August 15, 2018

Archives for March 2014

How Do I Keep My Porcelain Veneers White?

Porcelain veneers are designed to be stain-resistant, but this doesn’t mean that they will maintain their shade forever. As always, practicing good dental hygiene is the best way to preserve the appearance of your teeth in addition to their health.

When your porcelain veneers are first placed, they will have a polished, glossy sheen. In order to maintain this sheen, use a non-abrasive toothpaste. Dr. Huefner can recommend a safe brand.

If you consume lots of coffee, tea, or red wine, try using a straw whenever possible to bypass your veneers. When you come in for a routine dental check-up, Dr. Huefner will polish off any surface stains that have accumulated on your veneers.

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist is the best way to ensure the quality of your porcelain veneers lasts. If your veneers were not placed by an experienced cosmetic dentist, the edges of your teeth may stain and reveal where the veneer was bonded in place. Well-placed and well-maintained porcelain veneers can last for over a decade without staining or fading.

If you have further questions about porcelain veneers, please contact Huefner Sensational Smiles today or call (949) 495-6322 to schedule a smile consultation with our experienced Orange County cosmetic dentist. We serve patients in Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and surrounding areas of Orange County, California.

Q: Can my two front teeth made bigger with bonding or do I have to get veneers to lengthen them?

I have bonding on my two front teeth, they look dull and darker. I’m happy with the rest of my teeth, except for the two front ones because of the color change and the teeth are also shorter now because I clinch my jaws sometimes. What’s my best option? Should I get veneers or should I redo the bonding on there? Since I would like the two front teeth to be a little longer, can the two teeth be extended to look longer with bonding? How frequently would I redo bonding? I want a natural look.

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
You mention that your teeth have gotten shorter from clenching.  In general, teeth don’t get shorter from clenching, but rather from grinding, which mostly occurs at night.
Your teeth can be made longer with either approach, however porcelain veneers are much stronger when it comes to lengthening teeth, and as such, should last you many times over what direct composite bonding will do, especially if you are “grinder.”
Also, the shape of the teeth tend to be much better with veneers than bonding, and likewise the color of the teeth is much better and more stable over time.
Thus, I would advise porcelain veneers over direct composite bonding.
You might be interested in seeing some examples of patients who have had their teeth lengthened with porcelain veneers.  See the web reference below.

Web reference:

Beauty Pageant Winner Wendy and Her New Porcelain Veneers

10 porcelain veneers orange county for wendy by dr. huefner

Wendy, former Mrs. California-Globe, with a sensational smile created with 10 porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner

Several years ago Wendy was the beauty pageant winner of the Mrs. California-Globe beauty pageant.  Unfortunately the four porcelain veneers she had received by her general dentist twelve years earlier wasn’t giving her the smile she really needed.  She was actually embarrassed by the way her teeth looked. Her right front tooth had a root canal and had turned almost black.  Even with a porcelain veneer trying to cover the black root, that tooth it was significantly darker than the rest of her teeth.  Also, the four old porcelain veneers didn’t cover the teeth all the way to her gum line, and Wendy was the first to admit that the color her old veneers really didn’t look natural.  But more importantly, Wendy really want a white, bright and beautiful smile!  Being in the professional world looking her very best is extremely important to her.  And unfortunately, her teeth and smile were not allowing her to look her very best.  Wendy met Dr. Huefner when he was a judge for the beauty pageant and came to his cosmetic dental practice to replace her old cosmetic dentistry and give her a sensational smile, the kind of smile she had always wanted.

dark tooth and old porcelain veneers

Wendy had four old porcelain veneers with a dark root that showed through one of them. She wanted a bright, white smile and it was time to have her old dentistry upgraded with newer, more artistic cosmetic dentistry techniques.

