June 22, 2017

Planning Your Smile Makeover

If you are embarrassed to show your teeth when you smile, it may be time to consider a smile makeover. Today’s cosmetic dentistry techniques, materials, and technology can address virtually any flaw that is compromising the look of your smile – including cracked teeth, stained teeth, uneven teeth, broken teeth, and gaps between teeth.

Our experienced Orange County cosmetic dentist Dr. Huefner has been helping patients throughout the Laguna Niguel area transform their smiles for decades. When planning your smile makeover, we will consider several different factors, including:

  • The specific cosmetic dental problems you want to correct
  • Your own goals for your smile
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your budget

There are usually many different ways to fix a certain smile flaw, which gives you flexibility when choosing the treatments and procedures you want to include with your smile. In some cases, only a single treatment (such as porcelain veneers) may be necessary for a full smile makeover. Other patients may need a combination of treatments – such as teeth whitening, dental crowns, and porcelain veneers – in order to achieve the results they are looking for.

Dr. Huefner will examine your teeth and make a personalized recommendation based on the factors discussed above. The most effective options will be presented to you through our advanced patient education software. If porcelain veneers will be part of your smile makeover, Dr. Huefner can fit you with a “trial smile” of temporary restorations so you can test out your new smile design before we make it permanent.

If you are ready to discuss your smile makeover options in more depth with an experienced Orange County cosmetic dentist, please contact Huefner Sensational Smiles today or call (949) 495-6322 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and surrounding areas of Orange County, California.

Orange County Porcelain Crowns by Dr. Huefner

Photo below: Elise had short, worn, chipped front teeth and wanted a nicer looking smile. Clearly, she didn't want "old looking teeth." Photo above: Elise had Dr. Huefner place four Orange County porcelain crowns on her front four teeth.

Elise is a very attractive lady in her late 60s and she always has taken great care of herself.  She exercises, dresses well, watches her diet, stays very active, does most things that we all know keeps us healthy, looking younger and our best.  But one thing slipped by over the years, her teeth chipped and wore down to the point that they were not only showing her age but her teeth actually made her look older than she was.  One day Elise saw her teeth up close in a photo and she was devastated!  It was time to see Irvine cosmetic dentist Dr. Huefner to “get her teeth and smile into shape!”

Elise knew that her short, worn teeth made her look older. It was time for her to finally do something about it.

When Dr. Huefner saw Elise smile it was pretty obvious that her teeth had chipped off and worn so much that the best thing he could do for her would be to restore her four front teeth to the shape and length that they originally were years before.  Dr. Huefner explained to Elise that the length of normal front teeth (central incisors) are between 10.5mm and 11.5mm and they are more or less rectangular in shape with slightly rounded corners.  In Elise’s case her central incisors had worn down to 9.0mm and that made her teeth look short and square, giving her teeth a much older appearance than the rest of her.

After discussing the length and shape of her teeth, Elise appreciated how Dr. Huefner would lengthen and reshape her four front teeth by placing four Orange County porcelain crowns.  Oftentimes Dr. Huefner prefers to do porcelain veneers rather than porcelain crowns, but in Elise’s case not only were the edges of her teeth really worn down, but also the backs of the teeth.  This meant that porcelain crowns would be a better treatment for her than porcelain veneers.

After Dr. Huefner placed four Orange County porcelain crowns Elise had a much more attractive smile. Dr. Huefner lengthened her four front teeth to the size they originally were when she was years younger. He also changed the shape of the teeth, giving them rounded corners which impart a younger more feminine appearance to them. Since Elise only wanted Dr. Huefner to put crowns on the front four teeth he matched the color of her other teeth. If she had wanted whiter teeth than Dr. Huefner would have need to treat at least eight teeth.

Then Dr. Huefner had an important question that Elise needed to be address, did she want whiter teeth, which would mean putting Orange County porcelain crowns on at least eight of her upper teeth, or did she just want Dr. Huefner to just do four Orange County porcelain crowns and match them to the color of her other teeth.  Elise said that her goal was not to try look decades younger, just “a little younger” with a more attractive smile, and that she was really “OK” with the color of her other teeth.  After a little more discussion Elise made her final decision to just do four new porcelain crowns.

