, that showed at least ten of her upper teeth.  Thus, so that all of her visible teeth would appear the same color, Anges asked Dr. Huefner to change out the dentistry on her ten upper teeth.

From this point on Agnes’ treatment progressed quickly and easily, and her entire treatment was completed in under three weeks time.

Upon looking at her new smile, Agnes couldn’t help by grin ear to ear.  “I can’t believe it,” she said.  “My smile looks so clean now, it makes me look 25 years younger!”

Dr. Norman Huefner, cosmetic dentist serving Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Irvine


“I hate my ugly caps” – New Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers and crowns rescue Sarah’s smile

Sarah hated these two caps recently placed by another dentist. She said they looked awful and ruined her smile. Specifically she thought the two caps were too thick, too big, too white and didn’t match her other teeth or look real.

This is a true story on how Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers and crowns changed Sarah’s life.  Sarah, a beautiful mother of two children from Laguna Niguel, came to our cosmetic dental practice in distress, almost in tears.   “I hate my front caps,” she exclaimed! Sometimes as an Orange County cosmetic dentist the best thing I can do when meeting a new patient for the first time is just listen.  She went on to tell her story.

When she was a teenager Sarah chipped her front two teeth, so her dentist placed two porcelain veneers over them.  She was pretty happy with them.  But ten years later, as she changed from being a teenager to young woman, her gums changed a little and one of her porcelain veneers chipped.  She then went to a new dentist to redo the two porcelain veneers, but he said that there wasn’t enough tooth structure to do porcelain veneers, and that he had to do porcelain caps instead.  She consented to the treatment he recommended and he removed the two old porcelain veneers and made her two porcelain caps.  The results were devastating!  “I hate them!” she told us.  “They are too big, too thick, they look like chalk, they don’t even look like real teeth.  When I look at my smile in the mirror I cringe, all I see are two very ugly teeth sticking out!  Can you help me Dr. Huefner?”

Top: Sarah’s teeth before cosmetic dentistry. Middle: Sarah’s “trial smile” temporary crowns and veneers. This was her “test drive” to determine the shape, size, proportion, length and color of her new porcelain crowns and veneers. Bottom: The new porcelain crowns and veneers were tried in for Sarah to preview and approve. Sarah loved them and no changes or adjustments were made prior to cementing them into place.

When I examined her two caps it was easy to see what had happened.  Even though the two caps had recently been done, the dentist had not taken advantage of newer, more esthetic materials that are now being used by most cosmetic dentists.  Instead of using an all-porcelain material for the crowns, he used a combination of a white metal called zirconia that was layered over with porcelain.  The result was a restoration that was way too thick and didn’t transmit light naturally, like many of the newer all-porcelain crowns do today.  I explained to Sarah that if I replaced the two crowns that she had just had done with the newer material and technique, that her two front teeth would then match the rest of her teeth and they would be thinner and have a more natural shape.  She felt so much better knowing that there was a solution for her problem and she wouldn’t have to go around the rest of her life with to awful looking caps.

Then I brought up a very important point by asking Sarah if there was anything else she didn’t like about her teeth?  Because if there was anything else she wanted changed we should do it now.  It didn’t take Sarah very long to bring up two other things she didn’t like.  “Well, my other teeth are kind of small and lean in, and I have always wanted whiter teeth,” she told Dr. Huefner.

She was correct in her assessment, but what I learned is that Sarah didn’t just want her two front teeth to look better, Sarah wanted a beautiful smile.  With that in mind I suggested cosmetic dental treatment that would achieve her goals by redoing the two crowns she didn’t like with all-porcelain EMax crowns, and then placing six Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers (also utilizing EMax porcelain) on her other upper front teeth.  The color of all the eight teeth would therefore be the same, and the new crowns on the front two teeth would be made thinner than the other ones were, and the Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers would be made slightly larger but in proportion with her mouth.  Most importantly, she would end up with a beautiful smile.

Close up of Sarah’s new smile makeover with six Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers and two all-porcelain EMax crowns one week after final placement.

After discussing the recommended treatment with her husband Robert, Sarah called a few days later and scheduled her appointment.  Dr. Huefner gently and carefully, removed the two crowns that she hated and prepared her teeth.  He then made Sarah her “trial smile” with plastic crowns and veneers to “test drive” the new smile design.  This would enable her to make sure we made her new smile white enough and that she was hapy with the design of the shape and length of her teeth.  Sarah chose a BL2 shade for her final porcelain crowns and Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers, but asked for lateral incisors (the teeth next to the two front teeth) to be a little longer and slightly more squarish.  We communicated all of the design aspects to our ceramist Dave Stohlman at L.K.Dental Studio and he fabricated Sarah’s new smile.

Sarah continued to wear the “trial smile” for two more weeks.  Then she returned, the “trial smile” was removed and the new porcelain crowns and Laguna Niguel veneers were tried in for her final approval prior to cementing them into place with our Argon curing laser.

The final results for Sarah’s smile makeover was amazing! Perfectly proportioned teeth, beautiful natural color, a smile that she is extremely proud of! Clearly this is an example of cosmetic dentistry at its finest.

The end result?  An absolutely beautiful smile for Sarah and no more tears over the appearance of her teeth.

Dr. Norman Huefner, serving Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Irvine

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