Dr. Huefner placed ten Empress porcelain veneers for Wendy and whitened her lower teeth with tooth bleaching (tooth whitening).  The dark front tooth was a cosmetic challenge, as Dr. Huefner had to use some special techniques in order to mask the dark color and enable her teeth and porcelain veneers to display normal tooth colors and translucency.  Wendy chose a bight, white color known as  BL1.  Also a “Enhanced smile design” was used from the LVI Smile Catalog.

dark teeth treated with porcelain veneers orange county

Wendy got the sensational smile she had always wanted with ten new porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner.

Dr. Norman Huefner,
Orange County cosmetic dentisty,

Q: Is it a wise choice to replace white fillings with porcelain inlays?

Hi Doctor, I have white fillings in 5 of my molars. Will it be better to replace them with porcelain inlays to assure longer durability? And another question: how long have inlays been available? Are they new in dentistry? Why not always resort to them instead of root canal treating the teeth or as a preventative of root canals? Thank you.

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
I would say that it would depend on the size and condition of your existing white (tooth colored) fillings.  Typically if the filling is just a single surface (the top of the tooth) and less than 1/2 to 1/3 the width of the top of the tooth, tooth colored fillings are very adequate and will last for years.  However, realize that tooth colored fillings are a type of plastic and not nearly as durable as porcelain restorations used in inlays, onlays and crowns.
Without seeing your teeth, I would generally say that it is better to have porcelain inlays and onlays rather than large tooth colored fillings, or fillings that are done on 3 or more surfaces of the teeth.
Inlays and onlays have been in dentistry for decades!  However, they were done in gold.  In the 1980s and 1990s porcelain restorations that can be bonded to the teeth started to be the treatment of choice over gold, and remain so today.  Of particular note, my favorite porcelain material is EMax porcelain, which is extremely strong, and as such, can expected to last a very long time, if not a lifetime!

Porcelain Veneers Treat Congenitally Missing Lateral Incisor

porcelain veneers used to restore smile and replace congenitally missing tooth.

Masculine and natural looking smile, Lance was pleased with the results of his cosmetic dentistry.

Lance, one of Dr. Huefner’s patients from Mission Viejo, had a congenitally missing lateral incisor.  Back in the late 1980s Lance had porcelain veneers placed.  After over thirty years he had experienced some recession around his veneers and one of them chipped.  He knew it was finally time for his porcelain veneers to be redone and this time he was hoping for an even better result than the first time.

So, of course, Lance’s first question to Dr. Huefner was will they better than the first set he had a few years after porcelain veneers were first introduced to dentistry? Explaining that he only wanted to have the old veneers replaced, and not have porcelain veneers placed on his other visible teeth, Lance also wanted to know how different and improved the new design of his smile would look?

old porcelain veneers and congenitally missing tooth

Lance and his porcelain veneers after 20 years of wear

The answers Lance got were encouraging. First, huge improvements in both the 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.

Proceeding with treatment, Lance was very pleased with the end result. He got a natural looking smile that was greatly improved compared to his original dentistry. Beginning to end, it was completed is just two visits two weeks apart.

Dr. Norman Huefner, serving Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita and Newport Beach.

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 results are an absolutely normal looking smile.

Q: What dental work is suggested and what is a rough estimate for cost?

Hello, I am a 40 year old with known dental work. I need 2 implants on my upper left and right 2nd molars with crowns, as well 7 additional crowns, upper right 1st molar and both bicuspids, 2 upper bicuspids on the the left and 1 on each right and left lower bicuspids. In the last 10 years, my teeth have extensively changed, they are shorter, thinner, yellow and more transparent. Bite looks different. Does the above change facial features and expressions???