After having a good understanding of the procedure and feeling comfortable with Dr. Huefner’s recommendation to do four Orange County porcelain crowns, Elise had Dr. Huefner begin her cosmetic dental treatment.  The first visit he prepared the four teeth, took dental impressions, measured the shade of Elise’s other teeth and placed four temporary crowns.  Two weeks later she returned to get her Orange County porcelain crowns.  Dr. Huefner gently removed her temporary crowns, allowing Elise to preview how they would look and give her consent, and then Dr. Huefner permanently bonded the four porcelain crowns into place with the dental curing laser.

Elise got a great result with her four Orange County porcelain crowns!  It really improved her smile and accomplished her goals of a better looking smile and younger appearing front teeth.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Laguna Niguel and Irvine cosmetic dentist, Orange County, CA
www.drhuefner.com

 

Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes Soccer Coach’s Brown Teeth Smile with Porcelain Veneers

before and after porcelain veneers to correct dark discolored teeth

Lower photo: Ted had multiple colored teeth but the two brown ones were particularly annoying. Upper photo: By placing eight porcelain veneers Dr. Huefner was able to create a beautiful smile for Ted and gave him the white uniformly colored teeth that he has always wanted.

Ted is a beloved soccer coach in Orange County.  In his younger days when he was competitively playing soccer he banged his front teeth so many times that they chipped and discolored from the repeated trauma.  After years of putting up with multiple discolored teeth he realized that as professional he couldn’t go around anymore with teeth that looked as bad as his did!  It was time to explore his cosmetic dentistry options.

When Ted smiled it was very easy to see his concerns.  All of his upper front teeth were different colors!  Fortunately Ted was the perfect candidate for porcelain veneers to give him the smile he always wanted.  But before we would recommend how many porcelain veneers to do for Ted he needed to tell us what color he wanted his “new teeth” to be?  If he just wanted to match his side teeth, which were lighter than his front teeth but still a bit yellow, then we would only recommend doing only four porcelain veneers.

dark brown teeth before orange county cosmetic dentistrty

As a young soccer player Ted had incurred repeated trauma to his teeth, resulting in chipped teeth that were severely discolored. As a professional man Ted realized the importance of his smile and the need for him to fix his teeth with cosmetic dentistry.

As a young soccer player Ted had incurred repeated trauma to his teeth, resulting in chipped teeth that were severely discolored. As a professional man Ted realized the importance of his smile and the need for him to fix his teeth with cosmetic dentistry.

But Ted said he wanted a clean, white smile.  Also, his whole life he had wanted whiter teeth and since he was finally determined to get cosmetic dentistry that he wanted the best looking smile that we could do for him.  When Ted smiled he clearly showed eight teeth, thus we recommended doing eight porcelain veneers in the whiter color that he would choose.

porcelain veneers for dark brown teeth

Ted chose a BL2 shade for his eight porcelain veneers, slight surface texture, slight incisal translucency and a masculine smile design. The end result was a very natural looking "white teeth", which was a dramatic transformation from his old smile.

So, one of the first things we did was to start looking at the different tooth shades or colors available.  We brought out our dental shade guide and showed Ted many of the different colors that he had to choose from.  Since Ted said he wanted “white teeth” we narrowed down the colors to those in the bleaching shade range, BL1 through BL4.  He asked us which of the shades we recommended.  Our answer to Ted was that in general the BL2 shade is the most popular.  Patients who really want really white teeth usually chose BL1.  We stressed that we will only advise and recommend shades, that the final decision on tooth shade would be his!  Ted chose the BL2 shade for his new porcelain veneers.

We almost immediately started Ted’s porcelain veneer treatment at our Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry practice.  We completed his smile makeover three weeks later and Ted loved the end results!

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.

Realtor Wants More Listings So Gets Orange County Porcelain Veneers to Improve His Appearance and Professional Image

Masculine smile design porcelain veneers orange county

Lower photo: William had crooked, discolored teeth. He had a bonding on his right central incisor that was dark and broken. He had a cross bite on several of his upper left teeth. Upper photo: William had Dr. Huefner place eight porcelain veneers and got straight, white teeth and a more masculine and professional looking smile.

