August 15, 2018

Congenitally missing teeth treated with very esthetic EMax all-porcelain bridges

all porcelain EMax bridges and two EMax porcelain veneers

Photo above: Teri was congenitally missing both of her upper lateral incisor teeth. For years she had two bonded bridges and six porcelain veneers, but she didn’t like many things about them, especially the color, shape and thickness of the teeth. Photo below: Dr. Huefner replaced her old dentistry with two all-porcelain EMax bridges and two EMax porcelain veneers. Teri got to choose the color, and chose the BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide.

Teri was congenitally missing teeth, both of her upper lateral incisors.  Embarrassed to walk around with two front teeth missing, her parents took her to the family dentist who placed two bonded bridges and six porcelain veneers.   Now having no missing teeth showing Teri was relatively happy with her appearance during high school and early twenties.  But when she graduated from college and entered the work force, she started rethinking how she felt about her two bridges.  She realized they just didn’t look as good as she hoped that they would be.  She liked her old dentist and thought he did the best that he could for her, but couldn’t help but feel that in this day and age, cosmetic dentistry probably offers new technology that could give her a much more attractive looking smile.  It was time for Teri to see a cosmetic dentist to discuss her alternatives.

After hearing Teri’s story, Dr. Huefner asked her specifically what didn’t she like about her old dentistry?  Teri said she wanted whiter teeth, that the bridges were too thick, that there was brown staining between each of her teeth and the edges of her teeth were shorter on her left side compared with her right side.

EMax all porcelain bridges

Upper photo: Notice how Teri’s right central and lateral incisors are shorter that the teeth on her left. Ideally the teeth should be symmetrical, the same length and the edges of the incisors follow the curve of Teri’s lower lip when she smiles. Lower photo: By Dr. Huefner making Teri’s bridges the proper length she had a much more attractive and natural looking smile.

Dr. Huefner was happy to tell Teri that there was an alternative available today that he thought would give her a much more attractive smile.  Rather than do bonded bridges for two teeth replacements, and then porcelain veneers for six teeth, or porcelain fused to metal bridges, Dr. Huefner advised using a new type of all-ceramic bridges called EMax along with two porcelain veneers also fabricated out of the EMax material on her bicuspid (side) teeth.  By doing this she wouldn’t have that unattractive staining line between each of her teethand they wouldn’t be bulky and thick like her present dentistry was.  Also, Dr. Huefner would make the edges of the teeth even and symmetrical in length and follow the curve of her lower lip in a natural way.  But one thing that really excited Teri, Dr. Huefner said that she could actually choose the color of her new dentistry, so she could get the white colored teeth that she had always wanted.  She chose shade BL2 from the Dr. Huefner’s tooth shade guide.

Teri was excited to hear Dr. Huefner’s recommendations and began her treatment almost immediately.  Her entire treatment, EMax bridges and veneers went smoothly and just as Dr. Huefner had planned.  Teri’s new smile makeover with two all porcelain EMax bridges and two EMax porcelain veneers was completed in just under a month’s time.  As you can see from the photos, Teri got a terrific result and her new smile looks much more attractive by using a better design and all porcelain EMax material rather than traditional porcelain fused to metal bridges that dentists have been using for the past three quarters of a century.

For patients not able or willing to have dental implants to treat their congenitally missing teeth, EMax all porcelain bridges should be given much considerations based on its many advantages and superior esthetics.

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

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

Fixing black lines around old crowns and bridges

black lines around old porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and bridge

Lower photo: Sonia didn't like the black lines around her old bridge and crowns. She also wanted straight, white teeth that would give her a beautiful smile. Upper photo: Dr. Huefner replaced her crowns and bridge with all-ceramic non-metal crowns and bridge. He also placed several porcelain veneers. The end result was a beautiful smile, something she had wanted for years!

Sonia from Mission Viejo had always tried to take good care of her teeth.  As a youngster she didn’t have much professional dental care.  So as a young adult she had much catching up to do.  She lost one front tooth and over the years had to have a porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge and many porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.  Her smile finally got to the point where it looked pretty good.  But over the years she started slacking off with her dental hygiene and visits to her dentist.  By the time she was fifty her gums had receded, and there was a visible black lines around most of her crowns.  She started noticing that her crowns were quite yellow compared to her friends’ teeth and Sonia became increasingly self conscious about the appearance of her teeth.  It was time for Sonia to see a cosmetic dentist about replacing much of her old, unesthetic dentistry and getting a beautiful smile.

