August 15, 2018

Archives for March 2013

Orange County Dental Implants

Laguna Niguel dental implant

Top photo: Hopeless tooth removed and implant inserted into the space where the root was. Middle photo: After eight weeks of healing the dental implant was ready to accept the zirconia abutment. Bottom photo: An all ceramic crown (no metal) was cemented over the zirconia abutment. The implant crown matched the adjacent teeth in color, but actually looked better!

I  get a lot of requests for information on Orange County dental implants.  How much are dental implants?  How long does it take for the whole process of the dental implant?  What are the steps in making a dental implant?  Will my insurance pay for dental implants?  Renee is a patient I treated who came in with her upper right lateral incisor broken off.  I treated her with a dental implant to replace the broken off tooth.  Let’s go through the steps and answer some of the common questions.

Renee’s right lateral broken off.  She was devastated!  It was a front tooth and she couldn’t go around “looking like a hillbilly”.  After we assured her that we would make her a tooth replacement that she would have the next day, she relaxed a bit.  I explained that she had several choices to replace her missing tooth:

  • A fixed (permanent) porcelain bridge, which would mean placing new porcelain caps on the teeth on either side of the broken off tooth and a replacement tooth would be joined to those two new porcelain caps
  • A dental implant, which would mean we would just put a permanent crown into the space of the broken off tooth
  • A removable partial denture or a dental “flipper”, both which because they are “removable”, can be taken in and out

After hearing her choices Renee wanted to know more about Orange County dental implants and solutions to her problem.  I told her that I would take an impression to make her a removable temporary tooth replacement, called a flipper.  I would have that ready the next day.  Then the broken off tooth would be removed and an implant placed into the space where the root had been.  It would take about 8-10 weeks for the dental implant to completely heal and join with her jaw bone.  In the meantime, she would be wearing the flipper, so at no time would she be without a front tooth.

After the Orange County dental implant had completely healed I would attach a tooth colored zirconia abutment into the dental implant.  The dental implant is completely below the gums, but the abutment is above the gums and it is the abutment which would then allow me to then place a crown on top of it.   Thus there are three parts to an implant itself, the dental implant that goes into her jaw, the abutment that goes into the dental implant, and the crown that goes over the abutment.  I assured Renee that her new implant tooth would match her other teeth in color.

Her Orange County dental implants treatment went just as I described and was without any complications.  We started by taking a dental impression for Renee’s temporary replacement tooth, the flipper.  Her broken off tooth was removed and a dental implant placed into the space in her gums where her root was.  During the next two months she wore the dental flipper.  Then she returned and I placed the zirconia tooth colored abutment into the dental implant, took an impression of the abutment and then placed a temporary crown on top of the abutment.  From that point on Renee didn’t need to wear her temporary flipper any more.  Two weeks later Renee returned again, the temporary crown was removed and the new permanent all porcelain crown was cemented on top of the zirconia tooth colored abutment.  That completed her dental implant treatment!

To answer the question on how much Orange County dental implants cost?  That depends a number of factors and variables.  Does the tooth have to be extracted, or has that already been done?  Is there enough bone and/or gums to immediately place a dental implant, or do additional procedure(s) have to be done to correct the deficiencies?  Is the tooth in the front of the mouth or in the back?  That might determine whether a custom tooth colored abutment is fabricated or a stock prefabricated metal abutment utilized.  The former has a higher lab fee than the latter.  And finally, what type of crown does the patient choose to have?  Gold, porcelain fused to metal or all porcelain/non metal crown?  Again, the lab fee would vary depending on what type of crown the patient and dentist choose to use.  So the answer is that there is no average fee.  It’s at least a couple thousand dollars for a dental implant on a front tooth.  Compared to the cost of a fixed bridge and implant could be more or less, depending on the above mentioned factors.  To answer more accurately the cost I would have to see the patient for a consultation and evaluate the specific situation.

Will insurance pay for Orange County dental implants?  That depends on what benefits the policy has.  Some plans do cover implants, many don’t.  However, even if there are no dental implant benefits, they usually cover the benefit for the crown the goes onto the dental implant and abutment.