William, an ambitious Realtor in his early thirties wanted more listings.  He was moderately successful in the San Fernando Valley, but after moving to Orange County he found the competition between Realtors for new listings to be almost overwhelming.  After months of working very hard and not seeing much fruits for his efforts he finally asked a very successful Realtor in his office to help mentor him.

“Image is key one to getting new listings”, his mentor told William.  “You’ve got to promote yourself heavily here in Laguna Niguel so that everyone knows your name and hopefully, your face.” Then he told William something about his personal appearance that shocked him!  “William, your teeth and smile don’t look their best.  How can you expect people to have confidence that you’re sharp and professional when your teeth are crooked, broken and yellow?  Your business card needs to have a great photo of you smiling, and when prospective clients meet you for the first time they need to know that you care a lot about yourself.  Your appearance says a lot about that.  They need to know that you are going to take great care of them and you are the best professional that you can be.”

crooked discolored teeth

William's mentor told him something very personal that shocked him. "If you want to get more listings and be more successful as a Realtor you need to improve the appearance of your teeth."

When William looked at his teeth in the mirror and at some of his closeup photos, he knew his mentor was right.  It was time to see a cosmetic dentist.

When William came to us he told us the story.  He followed it up telling us that his short term goal was to get more listings in Laguna Niguel, but his long term goal was to be one of the most successful Realtors in Orange County.  He was committed to doing the hard work, but wanted us to help give him a friendly, professional, great looking smile with cosmetic dentistry.

William had done his homework before coming in to see us.  He had studied his teeth carefully and knew all his “smile flaws”:

  • He wanted whiter teeth.  His were yellow and his front two teeth didn’t match.
  • He wanted all his teeth to be the same color. His right front tooth had a discolored bonding which was chipped.
  • His teeth were all slightly crooked and he wanted them straight.
  • Four of his left side and front teeth leaned inwards (called cross bite).

We looked closely at William’s teeth and he showed ten of his upper teeth when he smiled.  Based on his goals Dr. Huefner recommended that he make ten porcelain veneers for William.  When William looked at his teeth he felt that he only really showed eight teeth when he smiled.  He asked if he could just do the eight teeth, and if later on he felt he should do two more he would.  Dr. Huefner agreed he could do it that way if that was what he really wanted.

When Dr. Huefner designed William’s smile he chose a “masculine” smile design from the tooth shape library.  Cosmetic dentists often impart gender in the size, shape and length of the teeth.  For someone like William, a big masculine guy, Dr. Huefner recommended front teeth that were a little more square on the corners.  For women, especially those who want to look younger or more feminine, Dr. Huefner often will recommend the design for the front teeth to be more rounded.  The “enhanced” smile design is one of the most popular design utilized for women, which is a more feminine smile design, not something well suited for him.  William also chose a BL2 shade from the tooth shade catalog.

laguna niguel porcelain veneers masculine smile design

After having Dr. Huefner make him eight porcelain veneers William got the great looking smile that he needed to enhance his career in real estate. His teeth were now straight, even and white and Dr. Huefner even corrected the cross bite he had on several of his left teeth.

After making William the eight porcelain veneers he had a much improved smile.  His teeth were whiter and all uniform in color.  They were straight and the cross bite on the left side corrected by making the veneers lean out instead of leaning inwards.  He got a mature, very appropriate smile design that really enhanced his professional image.

Very pleased with the end result, William couldn’t wait to show off his new teeth with his mentor.  He also had an appointment with a professional photographer later that week and he couldn’t wait to have a portrait of the new, improved William on his business card and professional advertising.

We couldn’t guarantee that William will get more listings now that he has eight porcelain veneers. But we are absolutely convinced that his improved image is going to help his career and greatly improve his chances for success in a very competitive career over his professional lifetime!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about William’s porcelain veneer treatment.

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

Realtor Wants More Listings So Gets Orange County Porcelain Veneers to Improve His Appearance and Professional Image

Masculine smile design porcelain veneers orange county

Lower photo: William had crooked, discolored teeth. He had a bonding on his right central incisor that was dark and broken. He had a cross bite on several of his upper left teeth. Upper photo: William had Dr. Huefner place eight porcelain veneers and got straight, white teeth and a more masculine and professional looking smile.