In addition to hating the black lines around her bridge and crowns, Sonia didn't like the space between her front teeth.

She came to our cosmetic dental practice in Laguna Niguel to get Dr. Huefner’s opinion as to what was needed for him to make her beautiful looking teeth.  Dr. Huefner’s dental assistant Kathy took digital photographs of Sonia’s teeth and smile, and then together Sonia and Dr. Huefner looked at the photos on the computer monitor screen.  “Tell me Sonia, when you look at your teeth what is it that you don’t like and want changed?” Dr. Huefner asked Sonia.

Sonia had been closely looking at all her teeth for months and was able to quickly list several things:

  • “I especially don’t like the black lines around my old crowns”
  • “My teeth are yellow, I want my teeth to be much whiter”
  • “My teeth are crooked”
  • “I hate the space between my two front teeth, it looks dark”
  • “My back-side teeth lean in and look darker than my front teeth”

Sonia's new cosmetic dentistry gave her a gorgeous smile. Her teeth were white, straight and very evenly proportioned. The porcelain veneers on her side teeth didn't lean in like or natural teeth did and gave her a much more attractive and full smile.

After carefully listening to Sonia it became apparent that she didn’t want to just correct her bridge and a few old crowns, she wanted a “smile makeover”.  Dr. Huefner recommended replacing her porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge with an all-ceramic bridge.  He also recommended replacing her porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns with all ceramic crowns.  On her back and side teeth he recommended placing porcelain veneers.  Thus, when she smiled she would have white, straight teeth, all uniform in color and proportion.  It was very clear to Sonia that Dr. Huefner’s recommendations were well founded in order to get the results that she asked for, especially eliminating the black lines around her bridge and crowns.

But Sonia had one more very important question that needed answering.  “Dr. Huefner, as I get older if my gums recede, will there be black lines showing again that I will have to contend with?” she asked.  Dr. Huefner answered with a resolute “No”, that he would be using all-porcelain restorations without any metal whatsoever underneath the porcelain.  The metal underneath the porcelain crowns were the black lines that she was currently seeing in her own mouth.  She would never see black lines like she has now around any of her new dentistry that Dr. Huefner would be placing for her.

Sonia preceded with the cosmetic dental treatment that Dr. Huefner recommended, and got a terrific result.  A beautiful smile, straight white teeth, no space between her front two teeth, no side-back teeth leaning in, and most importantly, no black lines around any of her crowns.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County cosmetic dentist, Laguna Niguel, CA


The Real Housewives of Orange County Brooks Gets New Teeth

Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers of The Real Housewives of Orange County after Brooks' smile makeover with porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner

In early November The Real Housewives of Orange County star, Vicki Gunvalson, called me on the telephone regarding her boyfriend, Brooks Ayers. If you follow the reality show, you know that Vicki is going through divorce and that Brooks is the new man in her life. Brooks, who is sharing his time between Mississippi and Orange County, didn’t, in his own opinion have a great smile. As a matter of fact, in Vicki’s words, “Brooks’ smile definitely needed some HELP”! Vicki went on to say, “Brooks is a great man. He’s smart, hard working, successful, handsome, and a lot of fun to be with. His teeth and smile just didn’t fit with the Orange County image. Brooks and I think that he really needs an Orange County smile!” Vicki informed me that she chose me to do a smile makeover for Brooks in order to transform his teeth into the great looking, straight, white, “Orange County” teeth. Vicki also told me that she would like to have a film crew in our dental office during parts of Brooks’ smile makeover to document the procedure which would air on The Real Housewives of Orange County show in the early summer. “Could you do that?” she asked me. My answer was, “Yes… absolutely!” I knew we would have to work fast because his cosmetic dental treatment would have to be completed within a month in order to be filmed for Season 7 of The Real Orange County Housewives which was to begin airing February 7th, 2012.

Brooks had very crooked teeth and his upper right lateral incisor was in cross bite. His teeth were worn short and his upper lip was slightly longer than normal, masking much of his teeth when he smiled. Vicki wanted Brooks to have an "Orange County Smile", with straight, white, perfectly aligned teeth. We had less than a month to accomplish this, as we had to complete his new smile before the last week's filming of "Real Housewives of Orange County."