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
I’m sorry, but it isn’t that easy to give an estimate based on the information you’re giving.  You are speaking of partial or full mouth reconstruction with dental implants.  “Average costs for crowns and implants” may not at all apply to your particular situation.  Dental implant fees vary considerably between dentists, and you may also need some kind of bone augmentation and custom abutments, both which also add to the fees.
So, I highly advise you have consultations with SEVERAL dentists, and I can assure you that you will get different fees from each.  Also, I would strongly recommend that you not choose your dentist solely based on the lowest fees.  Case in point, not too long ago I had a patient come to see me after a bad experience at a dental implant clinic that she chose based on “the lowest fee”, and of the seven implants she had, two had come out, three were not done properly and also needed to be redone, and only the remaining two implants were OK.
As a restorative cosmetic dentist working as a team with an implantologist (the dentist who actually places the dental implants, while I do the actual crowns or bridges on the dental implants), the experience I’ve seen this past decade is that dental implants have over a 95% success rate!  The only two patients I’ve seen with problems were diabetics or SMOKERS!!!!  Thus, if you are either a diabetic or smoker, your chances of success with dental implants is considerably less than patients who don’t smoke or don’t have diabetes.
Regarding whether or not your teeth have changed your facial features I cannot say, except it oftentimes does, especially with people who have missing or severely worn teeth or have lost all their teeth and are wearing dentures.  Generally speaking, properly done dentistry will improve your facial features and make both your teeth and face look younger.

Rejuvenated Smile with Porcelain Veneers Irvine

irvine porcelain veneers

Photo below: Gina’s crooked, discolored teeth really bothered her. Photo above: She had her smile rejuvenated with ten porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner.

Gina from Irvine had been bothered for years about her “crooked smile”.  Especially irritating was that there was no symmetry at all to her teeth.  The left and right sides didn’t match at all!  Also, each of her teeth were different colored and one had a veneer and another a bonding.  Nothing matched!  It was obvious to her that she should have braces.  However, “at my age, no way am I going through a couple years of braces,” she told Dr. Huefner.  “That is what the orthodontist told me.”  Even if they got straightened, the colors and shapes were off.  She came to see Dr. Huefner for an alternative, and preferably one that could be accomplished in a short period of time.

In luck, Dr. Huefner said that he could create straight, white, perfectly aligned teeth by doing ten porcelain veneers for her.  Her treatment would be completed in less than three weeks time and she could even choose how white she wanted her “new teeth” to be (i.e. porcelain veneers).

After hearing the great news, Gina started her treatment the following week.  And, as promised, three weeks later her new smile was completed.  As you might imagine by looking at the before and after photos, Gina was ecstatic with the results.

Dr. Norman Huefner, porcelain veneers Irvine
Serving Orange county and the cities of Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Rejuvinated smile with porcelain veneers.

Gina’s before and after photos show how easily and beautifully porcelain veneers can rejuvenate a smile.


Q: I am 23 years old and i have my two front teeth spaced 2mm in between and 1mm from back. Will capping them be a problem?

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
Given that you don’t have any other problems with your front teeth, porcelain veneering is generally a much better treatment option than full crown restorations.  There is less drilling on your teeth, less chance of even needing a root canal, and look as good or even better than porcelain crowns (caps).
However, if you have large fillings or decay, or fractures in your teeth, your dentist may be recommending crowns (caps) instead of porcelain veneers, and that would be an appropriate treatment alternative.
You should speak with your dentist and let him address the advantages and disadvantages of porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns in your particular situation.  However, all things being good except for the spacing, I would lean heavily to porcelain veneers over the porcelain crowns.

Gnarly Teeth Transformed to Amazing Smile, Mission Viejo Porcelain Veneers

gnarly teeth before porcelain veneers mission viejo

Jessie was told his teeth were “gnarly”. He realized his appearance is important, but had neglected his teeth for a number of years. His concerns were that his teeth were chipped, crooked and discolored.

Jessie, a man in his 30s from Mission Viejo, is a regular guy.  He plays ball on the weekend, works hard during the week in the construction trade and enjoys dating.  Working hard to better himself he was taken back when one of his close friends confided in him.  “Jessie, boy you have a gnarly smile!”  He had always taken his teeth for granted, but his friend’s comments made Jessie take a closer at his teeth and smile.  His teeth were yellow, crooked and chipped.  Then thinking a bit more realized it had been over three years since he had his last dental cleaning.  He scheduled an appointment at our office for the well overdue cleaning, and also asked for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.