William, an ambitious Realtor in his early thirties wanted more listings.  He was moderately successful in the San Fernando Valley, but after moving to Orange County he found the competition between Realtors for new listings to be almost overwhelming.  After months of working very hard and not seeing much fruits for his efforts he finally asked a very successful Realtor in his office to help mentor him.

“Image is key one to getting new listings”, his mentor told William.  “You’ve got to promote yourself heavily here in Laguna Niguel so that everyone knows your name and hopefully, your face.” Then he told William something about his personal appearance that shocked him!  “William, your teeth and smile don’t look their best.  How can you expect people to have confidence that you’re sharp and professional when your teeth are crooked, broken and yellow?  Your business card needs to have a great photo of you smiling, and when prospective clients meet you for the first time they need to know that you care a lot about yourself.  Your appearance says a lot about that.  They need to know that you are going to take great care of them and you are the best professional that you can be.”

crooked discolored teeth

William's mentor told him something very personal that shocked him. "If you want to get more listings and be more successful as a Realtor you need to improve the appearance of your teeth."

When William looked at his teeth in the mirror and at some of his closeup photos, he knew his mentor was right.  It was time to see a cosmetic dentist.

When William came to us he told us the story.  He followed it up telling us that his short term goal was to get more listings in Laguna Niguel, but his long term goal was to be one of the most successful Realtors in Orange County.  He was committed to doing the hard work, but wanted us to help give him a friendly, professional, great looking smile with cosmetic dentistry.

William had done his homework before coming in to see us.  He had studied his teeth carefully and knew all his “smile flaws”:

  • He wanted whiter teeth.  His were yellow and his front two teeth didn’t match.
  • He wanted all his teeth to be the same color. His right front tooth had a discolored bonding which was chipped.
  • His teeth were all slightly crooked and he wanted them straight.
  • Four of his left side and front teeth leaned inwards (called cross bite).

We looked closely at William’s teeth and he showed ten of his upper teeth when he smiled.  Based on his goals Dr. Huefner recommended that he make ten porcelain veneers for William.  When William looked at his teeth he felt that he only really showed eight teeth when he smiled.  He asked if he could just do the eight teeth, and if later on he felt he should do two more he would.  Dr. Huefner agreed he could do it that way if that was what he really wanted.

When Dr. Huefner designed William’s smile he chose a “masculine” smile design from the tooth shape library.  Cosmetic dentists often impart gender in the size, shape and length of the teeth.  For someone like William, a big masculine guy, Dr. Huefner recommended front teeth that were a little more square on the corners.  For women, especially those who want to look younger or more feminine, Dr. Huefner often will recommend the design for the front teeth to be more rounded.  The “enhanced” smile design is one of the most popular design utilized for women, which is a more feminine smile design, not something well suited for him.  William also chose a BL2 shade from the tooth shade catalog.

laguna niguel porcelain veneers masculine smile design

After having Dr. Huefner make him eight porcelain veneers William got the great looking smile that he needed to enhance his career in real estate. His teeth were now straight, even and white and Dr. Huefner even corrected the cross bite he had on several of his left teeth.

After making William the eight porcelain veneers he had a much improved smile.  His teeth were whiter and all uniform in color.  They were straight and the cross bite on the left side corrected by making the veneers lean out instead of leaning inwards.  He got a mature, very appropriate smile design that really enhanced his professional image.

Very pleased with the end result, William couldn’t wait to show off his new teeth with his mentor.  He also had an appointment with a professional photographer later that week and he couldn’t wait to have a portrait of the new, improved William on his business card and professional advertising.

We couldn’t guarantee that William will get more listings now that he has eight porcelain veneers. But we are absolutely convinced that his improved image is going to help his career and greatly improve his chances for success in a very competitive career over his professional lifetime!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about William’s porcelain veneer treatment.

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

Model and Mrs. Nevada Beauty Pageant Winner Comes to Dr. Huefner for Orange County Porcelain Veneers Before the Mrs. U.S.-Globe Beauty Pageant

orange county porcelain veneers

Tierra got her beautiful new smile with eight porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner. She placed in the top fifteen at the Mrs. U.S.-Globe beauty pageant and is now pursuing her modeling career.