Vicki brought in Brooks for his first appointment with us, accompanied by The Real Housewives of Orange County film crew. We interviewed Brooks to find out what he didn’t like about his smile and what he wanted to accomplish. He was quick to point out that he was embarrassed about his smile, that his teeth were extremely crooked and that he was not able to get braces as a child like his children have been fortunate to receive. Vicki contributed to the conversation by explaining that since Brooks is now living in Orange County and that they are a couple portrayed on a reality show, it is important that he look “the Orange County” part. That is when the fun began. Seeing the drama of Brooks and Vicki banter back and forth about his teeth, his lips, his jaws and all his little “flaws” that I needed to correct, I realized our biggest challenges were neither Vicki nor Brooks, but the short time span we had to complete Brooks’ treatment and the correction of the cross bite he had on his upper right, lateral incisor. I explained to them both that ideally he should have braces to move the tooth in cross bite into a normal position, but that would take several months to accomplish. The other alternative would be to remove the tooth in cross bite and make a bridge. Although we prefer not to remove a healthy tooth, doing that would allow me to have the best control over giving him the “Orange County smile” that he wanted as well as staying within his time restraints. They both agreed that if removing one tooth would enable me to create beautiful, straight, white teeth for him within a month’s time that they would do that. So off Brooks went to the oral surgeon and the tooth was removed.

At the "trial smile" (temporary veneer phase), Brooks and Vicki got to preview the smile design Dr. Huefner created for him. Specifically, the "trial smile" is used to determine if the patient likes the length, shape, contour and color of the "new teeth." If he (or Vicki?) didn't approve, then Dr. Huefner would change the design until it met their approval. From the "trial smile" design, Dr. Huefner's ceramist, Dave Stohlman from LK Dental Studio, would make Brooks' final porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges.

A couple days after Brooks had the tooth extracted he returned to our office without Vicki. We prepared his teeth for four porcelain veneers and two porcelain bridges. Then we created Brooks’ “trial smile” which are temporary veneers and bridges that we used as our template for his final porcelain veneers and bridges. This was a very important step, as the “trial smile” is used to verify that we are designing his new teeth to his liking in regards to the size, shape, length, color and alignment of his new teeth. It’s kind of like a “test drive” of the new smile. If you didn’t like the “test drive” on a car, of course you wouldn’t buy it! Good cosmetic dentists use the “trial smile” as a “test drive” of sorts, making sure that the cosmetic dentist and patient are all on the same page before the final cosmetic dentistry is made duplicating the basic design of the “approved” trial smile.

After wearing the “trial smile” for a few days, Brooks was asked to return with Vicki to give his approval. Of course, in this situation, I needed to get approval from both of them. I gathered that Vicki would want to be on board with the design, too. Without Vicki’s approval, I am very sure that both Brooks and I would get our own “reality check” from her. If there was something Brooks and/or Vicki wanted to change, I would make (or note) those changes and finalize the design before sending it to our ceramist, Dave Stohlman, at L.K. Dental lab to adjust.

Two days later, we saw Brooks, Vicki, and The Real Housewives of Orange County camera crew again in our office to film for the show. We proceeded to take photos of Brooks’ “trial smile.” After which, the three of us looked at the photos and discussed our goals. Were the teeth long enough? Straight enough? Was the shape a masculine smile design that worked well with his lips and face? Did the edges of his teeth nicely follow the contour of his lower lip when he smiled? Once we were in agreement regarding Brooks’ smile design, the actual color needed to be selected. They definitely wanted his “new teeth” to be whiter than the BL4 tooth color of the “trial smile.” I pointed out that since Brooks has a longer upper lip that naturally shadows his teeth, we should over compensate by making his teeth at least one or two shades lighter than they originally requested. Using a custom shade guide by LK Dental Studio made of actual EMax porcelain, Vicki and Brooks chose the whitest natural looking tooth color, BL1.

EMax custom shade guide LK Dental Studio

In choosing the color for Brook's "new teeth," we utilized a custom shade guide of EMax porcelain made by our ceramist, Dave Stohlman at LK Dental Studio. Right, top to bottom: A1,B1. Left, top to bottom: BL4, BL3, BL2 and BL1. Brooks and Vicki chose BL1 for his new porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges.

