August 19, 2018

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.

Laser Frenectomy by Orange County cosmetic dentist Dr. Huefner

lingual laser frenectomy

Top photo: The heavy lingual frenum runs from the tip of Cassidy's tongue (black arrow) to the gums right behind her lower front teeth (red arrow). This heavy band of fiber and muscle tissue restricted her tonge movements and could potentially effect her speech. Over time it would pull the gums away from her teeth, causing advanced premature recession and possibly causing one or two teeth to be lost. Middle photo: Immediately after the frenectomy. Note there is no bleeding and the frenum has been removed between the black and red arrows. Bottom photo: Complete healing as shown two weeks after the dental laser frenectomy. Only a small band of lingual frenum remains which is close to the normal size found in most individuals. Happily Cassidy can now stick her tongue out <grin>.

Cassidy from Orange County is a beautiful 13 year old girl with great teeth and no teeth problems.  However she did have a tongue problem.  Cassidy had a overly large lingual frenum, a band of fiber and muscle tissue that attaches from the underside of her tongue to right behind her lower front teeth.  Most people have lingual frenums, but most people have frenums that are much smaller and don’t cause any problems.  But Cassidy’s lingual frenum wasn’t small, and it was causing two problems. First, it restricted her movement of her tongue.  That is where the dental name “tongue tied” came from.  In certain individuals with overly large frenums speech is impaired to some extent.  The other problem is that over the years the tongue, being the very strong muscle that it is, keeps pulling on the overly taught lingual frenum, which is attached to the gums on the inside of the lower front teeth.  Over time this strong muscle movement can pull the gums away from the tooth creating a gum problem which then leads to accelerated gum recession and potential to completely lose one or more of the lower front teeth.

Frenum problems are not restricted to the area connecting the tongue to the back of the lower front teeth, called a lingual frenum.  They are also frequent problems running as a taught fiber band from the upper lip to the space between the upper front two teeth.  This is called a labial frenum and is the common cause of a space between the upper two front teeth.  Frenums can also be found around the upper or lower side teeth, but are not as problematic there.

Laser frenectomy

As a dentist very concerned about preventing such problems with proactive dentistry I discussed Cassidy’s problem with her father who immediately wanted to know how his daughter’s large, tight lingual frenum problem could be corrected. Back in the 1970s when I was first trained in removing labial and lingual frenums, a procedure called a frenectomy, we would just numb up the gum area with local anesthetic (Novocain) and surgically cut out the muscle fiber band with a scalpel.  But over the past decade with the introduction of the dental gum laser, many dentists like me (and oral surgeons and periodontists) are finding that a laser frenectomy can be done more precisely, has less bleeding and also heals up much faster.  It can be used to treat both large labial frenums and large lingual frenums. When the laser fiber touches the frenum fiber during the laser frenectomy procedure it almost seems to “melts” the frenum away.  Cassidy’s dad was pleased that were using the dental gum laser and could treat the reduction of Cassidy’s lingual frenum so precisely and non invasively with newer dental technology.

Cassidy was excited about having the laser frenectomy procedure.  Although she didn’t have any noticeable speech problem with her overly large and tight lingual frenum, she did have obvious restriction on her ability to move her tongue.  And her father was very concerned about preventing the most certain lingual gum recession and associated problems.  Happily, the first thing she “showed off” to her father after we did her laser frenectomy was that she could stick our her tongue!

Dr. Norm Huefner, Laguna Niguel, Orange County cosmetic dentist


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