If you have questions on whether or not you are a candidate for Orange County dental implants, and you are living in the Southern California area, I am happy to offer you a complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation to discuss a dental implant and alternative treatments to solve your missing tooth problem.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Laguna Niguel cosmetic dentist serving Orange County and surrounding cities of Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Irvine and Newport Beach


Teeth too Small? Reshape Your Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

If your teeth look overly small, you may feel frustrated or self-conscious about your smile. Thankfully, today’s cosmetic dentistry can completely transform the appearance of small and misshapen teeth in just a few office visits. During an initial consultation, Dr. Huefner can determine which cosmetic dentistry procedure(s) would best meet your needs.

For some patients, the problem is not that their teeth are actually small – it’s that excessive gum tissue is hanging too low over the front surface of their teeth, causing the teeth to appear small. If this is the case, Dr. Huefner can re-shape your gumline using gum recontouring or crown lengthening. Otherwise, porcelain veneers are the best solution for changing the shape of your teeth.

Porcelain veneers are custom-designed to fit your unique smile, and carefully crafted to ensure they create a seamless, natural-looking smile line. There are many different aesthetic profiles you can choose from: see our LVI Smile Catalog for an overview of the most common smile designs that can be achieved with porcelain veneers.

Dr. Normal Huefner has been practicing cosmetic dentistry in Orange County since 1980. As an LVI-trained dentist with multiple honors, awards, and extensive training, you can trust Dr. Huefner to help you reveal a beautiful smile you can be proud of.

If you have further questions about fixing small teeth, please contact Huefner Sensational Smiles today or call (949) 495-6322 to schedule your initial consultation at our Laguna Niguel office. We serve patients throughout Orange County, California.

Newport Beach Porcelain Veneers

Newport Beach porcelain veneers

Viviana got an amazing improvement in the appearance of her teeth and smile with her new porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner. She got the whiter color she wanted, and most importantly her teeth were now straight and even! Her entire treatment was completed in a little over two weeks at Dr. Huefner’s Laguna Niguel cosmetic dental office.

Viviana is a mother of two from Newport Beach.  She had several porcelain veneers placed fifteen years ago.  “When my dentist made my veneers back then he corrected several huge problems, as my teeth really didn’t look very good,” she told Dr. Huefner.  “But over the years three things have happened that make me unhappy with them.  Now I’m ready to replace them with new porcelain veneers that really look nice.”

Dr. Huefner asked her what those three things were?  First, she said that her dentist had made her new veneers to match her other teeth.  What she really wanted was whiter teeth.  Second, her gums receded around  five of her teeth and was hoping that the new porcelain veneers could be made longer around her gum line to hide her darkish yellow roots.  The third thing was that even with the porcelain veneers, her teeth are crooked.  She asked Dr. Huefner if by redoing her old porcelain veneers could he make them all straight and even?

crooked teeth and old porcelain veneers that needed replacing

What Viviana disliked most about her old porcelain veneers was that her teeth were crooked and uneven. She also wanted her new porcelain veneers whiter, to cover her exposed yellow roots and to eliminate the discoloration between her old veneers.

After carefully looking at her teeth and old dentistry, Dr. Huefner assured Viviana that her could do all the things she wanted with new porcelain veneers. He could make her new porcelain veneers whiter, actually any tooth color that Viviana chooses.  The new porcelain veneers would also be made longer to cover her dark roots, and also straight and even, unlike her previous dentist had done.

new porcelain veneers replace old porcelain veneers

Photo below: Viviana’s old porcelain veneers. Photo above: Dr. Huefner replaced Viviana’s old porcelain veneers with eight new porcelain veneers to give her an amazingly beautiful smile. Her teeth are now straight and even, whiter, the discolored roots are covered over and there is no more discoloration between her veneers. Viviana new smile not only made her look much more attractive, but the whiter straight teeth made her look a little younger too!

Viviana’s cosmetic dental treatment with new porcelain veneers was actually very straight forward and was finished in just over two weeks time.

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

Gummy Smile with Unattractive Teeth Get Revitalized

gummy smile and porcelain veneer treatment

Lower photo: Lindsey didn’t like her gummy smile and hated the cap on her front tooth that didn’t match her other teeth. She also wanted her teeth to be straight, even and them all to be the same whiter, brighter color. Upper photo: Dr. Huefner did some minor laser gum reshaping to level the gums around her four front teeth. He replaced her “ugly cap” with a new, natural looking all porcelain cap. Then he placed seven porcelain veneers. Her new smile was the difference between night and day!