Now that the details of the smile design were agreed upon, there wasn’t any guesswork for our ceramist, Dave Stohlman, at LK Dental Studio to follow. Once I gave Dave the specific details that Vicki, Brooks and I required, he added in the artistic details – that master ceramists like him do – to make the cosmetic dentistry look exceptionally beautiful and extremely lifelike. Brooks was instructed to wear his “trial smile” (temporary veneers and bridges) for another week while Dave was completing his porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges.

Brooks had an amazing transformation with his smile makeover with porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges. We not only made his new teeth considerably whiter and slightly longer, but they were now straight, without any cross bite. The shape of the teeth created a very masculine smile and improved his self confidence.

The following week, Brooks returned without Vicki. We gently removed his temporary veneers and tried on his porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges for his approval. He loved the BL1 tooth shade and the masterfully created porcelain veneers and porcelain bridges that Dave made for him. We then bonded Brooks’ cosmetic dentistry into place with a porcelain bonding laser and he left very happy with his new smile. The real test would be the following day….”the reveal”…..when Vicki would see Brooks for the first time with his “Orange County Smile.”

The before and after photos of Brooks' teeth show an amazing transformation. One might think that orthodontic braces would have been the only way that crooked teeth could be made straight. However, it was clear that a patient with as many dental problems as Brooks, that cosmetic dentistry is oftentimes the treatment of choice. Can you see which tooth had been removed and replaced with a porcelain bridge?

The next day Brooks returned for his normally scheduled post-insertion adjustment accompanied by The Real Housewives of Orange County camera crew. We took our final photos of Brooks’ completed smile makeover while anxiously awaiting Vicki’s arrival. Once Vicki arrived, we brought her back to our studio/consultation room and for the first time she saw Brooks with his new smile. I’m not going to spill the beans about the drama of “the reveal” visit – you’ll just have to tune in and watch Season 7 of The Real Housewives of Orange County. I will spill the beans about one thing, Brooks and Vickie were both so delighted with the results that they both returned together the following week and we did a “couple’s photo shoot” for them (see photo collage at top of the blog).

Brooks Ayers, Vicki Gunvalson's boyfriend and one of the "stars" on the Real Housewives of Orange County reality show needed an "Orange County Smile." We transformed his "crooked, discolored, Mississippi" smile into a stunning "Orange County Smile." No longer is Brooks self-conscious about his teeth and smile.

This professional quality portrait photo shoot that my assistant, Kathy, and I did for Brooks and Vicki is a gift we actually have been doing for most of our smile makeover patients over the last eight years. These photo portraits serve to celebrate our patients’ “new smiles” and new beginnings that their beautiful teeth and improved appearances have created.

In a cosmetic dental practice like ours, we deal with complex smile makeovers like we did for Brooks all the time. But for us, having a film crew in our office while doing such intense dentistry in an extraordinarily short period of time was a new and challenging experience. As you might imagine, there was definitely some stress involved, but we love taking on new challenges and we certainly enjoyed our experience with The Real Housewives of Orange County reality show. In the end, Vicki was pleased with the results and we were pleased to have met her high level of expectation. I’m also very sure that if she wasn’t pleased, she certainly would have communicated that with me.

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.



The Real Housewives of Orange County features cosmetic dentist Dr. Huefner

Dr. Huefner did a smile makeover on Vickie Gunvalson’s boyfriend Brooks Ayers, which will be aired for the first time on  June 12th, TONIGHT, on Bravo, 9pm (8pm central).

For a preview of the episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County check out:

Note that the “Vicki” segment starts about 40% into the program, so you might want to just fast forward or scroll to that.  You’ll see Pam, Kathy from our office and Dr. Huefner in the segment.

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

The Real Housewives of Orange County

Bravo filmed three of Brooks' cosmetic dental appointments for the show. This photo is from the trailer clip that shows Vickie and Brooks in Dr. Huefner's studio at the initial cosmetic dentistry consultation.


Another clip from the trailer when Dr. Huefner discussing the cosmetic dentistry treatment with Vickie and Brooks.