Tierra, a dancer and model and mother of two, had short, worn teeth.  After becoming Mrs. Nevada, which entitled her to compete in the Mrs. U.S.-Globe beauty pageant, Tierra realized that she was in desperate need of cosmetic dentistry to enhance her smile.  Knowing that longer, whiter, prettier teeth would enhance her chances in the Mrs. U.S.-Globe pageant and her modeling career in general, Tierra flew out to Dr. Huefner’s cosmetic dentistry practice for a smile makeover with porcelain veneers.

short worn teeth due to bruxism habit

Tierra's short, worn teeth made her smile look 20-30 years older than she was. She knew that by making her teeth the same length as they were before her grinding shortened them she would have a much prettier smile.

When Tierra arrived for her initial consultation we took photos of her teeth and smile.  Tierra was a nighttime bruxer (one who grinds their teeth at night when sleeping) and had worn her teeth down considerably.  Her teeth were short and square and a slight yellowish color.  Dr. Huefner pointed out that her teeth actually looked twenty to thirty years older than she was!  Also, the edges of her teeth were flat.  To give Tierra a more attractive, feminine and youthful looking smile Dr. Huefner recommended placing eight porcelain veneers.  The new porcelain veneers would be longer, rounder and whiter in color.  The edges of her upper teeth (i.e. edges of her new porcelain veneers) would follow the curved contour of her lower lip, called “following the smile line,” rather than being flat and straight. The end result would be a much more attractive smile and would help her in the beauty pageant competition and also her modeling career.

eight porcelain veneers laguna niguel

Tierra, with her new smile is now a successful model.

Tierra began her cosmetic dentistry almost immediately, as the Mrs. U.S.-Globe beauty pageant was right around the corner.  Her eight porcelain veneers were fabricated in two weeks time and the resulting new smile created by Dr. Huefner was stunning.  Since Tierra is still a nighttime bruxer, Dr. Huefner also fabricated a night guard bruxism appliance to keep her from wearing her lower teeth down.

Mrs. Nevada and Dr. Huefner at Mrs. U.S.-Globe beauty pageant

Tierra as Mrs. Nevada with Dr. Huefner at Mrs. U.S.-Globe beauty pageant

Dr. Huefner, being a pageant judge and sponsor naturally attended the Mrs. Globe pageant and was there to watch Tierra. She competed extremely well, was a crowd and judge favorite, and easily made it into the top fifteen.

If you’d like to see a recent commercial video Tierra was featured in, please go to
http://www.emsbarcode.com/ and turn on your speaker.

beauty pageant porcelain veneers

Tierra's new porcelain veneers were longer, whiter and more naturally shaped than her short, worn teeth. The edges of her upper veneers followed the curve of her lower lip when she smiled, called "following the smile line." All and all, Dr. Huefner created a much more attractive and youthful smile for Tierra.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Tierra’s porcelain veneer treatment.

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

Replacing an old Porcelain Veneer that Broke with a new one that is stronger and more natural looking – Cosmetic Dentistry for San Clemente

San Clemente porcelain veneer

Fifteen years after having one porcelain veneer on Mandy's left central incisor she bit down on something hard and broke off the edge (lower photo). It was very important to Mandy that we make her a new porcelain veneer that not only was stronger but looked much more natural than the original porcelain veneer did. By evening out her gums with the dental gum laser, noting the specific shades in her teeth, matching both the amount of translucency and surface texture we were able to get a very good match with Mandy's new porcelain veneer (upper photo).

Broken Porcelain Veneer in San Clemente

Mandy from San Clemente said that she broke her left front tooth fifteen years ago.  Her dentist placed a porcelain veneer and thankfully she didn’t have to go around with a broken front tooth any more.  “I was so embarrassed with having a broken front tooth that I was happy with my old dentist’s veneer treatment.  But the color really never looked right, it looked like I had a cap on it.  I thought porcelain veneers were supposed to look more natural,” she said.  “In the back of my mind I could hardly wait to get a better looking one.”

