August 15, 2018

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

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

Gnarly Teeth Transformed to Amazing Smile, Mission Viejo Porcelain Veneers

gnarly teeth before porcelain veneers mission viejo

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

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

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

chipped teeth porcelain veneers mission viejo

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

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

How many porcelain veneers?

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

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

Dr. Norm Huefner, Mission Viejo Porcelain Veneers

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

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

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

The “Trial Smile” Best Enables Bill to Preview and Approve of his New Porcelain Veneers

trial smile before porcelain veneers

Bill especially like the “trial smile” part of his porcelain veneer treatment. It enabled him to “test drive”or preview his new smile before the porcelain veneers were made. Modifications to the teeth shape and final color determination was made. After Bill’s written approval of the design and color Dr. Huefner’s ceramist fabricated Bill’s porcelain veneers according to detailed directions.

Bill, a successful CEO of a business in Orange County, realized that it was finally time to do something about the appearance of his smile. He had researched cosmetic dentists in Orange County, but came to our practice in Laguna Niguel because of a referral from one of our patients.

Having specific goals, Bill carefully discussed them with us.  He wanted his teeth whiter, but not too white. He wanted his teeth straight and the chipping corrected.  His canine teeth were pointed, and that had always bothered him.  Also, not having had much dentistry for years, Bill was very concerned that he would like the final results.  Could we guarantee that? Also, what type of treatment would he need?  He definitely would not consider orthodontics (braces) as an option, he wasn’t

too keen on the thought of “capping”, but had heard much over the years about porcelain veneers.  He asked if porcelain veneers would be something that could be done for him?

discolored crooked chipped teeth in need of cosmetic dentistry

Bill’s teeth were discolored, chipped and crooked. He realized it was finally time that he do something to improve the appearance of his teeth.

After carefully listening to Bill and repeating back to him the expectations that he had expressed, Bill started to become more comfortable and trusting.  After examining Bill’s teeth, Bill was pleased to learn that what he had hoped for (i.e that he could have his teeth cosmetically restored with porcelain veneers) was Dr. Huefner’s recommendation treatment of choice! But what he especially liked was when he learned about the “trial smile” process!  Dr. Huefner explained that he would first construct a prototype smile for Bill. That smile would have the size, shape and color teeth that Dr. Huefner thought would work best to satisfy Bill’s expectations.  Then, if Bill wanted any changes to the design or color, Dr.Huefner would either make those changes or specifically note those

changes be made in the permanent, final porcelain veneers.  And, Dr. Huefner said that he definitely would not have the final porcelain veneers fabricated until he achieved Bill’s written approval.  Again, Bill started getting much more comfortable with the concept of cosmetic dentistry, especially since he was going to be totally involved in the design process.

Bill’s treatment began and his “trial smile” was constructed.  After making some minor modifications to the shape of his teeth and finalizing the color veneers he wanted, Bill’s porcelain veneers were constructed using the “trial smile” as the template for the final veneers.  The treatment was a success, giving Bill an attractive and professional looking smile of someone his stature in the professional business world.

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


Q: Can crowns on your front four teeth be shortened just a bit without taking the glaze off the fronts of them?

I’ve have my front four teeth crowned recently & they are just a bit too long. I’m really worried about getting them shortened because I don’t want to mes them up. They are already cemented in. I have already had them redone once. I’m happy with everything about them but the length. My dentist told me to wear a few days & if I still wanted yo take a bit off…he could. It just scares me because I don’t want to mess them up cause I can’t afford to have them cut off & redone again. Thank you

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
Generally porcelain crowns or veneers on front teeth can be shortened slightly without a problem.  They can also be polished to a glaze like finish by your dentist.  Cosmetic dentists do this all the time.
However, how much will depend on how much of the underlying tooth has been shaped, how much you want off, whether it is an all-porcelain crown or a porcelain fused to metal crown.
An important question is did your dentist show your crowns to you before cementing them on? Did he get your acceptance and “permission to permanently cement them”?  This is common practice with cosmetic dentists, and if that was not done you have grounds to ask him to redo them without charging you again.  If he did, and you accepted them, then whether or not he should redo them at full fee will depend on the dentist and your relationship with him.  However, I would recommend that he try to reshape the porcelain to see if that satisfies you before resorting to redoing the crowns.