Crooked smile fixed with Orange County porcelain veneers and porcelain bridge

DrHuefner porcelain veneers

Marina gets beautiful straight, white teeth with Orange County porcelain veneers and by replacing some of her old dental work.

Marina is a doctor in the medical profession.  She is very successful in her profession, happily married mother of two boys, beautiful and has everything going for her.  But……Marina didn’t like her teeth!  They were yellow and crooked. Being someone who always prided herself on being the best that she could be Marina felt that the appearance of her teeth and smile were incongruent with the rest of her.  She came to Dr. Huefner’s Orange County cosmetic dentistry practice in Laguna Niguel to discuss cosmetic dentistry and her treatment options to give her a nice smile.

When she smiled it was obvious that she had crooked teeth that weren't aligned appropriately with her face and that her teeth were very yellow.

When Marina smiled Dr. Huefner immediately saw two things with her teeth that detracted from them.  First, Marina’s teeth were very yellow.  Second, they were crooked, not straight and in alignment with her face.  Three of her front four teeth angled down towards her right.  In addition when she was young she lost her left lateral incisor (the tooth next to the front tooth) and her family dentist made her a crown and a bridge.  Although solving the missing tooth problem it is obvious that her dentist didn’t take into account how her teeth related to her face, and the result of not identifying that problem and communicating it with the dental lab was that the lab inadvertently misaligned the crown and bridge.  Neither the dentist nor Marina picked up that discrepancy when the dental work were tried in for approval, so the dentist cemented the misaligned bridge and crown.  Also, over time Marina’s gums around the old bridgework receded and the metal line on the edge of the canine tooth was now above the gum line and exposed.  Her teeth just didn’t look very pretty for such a beautiful lady.

The crown and bridge placed by Marina's old dentist were misaligned, not straight with her face. The black line around the cuspid tooth on her bridge was showing and unsightly. It was time for Marina to redo her old dentistry and get a more attractive smile for this professional woman.

Dr. Huefner discussed  two treatment options with Marina.  The first option was just to redo the bridge and crown making them straight with her face, but matching the color of her other teeth.  The second option was to redo the bridge and crown but also place Orange County porcelain veneers on several of her other upper teeth on her right.  If she did that treatment he wouldn’t have to match the color of her other teeth and could make her visible upper teeth much whiter and get her out of the dreaded yellow color.  The second treatment option would also give Dr. Huefner more control over making all her upper teeth straighter and produce the best over look.

Orange County porcelain veneers and new porcelain bridge by Dr. Huefner

Dr. Huefner created a beautiful smile for Marina. He gave her the white teeth that she wanted and made her porcelain veneers, porcelain crown and porcelain bridge in proper alignment with her face.

It didn’t take Marina long to reach a decision about which treatment plan she wanted Dr. Huefner to do for her. She is the type of person who wants things to be done right and the best that they can be.  She also was very displeased with the yellow color of her teeth and really wanted white, straight teeth.  Therefore Marina asked Dr. Huefner to create a new smile for her with the second treatment option he recommended: four Orange County porcelain veneers, one new porcelain crown and one new all-porcelain non-metal bridge.

The results of Marina’s new smile with Orange County porcelain veneers, a new porcelain crown and porcelain bridge was amazing.  Her new smile brightened her face and greatly enhanced her professional image.

Dr. Norm Huefner, Orange County porcelain veneers


Missing tooth – dental implant or porcelain bridge for Gary from Laguna Niguel

porcelain bridge laguna niguel drhuefner

Lower photo: Gary lost his lower incisor due to infection. His treatment options were either a dental implant or porcelain bridge. Upper photo: Due to cost and treatment time Gary chose the porcelain bridge as a more expedient treatment to solve his "missing front tooth problem."

Gary from Laguna Niguel had experienced trauma to one of his lower front teeth when he was younger.  Like too many other people today he didn’t go to the dentist and just “toughed it out.”  After a while the pain subsided and he forgot about it.  However his dental problem didn’t go away.  The tooth became infected and eventually a huge abscess developed destroying the bone surrounding the tooth.  Years passed and Gary finally came in for a dental checkup. His main concern was that his front tooth was so loose that he thought he could pull it out himself!