Lindsey is in her late 20s and is an assistant manager in retail sales.  She was wise enough to realize that customers and fellow employees judge other people and oftentimes make buying decisions or promotion decisions based on ones appearance.  Lindsey knew that her teeth and smile weren’t helping her in that regard at all.  In fact, she felt that her smile might actually be hindering her.  Ever since she was a youngster she didn’t like her teeth and smile, but in college she was playing volleyball and tripped, fell to the floor on her face, and broke her front tooth.  Her dentist put a cap on the broken tooth, but it didn’t match her other teeth at all, and since then Lindsey had actually hated her teeth.

She came to Dr. Huefner to get his opinion as to what solutions he had to give her a great looking smile.  She told him that there were four things she wanted fixed: 1)her gummy smile 2)the awful looking cap on her front tooth 3) her crooked teeth and 4) her discolored and mottled (white spots) teeth.

gummy smile that could be treated with lip drop procedure

It is pretty obvious why Lindsey didn’t like her smile. An ambitious young lady in her late 20s, Lindsey was concerned that the unattractive appearance of her teeth and smile would affect her success in dealing with customers and also future promotions. She came to Dr. Huefner for smile enhancement procedures with cosmetic dentistry.

Dr. Huefner told Lindsey that regarding the four things that she wanted fixed there was both good news and bad news.  “First, give me the bad news,” Lindsey told Dr. Huefner. He answered Lindsey that the bad news was that her gummy smile would be relatively difficult and complicated to correct.  She would need to have orthodontics along with jaw surgery.  That would be very expensive and could take a few years to correct.  Another approach would be to have a relatively newer type of lip surgery, called a lip drop procedure, that would enable her upper lip to drop down lower over her gums and not show as much of Lindsey’s gums.

After understanding a bit more how complicated her gummy smile treatment with orthodontics and jaw surgery would be, Lindsey said she would not be willing to undergo that particular treatment.  However, she said that she might consider the lip drop surgery sometime in the future.  It would just depend on how involved the surgery would be and how much it would cost.  Dr. Huefner told Lindsey that he didn’t do the lip drop procedure, but when she was ready to consider it he would refer her to a surgeon who did do the procedure.

Then Dr. Huefner told Lindsey the good news!  Correcting the other three things that she mentioned would be relatively easy and quick to do by replacing the crown she hated with a new all porcelain crown, and then placing porcelain veneers on seven other teeth.  Her teeth would be straight and even and all match in color, and she could even choose the color she wanted!  Lindsey told Dr. Huefner that she had to confess, she has always wanted whiter teeth, so if she could also have whiter teeth, that sounded really great to her.  He told her that he absolutely could give her white teeth, and that he did recommend doing that.

laser gum reshaping and porcelain veneer treatment

Although Lindsey didn’t elect to treat her high lip line and gummy smile, she had a smile makeover by Dr. Huefner with minor laser gum reshaping, one all porcelain crown and seven porcelain veneers. The before and after photos show an amazing smile transformation that changed Lindsey’s life!

Dr. Huefner went on to explain that her that he could do some minor reshaping of her gums around her front four teeth with the dental gum laser.  That would take away a little bit of her gummy smile, but more importantly, it would make the lengths of the four front teeth at the gum line the same.

Lindsey was eager to start her cosmetic dental treatment, which she did do.  Dr. Huefner used his dental gum laser and reshaped her gums around her front four teeth, as he had promised her.  He replaced her ugly front cap with a new all porcelain cap, and at the same time placed the porcelain veneers on her other seven teeth.  Most importantly, the end result of Lindsey’s new smile was an amazing transformation.  It was like night and day, compared to her teeth and smile before treatment.

Afterwards, Dr. Huefner asked her if she was ready for a consult for the lip drop procedure.  She said that she felt that her teeth looked so good now that she didn’t think her gummy smile was nearly as bad as she had thought before.  Thus, she said she would hold off on that unless she changed her mind.