Q: Is this proper procedure to grind down parts of the crown & remove some tooth material to fit a crown?

When dry fitting a new gold crown it was too tight to the adjacent teeth & was sitting too high. After grinding the crown & my teeth didn’t fix the problem new impressions were taken, it was returned to the lab. I don’t know what to expect when I return this week (to my current dentist) for the second fitting. If there are any further issues I may have to consult another dentist to understand the subject. Should any grinding of teeth be required in order to fit a crown?

Dr. Huefner’s answer:
Ideally, no adjustments of your crown or teeth would be necessary.  However, there are many variables in making a crown that in some instances dictates that the dentist adjust either or both, the new crown and opposing teeth.
In some instances it is actually preferable to adjust the opposing teeth,  Specifically, some teeth have an extra long cusp, called a “plunger cusp” or a tooth that has “supra erupted”, making it longer than all the adjacent teeth.  So, in those cases it is often preferable for the dentist to adjust the opposing teeth more than the crown.
In general, little adjustments of either the crown or opposing teeth have little significance.
In my practice, if I feel it is in the patient’s best interest that I adjust the opposing teeth, I will tell the patient in advance and get their permission.  My patients almost always trust my judgment and follow my advice when I explain the reason why, in advance of the adjustments I’m recommending.
However, if you distrust your current dentist, and you have little faith or confidence in him/her, then maybe it’s time to find another dentist?

Norman Huefner, DDS
Laguna Niguel Cosmetic Dentist

What is a Trial Smile?

At Huefner Sensational Smiles, making sure you are 100% satisfied with your new smile is our primary concern. In order to help you visualize how your new porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns will look, Dr. Huefner will fit you with a “trial smile” – a set of temporary veneers or crowns that you will wear for a short period of time before we create your permanent restorations.

Think of your trial smile as a sort of “test run.” If you are happy with the way your restorations look, we will have you approve them in writing and then move forward with creating your final set of porcelain veneers or crowns. If you have problems or concerns with the appearance of your new smile for any reason, you can easily discuss them with Dr. Huefner, including:

A trial smile gives you an opportunity to be directly involved in the process of refining your final smile design, and ensures there are no surprises when your final veneers or crowns are placed – you will have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, created to your exact specifications.

If you have further questions about porcelain veneers or crowns at our practice, please contact Huefner Sensational Smiles today or call (949) 495-6322 to schedule an initial consultation. We serve patients throughout Orange County, California.

Gummy Smile with Unattractive Teeth Get Revitalized

gummy smile and porcelain veneer treatment

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

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

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

gummy smile that could be treated with lip drop procedure

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

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

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

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

laser gum reshaping and porcelain veneer treatment

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

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

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

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

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

Hodgepodge teeth transformed with new all porcelain crowns and veneers

Photo below: Leslie’s unattractive smile with unnatural looking porcelain crowns on her six upper front teeth. The very dark bicuspid side teeth dramatically contrasted with the color of her front teeth and something needed to be done to correct that. Photo above: Leslie’s new smile with six new all ceramic crowns on her front teeth and four porcelain veneers on her bicuspid side teeth. This dramatic improvement was completed in just over two weeks time.

Leslie is a graduate student in her late 20s.  She was raised in the mid west where she also graduated from college.  As a young lady she had numerous cavities and her parents took her to a dentist who placed porcelain fused to metal caps on both six of her upper front and six of her lower front teeth.  But the sad thing was that even though the cavities were “fixed” the appearance of Leslie’s teeth had much to be desired.

Now in graduate school here in Southern California where people are much more conscious of their appearance, Leslie began to hate the way her teeth looked.  When she came into Dr. Huefner’s office for a cosmetic dentistry consultation Leslie had much to say about what she didn’t like about her teeth and the way she wanted them changed.

Leslie said that her front six caps were ugly and didn’t look natural. One of the porcelain fused to metal crowns had chipped and a dentist tried to repair it. However the repair filling became discolored and started chipping off.