After taking an x-ray and examining his tooth it was obvious that Gary had waited too long, his tooth couldn’t be saved.  The tooth required extraction to stop the infection from spreading to his adjacent teeth.  “Oh no,” Gary exclaimed.  “This is the front of my mouth, everyone will see that I’m missing a tooth!  I can’t let my customers see me with a missing tooth.  What can we do?”

Luckily we have a treatment that will allow the removal of Gary’s infected tooth and for him to immediately have a temporary replacement.  It’s called a “removable flipper“.  It would enable Gary not to go around toothless.   However the “flipper” is only a short term solution, as soon as the extraction area healed up and the infection cures he would be able to get either a dental implant or porcelain bridge.  Gary’s main concerns were cost and expediting the treatment, which both favored the porcelain bridge solution over a dental implant.

Thus, we proceeded with his treatment, extracted his tooth, cleaned out the infection and placed a flipper as a temporary solution.  After the extraction site had completely healed, which was about six weeks later, we fabricated a permanent porcelain bridge for Gary from Laguna Niguel.

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentist

Mission Viejo Health Care Professional Revitalizes Her Smile with New Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns

mission viejo porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers

After replacing her old dentistry with all-porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers and a porcelain bridge, Michelle had the more attractive, cleaner, whiter and more professional looking smile that she wanted.

Michelle is a health care professional in her late 60s who practices in Mission Viejo, CA.  She has always had dental problems but every few years would go to her dentist at the time and get a new filling, crown or bridge.  Then one day she realized that despite decades of her always doing what her dentist had recommend, fixing her broken or decayed teeth, she had a pretty unattractive smile.  Her gums had receded showing black lines around the roots, her teeth were yellow and few of her teeth matched in color, and she felt her teeth made her appear older.  It was time to see what could be done to give her nice looking teeth and a much younger looking smile.

When Michelle came in to our office she expressed her concerns.  “I want my teeth to look nicer, to be white and for them all to match.  I’m frustrated that after going to dentists for years and always following their recommendations that my teeth look as bad as they do,” said Michelle.

Upon examining Michelle’s teeth it was obviously clear that her concerns were well founded.  Instead of her dentists ever giving her a comprehensive plan to restore her teeth and make them look good she had become the victim of what many dentists call “the crown of the year club” or “let’s fix the next worst thing type of dentistry.”  Each year or two her dentist would find one problem, usually the worst thing in her mouth, and recommend that be fixed, usually with a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown.  He would also mention that some other things were wearing out as well and would ultimately need fixing, but they could get around to doing that dentistry in the next year or two.

yellow worn teeth before cosmetic dentistry

After years of following her dentists recommendations Michelle realized that although her teeth were healthy the appearance of her teeth and smile had much to be desired. She wanted whiter teeth, for them all to match, and she didn't want any black lines around the crowns at the gum line.

Before giving Michelle our recommendations we asked her again to tell us her goals:

  • she wanted whiter teeth and them all to match
  • she didn’t want any metal or black lines from the crowns to show around her gum line
  • she said that she was a health care professional in a very high profile office, and it was important that she look healthy, clean and professional
  • since she was in her late 60s, it would also really be nice if she had a younger looking smile

Based on Michelle’s wishes our treatment recommendations were to replace all the visible porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns that were so dark and yellow with whiter all-porcelain/non-metal crowns and one dental bridge.  The other teeth that didn’t already have crowns could be made whiter to match her new dentistry by placing porcelain veneers on them.

When Michelle heard our treatment plan for her she understood why and how our recommended dentistry would necessary to achieve her goals.  “But isn’t that going to take dozens of office visits,” she asked?  Actually Michelle was right if we were going to do her dentistry the same way that her other dentists had treated her, one tooth at a time.  In Michelle’s case we would break up her treatment into two phases.  First, we would start with her upper teeth, doing all her new all-porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers and dental bridge in just two visits.  She couldn’t believe that all of her upper teeth would done in just under three weeks time!

At the next we would place her lower porcelain veneers and all-porcelain crowns and again, that would all be completed in less than three weeks time.  Michelle was excited that her dentistry could be done in such an efficient and timely manner and scheduled to begin her treatment two weeks later.

cosmetic dentistry mission viejo

After a more comprehensive approach to having her dentistry done Michelle finally had white, straight teeth that looked clean, professional, younger and more feminine. She chose a BL2 tooth color and an "enhanced" smile style for the shape of her teeth.