Dr. Norman Huefner,
Orange County Cosmetic Dentist serving Irvine, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Laguna Niguel

Dark Discolored Teeth Fixed with Porcelain Veneers

multicolored teeth in need of smile makeover

Scott didn’t like his multicolored teeth and felt he would look more professional in his business if his crooked, discolored teeth were straight and all the same color. Of the eight teeth that showed when Scott smiled, there were five different colors. Certainly the crown on his front tooth didn’t match any of his teeth, and the other front tooth that had a root canal discolored to a very unattractive brown color. Yes, Scott was the perfect candidate for cosmetic dentistry.

Discolored Teeth a problem for Scott

Scott is a Irvine businessman who is very successful.  He has a number of employees and most of the time is the main person dealing with his customers.  He came to Dr. Huefner’s cosmetic dental practice with one huge complaint.  “I hate my discolored teeth!”, he told Dr. Huefner.  Dr. Huefner told Scott that he understood that really bothered him, but asked him if he would explain a bit more why it bothers him so much?

After a short moment of thinking, Scott started to tell his story.  When he was in high school he used to play a lot of basketball.  One day the game got a little rough and Scott found himself flat on the floor, breaking off a good part of the edge of one of his front teeth.  He went to his family dentist who ended up doing root canal treatments on both front teeth to stop the pain.  Then the dentist fixed the broken tooth by placing a porcelain fused to metal crown on it.

Scott was happy just to be out of pain and have a new tooth again, but his happiness ended later on.  The dentist had made the crown too white, not really matching any of his other teeth, and the adjacent tooth that also had a root canal but wasn’t capped started turning a very dark color.  Fast forward twenty years later, Scott became increasingly self conscious of his discolored teeth and the fact that they were crooked.  “I’m an important leader of a successful business and am constantly dealing face to face with customers every day.  I know it’s time for me to get a professional looking smile where all my teeth are straight, the same color so I won’t be embarrassed about them any more,” Scott stated emphatically.

porcelain veneers and one all porcelain crown solve multicolored tooth problem

Photo below: Scott’s crooked multicolored teeth were a source of embarrassement to him. As a successful businessman Scott felt it was time to get straight, white teeth to enhance his image. Photo above: Dr. Huefner solved the problem of Scott having five different colors and crooked teeth by placing one new all porcelain crown and seven porcelain veneers.

Upon examining Scott’s teeth Dr. Huefner found them to be very healthy, just that like Scott said, his teeth were crooked and discolored.  Of his eight upper front teeth that he showed when he smiled, there were at least five very different colors.  Fortunately for Scott, treating his problem would be very straight forward.  Dr. Huefner recommended replacing the porcelain fused to metal crown that didn’t match any of his other teeth with an all porcelain crown that matched his other teeth and looked like a real tooth.  Also, he advised placing porcelain veneers on the seven other discolored front teeth.  By doing this when Scott smiled his teeth would all be straight, even and he would no longer have discolored teeth!

Scott thought about it for a few moments and then asked what color Dr. Huefner would change his discolored teeth to?  Dr. Huefner answered, “Whatever color you would like Scott!  We’ll recommend a few different tooth colors that we think would look good for you, but the ultimate choice on the color is yours!”

BL2 tooth shade

Scott’s smile makeover was completed in just 2 1/2 weeks. Scott chose BL2 for the tooth color for his porcelain veneers and one all porcelain crown. The end result enhanced Scott’s professional image and also gave him a younger looking and more attractive smile.

“I’d really like them to be a lot whiter as long as they don’t look fake,” Scott exclaimed.  Dr. Huefner and Scott looked at numerous tooth colors from the tooth shade guide, and Scott chose BL2 as his favorite.  “I didn’t think you would choose a color that white,” Dr. Huefner told Scott.  “Actually that color is one of our most popular colors with patients getting the same kind of treatment that you are.  I think that will work for you, certainly giving you a more professional and a little more youthful smile than colors that aren’t as white.”

Porcelain Veneer treatment completed in two and a half weeks

Scott accepted the treatment plan that Dr. Huefner recommended and started his smile makeover with porcelain veneers and one porcelain crown.  His treatment went smoothly and was completed just 2 1/2 weeks later.  Scott was elated with the end results.  Finally, after all these years, a great looking smile and no more discolored teeth!

Dr. Norman Huefner,
Orange County Cosmetic Dentist serving Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach

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