Finally one day Mandy bit down on her sandwich and there was a bone in it, which broke off the edge of her old porcelain veneer.  When she came into to see us she was somewhat anxious, really wanting to make sure that the porcelain veneers we made for her looked a lot more natural than her old one. We explained to Mandy that when her dentist did her porcelain veneer years ago that cosmetic dentistry was really in its infancy.  In the last decade and a half, since it was first done, cosmetic dentistry has really evolved.  Newer materials and techniques, along with completing very sophisticated training programs for cosmetic dentists now enables us to fabricate porcelain veneers that should very closely match her other teeth.

Getting the most natural looking match on her new porcelain veneer

Right away we noticed that there was more gum tissue around her broken tooth.  In order to match the adjacent tooth the best it is important that the length of both teeth be the same.  Therefore we started by doing some very minor gum reshaping with the dental gum laser, removing the excess gum tissue, thereby making the gum level on both of her front two teeth the same.

Next, we looked very closely at the shade or color of her natural front tooth, the one we were trying to match.  We noted that her front tooth actually had three different colors, a main color and a smaller zone of a more translucent color near the edge of the tooth and another smaller zone of a slightly darker color near her gum line.  We needed to specifically note those different colors and communicate it with our ceramist who will be custom building Mandy’s new porcelain veneer.

Two other things that we needed to specifically note to get the best match for Mandy was the amount of translucency that her natural tooth has and how light reflects off of the surface, called surface texture.  It was obvious that the amount of translucency wasn’t matched at all with Mandy’s first porcelain veneer, which was made much more opaque (no translucency).  However her old dentist’s ceramist did match the surface texture reasonably close.

We went ahead and made Mandy’s replacement porcelain veneer.  The match was very close and she was very pleased with the result!

Stronger Porcelain Veneer

Then she asked if it would break as easily as her first porcelain veneer did.  Actually the fact that her first porcelain veneer lasted fifteen years was an indication that it was made pretty strong.  But, we were pleased to inform Mandy that her new porcelain veneer was made with a different process, called pressed ceramics, with a stronger porcelain material called IPS Empress.  So not only did her new porcelain veneer look better than the old one, but being made of a stronger material it is reasonable to assume that baring that she isn’t in an accident, that it probably will last longer and give her many more years of service than her first one did.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Mandy’s porcelain veneer treatment.

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 and Rancho Santa Margarita

“Yikes! My Front Tooth Broke Off, What Can I Do?” How an Orange County cosmetic dentist saved his patient from major embarrassment.

broken front tooth

Amy was devastated and in tears when her front tooth broke off near her gum line. When this happens sometimes the tooth can be saved with a post and core and new porcelain crown. Other times the treatment of choice is either a dental implant or non-removable porcelain bridge.

Amy is an attractive lady, a Realtor by profession.  Back in her 20s she had chipped her front tooth badly and ended up needing to get a root canal and crown on it.  She was content until one day she was eating and bit down hard on something in her food.  Wham…..her tooth broke off near her gum line.

Amy was devastated, actually in tears!

She came into our Orange County dental office in Laguna Niguel as an “emergency” patient and in tears.  “What can I do?,” she asked.  “I can’t go out in public or to work missing my front tooth.  There must be some treatment you can do to give me back a front tooth.”

What happened to Amy is unfortunate, but not all that uncommon.  If a tooth has a large cavity or substantial amount of tooth broke off, then root canal and crown treatment are often the two treatments to save the front tooth.  The only problem was that Amy’s tooth was already very weak, and then she suffered additional trauma when she bit down on the hard object.  That was way more than her weak tooth could handle.  Thus, breaking off the crown.

How much tooth is left is a major consideration when treating a broken tooth

When trying to salvage the tooth for Amy our first consideration was how much tooth was left ABOVE THE GUM LINE?  If there is 2-4mm or tooth ABOVE the gum line, then with some heroic dentistry a new crown can oftentimes be made.  But the patient must understand that there is absolutely no guarantee that the tooth won’t break again.

If the tooth breaks at or below the gum line, then it is unlikely that the tooth can be saved.  In that case, the tooth would be extracted and either a dental implant, fixed porcelain bridge or some cases a removable partial denture made to give the patient back their front tooth.

laguna niguel porcelain crown

Amy was fortunate that she had already had a root canal on her tooth and there was a minimal amount of tooth left above her gum line. A post and core and new porcelain crown were fabricated, saving her from the humiliation and embarrassment of not having a front tooth.