During her treatment Michelle was involved in selecting the color of her teeth.  She chose a BL2 tooth color from the tooth shade guide.  We made her new teeth slightly longer and more rounded, which along with whiter teeth are characteristics of younger, more feminine teeth.  Regarding the shape, Michelle chose the “enhanced” smile style from the tooth shape library.

The end result for Michelle from Mission Viejo was beautiful, a whiter more youthful and more feminine smile.  It also achieved her goals of being “cleaner” and “more professional” looking.  As a busy professional it was difficult for Michelle to be out of her office much.  After her cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers were completed she told us that one of the things that she appreciated the most was that so much was completed in such a short amount of time and in only a few dental visits.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Michelle’s smile makeover with new all-porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers and a porcelain bridge.

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.

Black Lines Eliminated Around Old Crowns and Bridges Replaced with New Porcelain Cosmetic Dentistry for Victoria from Mission Viejo

porcelain fused to metal bridge with black lines replaced with IPS e.max non-metal bridge

Below, Victoria hated her old bridgework. The teeth were yellow and she really objected to the black line around the gum line of the bridge. Top, Victoria smile makeover consisted of an all-ceramic (non-metal) bridge and one crown and several porcelain veneers.

In high school Victoria from Mission Viejo was a very competitive soccer player.  One day an opponent took a cheap shot and knocked her from the side, causing her to crash her teeth into the head of another player. Unfortunately, it knocked one of her front teeth out! Devastated, Victoria’s parents had their family dentist place a porcelain on metal bridge.  It solved the problem of showing that she had a missing tooth, but it still left Victoria with front teeth and a smile that had a lot to be desired.  Most notably was the black line around her gums caused by the metal used in the bridge.

Ten years past and after graduating from college and getting her first real job Victoria was ready to replace her old dentistry and “get a nice smile”. When Victoria came in for her cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Huefner she was very clear about what she wanted done.  “My front teeth got ruined when I was a young, first by knocking out my front tooth while playing soccer, and second, by the ugly dentistry.  My teeth and bridge are way too yellow, I want white teeth.  Most of all, I can’t stand that black line around my old bridge.  Can you fix my teeth so that I don’t have a black line this time?”

Victoria is fortunate that in this day and age cosmetic dentistry now has the solutions she needed.  Techniques and materials have vastly improved over what she had done just a decade earlier.

yellow teeth and bridgework

Victoria's yellow teeth and yellow bridge gave her a very drab looking smile. An attractive lady, Victoria wanted a nice smile with white teeth.

After attentively listening to Victoria and her concerns, and after doing a careful dental examination, a treatment plan was customized to meet her needs:

  • Bleach her lower teeth with home teeth whitening
  • Replace her old porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge and crown with an all-porcelain bridge (without any underlying metal that might show) and crown.
  • Place several porcelain veneers on Victoria’s other upper front teeth

A point worth noting, when Victoria had her original bridge done 15 years earlier porcelain-fused-to-metal was the treatment of choice.  Her dentist was using the usual and customary technique and materials for her bridge at that time.  But the state of the art of cosmetic dentistry has vastly changed since then.  The evolution of cosmetic dentistry led to the development of several materials that didn’t require a dark metal substructure under the porcelain.  One of the most popular alternative to the typical porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge over the past ten years was zirconia (a white metal) with porcelain fused over it.  Most recently the state of the art material that has captivated most of the cosmetic dentists and their patients is called IPS e.max®.

all-ceramic bridge and porcelain veneers mission viejo

After her smile makeover with new all-ceramic bridgework and porcelain veneers Victoria had beautiful looking teeth and wasn't embarrassed to smile any longer!

Victoria’s treatment went smooth and her entire smile makeover with an all-ceramic e.max bridge and porcelain veneers was completed in just three weeks time.  As clearly shown in the photos, she got the incredibly beautiful smile that she always wanted and a bridge that looked as if she had never lost a tooth!  Best of all, no black metal line around the gums on this bridge because it was made entirely of tooth colored porcelain.

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

Brenda’s Broken Down, Gummy Smile Restored with Porcelain Veneers and Porcelain Crowns Mission Viejo

gummy smile laser treatment

Brenda had a myriad of dental problems. She showed too much of her gums (i.e. had a "gummy smile"), was missing one tooth, her teeth were discolored and she wanted white teeth, her front teeth were short and chipped and her back side teeth leaned inwards.