At his appointment he apologized that it had been so long since he had last seen a dentist.  He wanted Dr. Huefner and the dental staff to understand that in general he takes very good care of himself and has a lot of pride in the way he looks.  Jessie told Dr. Huefner that the last few days before his appointment he had thought a lot about his teeth and wanted to know what could be done to not only fix the chipped teeth, but was there any way to get a really nice white smile too?  Also, that he doesn’t expect to get “perfect teeth”, but what could be done to get “almost perfect teeth?”

chipped teeth porcelain veneers mission viejo

Eight porcelain veneers corrected Jessie’s gnarly smile. A whiter color was used and the shape of the teeth was a masculine smile design.

Dr. Huefner explained to Jessie that although his teeth were healthy, there were a a number of little things that would have to be done to do what he asked, but yes, Jessie could have an amazing smile with cosmetic dentistry.  Actually, Jessie was a perfect candidate for porcelain veneers.  They would cover the chipped, misaligned, discolored teeth and give him an end result that would actually look many times better than they did when he graduated from high school.  Jessie was happy to learn that porcelain veneers could correct his dental problems and give him the type of smile he wanted.  But, he was concerned about how long it would take.  He was the type of guy that once he made up his mind that he wanted his dental treatment done as quickly as possible.  Again, Jessie liked what her heard.  Dr. Huefner explained that from beginning to end his porcelain veneer treatment would be completed in just a little over two weeks time.

How many porcelain veneers?

Jessie asked, “How many porcelain veneers do I have to have?”  Dr. Huefner then asked Jessie two questions.  First, how white he wanted all his teeth to be and second how many teeth showed when he smiled?  Jessie looked carefully at the photo of his teeth and smile and said now that he’s come this far that he wants much whiter teeth and pretty much all the teeth he shows when he smiles to look good.  Dr. Huefner told Jessie that he could do as many or as few teeth as Jessie wanted him to do, as the choice was his.  Jessie again looked carefully at the photos of his teeth and decided to have Dr. Huefner place porcelain veneers on eight teeth.

Jessie’s treatment went smooth, and as Dr. Huefner had said, his treatment was completed in just over two weeks time.  He chose a BL2 shade for the color for this Orange County man and a masculine smile design.  Empress porcelain was used for the veneers because of its strength and inherent translucency that mimics natural enamel.  Jessie got his attractive smile with whiter, straighter teeth, and best of all, nobody ever said he had gnarly teeth again!

Dr. Norm Huefner, Mission Viejo Porcelain Veneers

Q: Post and Core Crown and tongue thrusting…Am I in danger of fracturing root?

I had a root canal on my left front tooth 9 years ago with no crown. Last week my tooth broke and my dentist put in temp crown which lasted a week when the rest of tooth broke off at the gum line. I then first realized that I push my tongue into that one tooth when I swallow and sleep. The dentist then did a post and core and I’ve noticed that I’ve already pushed the crown forward by about a mm and I’m terrified that this will cause a fractured root. What can be done and is my fear justified?

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
Although your tongue habit may continue to push your tooth outward, the forces on your teeth by your tongue are less likely to fracture your teeth than biting into hard food, or in people without “tongue trust behaviors” who grind or clench their teeth frequently and very hard.
Tongue trust therapy is not very successful, thus it is doubtful that this habit of yours will ever discontinue even if your saw a speech therapist to address it.
My advice is not to dwell or worry about it.  Give things time to settle down.
If you did loose your teeth due to fracture you should consider a dental implant.  The great thing about dental implants with crowns is that they won’t move with your tongue thrust habit, as they are solidly joined to bone.

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