First, she said that she asked for “really white teeth”, and that is what the dentist gave her.  However, they were so opaque with no translucency that they “fake.”  The  color was white all right, but certainly not a natural looking tooth color.  Second, when she turned to the side the extremely dark bicuspid teeth that weren’t treated showed a marked contrast to her front teeth, making it obvious that she had “caps” on her teeth.  Third, because the porcelain caps had metal underneath, the edges or her crowns at the gum line showed an unattractive black line.  And last, the porcelain on one of her front caps had chipped off.  A dentist had tried to fix it, bonding some filling material over the metal.  But it was starting to peal off and discolor, making it the worst looking tooth in her mouth.

By replacing the six ugly porcelain fused to metal crowns with natural looking all ceramic crowns, and then placing porcelain veneers on her four side bicuspid teeth, Leslie got the beautiful smile she wanted. Her teeth were white and yet looked “real” and she can now smile with confidence!

After clearly understanding Leslie’s concerns and expectations, Dr. Huefner recommended replacing the six upper porcelain fused to metal crowns with all ceramic crowns.  Then, covering up the four dark bicuspid teeth that showed on her side teeth with porcelain veneers.  But doing that she could still have the white teeth she wanted, but they would have natural translucency and look like clean, white teeth!  Also, from the side all of her teeth would be the same uniform natural-white color.  Dr. Huefner promised her a beautiful smile that she would love and enable her to smile with confidence!

Leslie agreed to Dr. Huefner’s treatment recommendations and her entire treatment was completed in just over two weeks time, before she returned back to graduate school after her holiday break.  Because Dr. Huefner didn’t use crowns with metal underneath, there were no black lines around her gums.  All ten of the teeth treated were of the same white color, but the new crowns and veneers done by Dr. Huefner looked very “lifelike” and natural, clearly giving Leslie the beautiful smile she really wanted.

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

Agnes’ Smile Looks 25 Years Younger with Porcelain Veneers & Crowns

New dentistry makes Agnes look 25 years younger

After replacing Anges’ old dentistry with new porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns, she felt that her smile now looked 25 years younger.

Agnes was sick and tired of the appearance of her teeth!  She’s a happy lady in her 50s who loves to smile, but also was very self conscious regarding how old and dingy her teeth look.  She has gone to the dentist her entire life, always doing whatever her dentist recommended.  However now most of her dentistry was so old, discolored and unattractive that she knew it was finally time to redo much of her old dentistry.

When Agnes spoke to Dr. Huefner about her goals she made it clear that her smile made her feel old and she didn’t want that.  Rather, she wanted much whiter teeth, and seeing how so many of her teeth differed in color, she definitely wanted all her teeth to be a uniform color!

Agnes’ whole life she had gone to the dentist and done what was recommended. However the old dentistry was failing her esthetically. A happy lady who loved to smile, she became very self conscious about her dingy and old looking teeth. It was time for a little rejuvenation, and replacing her old dentistry with new all ceramic dentistry was just what was needed to give her a younger, healthy looking smile that she would be proud of.

After carefully examining Agnes’ teeth and dental work it was amazing that much of it, albeit 25-30 years old, still fit and had actually served her very well.  It is just that the ugly appearance of the old dentistry had finally failed her.

Restoring Agnes’ old dentistry with new all ceramic dentistry, with natural color and appearance, would be very straight forward, Dr. Huefner told her.  The two main things Dr. Huefner needed to know from Anges was what color she wanted her new porcelain veneers and crowns, and how many teeth she wanted to have retreated?  Agnes decided on a relatively white color that was significantly whiter than her old dentistry, shade BL2 from the tooth shade guide.  And Agnes had a broad smile, that showed at least ten of her upper teeth.  Thus, so that all of her visible teeth would appear the same color, Anges asked Dr. Huefner to change out the dentistry on her ten upper teeth.

From this point on Agnes’ treatment progressed quickly and easily, and her entire treatment was completed in under three weeks time.

Upon looking at her new smile, Agnes couldn’t help by grin ear to ear.  “I can’t believe it,” she said.  “My smile looks so clean now, it makes me look 25 years younger!”

Dr. Norman Huefner, cosmetic dentist serving Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Irvine


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