Brenda from Mission Viejo had a myriad of dental problems.  “I don’t know where to start,” exclaimed Brenda.  “I don’t like the color of my teeth, my front ones are chipping away and I’m missing my side tooth.  I don’t know what to do.  Can you help me?” It was obvious from her tone that she was very fed up and frustrated with the appearance of her teeth and smile.

gummy smile porcelain veneers mission viejo

Brenda got her beautiful new smile with laser gum reshaping and porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns and a porcelain bridge. Her entire treatment was completed in less than a month's time.

We acknowledged that she had a number of dental issues to address.  It was also important for Brenda to realize that if she went to ten different cosmetic dentists, she would no doubt get ten different opinions on how to fix her smile.  We explained that before we would recommend anything we first needed to know what she didn’t like about her teeth and smile, and if we could give her the smile she always wanted, what would that look like?

With our permission to tell us “her story” and reveal her inner feelings about her teeth, Brenda was not shy expressing her concerns.  “I’ve always wanted a nice smile,” she said.  “I’d like to have longer teeth, for them to all be the same color…white of course!  I know my side teeth lean in a lot, but I don’t want to get braces to change my bite.  And then my gums….when I smile my lip goes up so high that too much of my gums show.”

Brenda was showing a lot of emotion, and it was very apparent that getting a great looking smile was very important to her.  She was very relieved when we told her that yes, we could give her a beautiful smile!

In Brenda’s case, she had excess gum tissue around her front teeth.  We could reduce much of her gummy smile by using our dental gum laser to reshape her excess gums.  She was pleased to hear that laser gum reshaping is a minor procedure with no bleeding or stitches, very little post treatment discomfort (usually only Advil is necessary the first night) and complete healing occurs in just a few days.  If Brenda wanted us to do any of her gummy smile correction, that needed to be done first, prior to fixing her teeth.

She said that she definitely wanted to do that!

With regards to her teeth, we could give her the incredible smile she wanted with porcelain veneers, a couple porcelain crowns and an all porcelain bridge.

“Porcelain bridge?”, Brenda asked.  “I thought when you had a missing tooth that we would have to do a dental implant?”

We then went on to explain to her that of course we could do a dental implant, but because the teeth on either side of the missing tooth needed porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns, it would make her treatment much simpler and give us more control by placing an all porcelain bridge instead of doing a dental implant.  Also with dental implants, we would need to wait several months for healing before replacing the missing tooth.  With a porcelain bridge all her treatment could be completed in less than a month’s time.

Happily, Brends was starting to understand the proposed treatment.

“What about the tooth color,” asked Brenda?

“You will be choosing the color of your teeth,” we answered.  “We will give you our recommendations as to what color we think will look best for you, but the final color choice will be yours.  As a matter of fact, in concert with our ceramist, when you do choose the color we will ask that you sign the treatment form indicating that we have discussed tooth color with you on several occasions, and that you made the final decision on the tooth color you wanted us to make for you.

“Well how will I know if I will like the tooth color I choose,” Brenda asked?

We went on to explain to Brenda that the first thing we will do after reshaping her gums with the dental gum laser is place her in temporary veneers, crowns and bridges.  We call that stage the “trial smile” stage and since she wants whiter teeth, we will make her “trial smile” in the BL4 color range (BL is for “BLeaching”).  She’ll get to wear the “trial smile” for several days, then come back to our office to discuss the color.  In addition, we will be evaluating her “trial smile” for the length, shape and position of her teeth.  If she wanted or needed any changes, we could make those changes in the “trial smile” or note the changes we wanted to make.  Then off of her “approved trial smile” (i.e. approved in writing) our ceramist will make her permanent porcelain veneers, crowns and bridge.

After discussing her treatment with her husband, Brenda returned and we did her cosmetic dental treatment, a total of ten teeth.  It required several office visits, but her entire treatment was completed in less than a months’ time.

Happily, Brenda no longer has a broken down gummy smile.  Now she a beautiful smile with white teeth (she finally chose BL2 tooth color from the tooth shade guide for her porcelain veneers, crowns and bridge).

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