In Amy’s case, as one can see in the photo, there was some tooth left above the gum line.  So she was in luck!  Since her tooth had already had a root canal we explained to Amy that we could try to save her tooth by placing a post and core into her root canal filling and by doing that we could create enough tooth above her gums to place a new porcelain crown on.

Amy tears began to stop.

“When can you do that for me?” she asked.  “I have to go to work today and I can’t see clients looking like this?”

To Amy’s delight we said we could build up her tooth with the post and core and make her a temporary crown right then and there.  We would do what we needed to do, make her a new tooth and she would be done in just over an hour’s time and be able to go to work as normal.  In two weeks time her porcelain crown would be completed by our ceramist and we would then remove her temporary crown and cement on her final porcelain crown.

We were able to do everything exactly as planned and Amy got her new crown on her broken front tooth two weeks later. However, that being said, it must be stressed that this kind of heroic dental treatment to save a broken tooth cannot always be done and oftentimes it is not the best long term solution.  Again, alternative treatments options like a dental implant, fixed porcelain bridge or sometimes (but rarely) a removable partial denture are better ways to treat a patient with a broken off or missing front tooth.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Amy’s treatment.

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

Worn, Prematurely Aged Teeth Given New Life to Brent’s Smile with Porcelain Veneers Irvine

porcelain veneers irvine

Brent treated his chipped worn teeth with porcelain veneers utilizing a "softened" smile design from the LVI tooth shape catalog and a BL3 shade from the tooth shade guide. After doing his upper porcelain veneers, Brent decided to also have us place porcelain veneers on his lower teeth.

Brent is quite successful, both in his business and as an athlete.  Unfortunately his drive to being the best that he could be resulted in a severe teeth grinding (bruxism) habit.  Thus over the years he severely wore his teeth down.  The results was that his teeth and smile were prematurely aged by 20-30 years!

After years of hard work, commitment and dedication Brent achieved a lifelong athletic goal and became internationally recognized.  Along with his fame he started doing public appearances, speaking engagements and he even was scheduled to be interviewed on TV!  But someone who always prided himself on being, and looking his best, Brent realized that he needed to do something quick to get his teeth and smile into shape!

Brent came into our office for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.  He very quickly pointed out his urgency and that his cosmetic dental work needed to be completed fast!  Also, that he didn’t want “pretty boy” fake, white teeth.  He wanted whiter teeth, but it was very important to him that they look natural, “as if they were his real teeth and hadn’t had any cosmetic dentistry at all.”

worn teeth from bruxism

Being very successful in both business and sports contributed to Brent's tooth grinding habit, which prematurely wore his teeth down to be 20-30 years older than his age. When Brent started doing public speaking and was scheduled to appear on TV he decided it was time to get his smile into shape with cosmetic dentistry.

Fortunately for Brent, we happily replied that all those goals could easily be met.  Having healthy teeth that had no decay, but were just severely worn, discolored with the years and somewhat crooked and asymmetrical, he was the perfect candidate for porcelain veneers.  And best for all, his smile could be completed in just a couple weeks time.

Not being one who has difficulty making decisions, Brent scheduled his treatment right away.  We treated his upper teeth with ten porcelain veneers.  His entire treatment went smooth without any challenges and was completed on time.  A week after placing porcelain veneers on his lower teeth, Brent came back, saying it didn’t make any sense having upper teeth that looked so good and lower ones that didn’t, and that now he wanted to do his lower teeth as well.  Thus, we did ten porcelain veneers on Brent’s lower teeth, that were also completed in just two weeks time.

Brent was involved in the choice of “smile style” and tooth color.  He chose thesoftened” smile style from the LVI Dickerson smile library, which is a very natural and masculine design of tooth shapes, which were also more age appropriate for him compared to the much older tooth shape he had from his years of teeth grinding and wearing down his original teeth.  Brent also chose a BL3 tooth shade from the tooth shade guide, which is slightly lighter than the lightest natural tooth color (B1), but still has very natural translucency.  This was very important to Brent, that they “not look like Chiclets or bad crowns”.

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