August 19, 2018

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.

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.

“I hate my ugly caps” – New Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers and crowns rescue Sarah’s smile

Sarah hated these two caps recently placed by another dentist. She said they looked awful and ruined her smile. Specifically she thought the two caps were too thick, too big, too white and didn’t match her other teeth or look real.

This is a true story on how Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers and crowns changed Sarah’s life.  Sarah, a beautiful mother of two children from Laguna Niguel, came to our cosmetic dental practice in distress, almost in tears.   “I hate my front caps,” she exclaimed! Sometimes as an Orange County cosmetic dentist the best thing I can do when meeting a new patient for the first time is just listen.  She went on to tell her story.

When she was a teenager Sarah chipped her front two teeth, so her dentist placed two porcelain veneers over them.  She was pretty happy with them.  But ten years later, as she changed from being a teenager to young woman, her gums changed a little and one of her porcelain veneers chipped.  She then went to a new dentist to redo the two porcelain veneers, but he said that there wasn’t enough tooth structure to do porcelain veneers, and that he had to do porcelain caps instead.  She consented to the treatment he recommended and he removed the two old porcelain veneers and made her two porcelain caps.  The results were devastating!  “I hate them!” she told us.  “They are too big, too thick, they look like chalk, they don’t even look like real teeth.  When I look at my smile in the mirror I cringe, all I see are two very ugly teeth sticking out!  Can you help me Dr. Huefner?”

Top: Sarah’s teeth before cosmetic dentistry. Middle: Sarah’s “trial smile” temporary crowns and veneers. This was her “test drive” to determine the shape, size, proportion, length and color of her new porcelain crowns and veneers. Bottom: The new porcelain crowns and veneers were tried in for Sarah to preview and approve. Sarah loved them and no changes or adjustments were made prior to cementing them into place.

When I examined her two caps it was easy to see what had happened.  Even though the two caps had recently been done, the dentist had not taken advantage of newer, more esthetic materials that are now being used by most cosmetic dentists.  Instead of using an all-porcelain material for the crowns, he used a combination of a white metal called zirconia that was layered over with porcelain.  The result was a restoration that was way too thick and didn’t transmit light naturally, like many of the newer all-porcelain crowns do today.  I explained to Sarah that if I replaced the two crowns that she had just had done with the newer material and technique, that her two front teeth would then match the rest of her teeth and they would be thinner and have a more natural shape.  She felt so much better knowing that there was a solution for her problem and she wouldn’t have to go around the rest of her life with to awful looking caps.

Then I brought up a very important point by asking Sarah if there was anything else she didn’t like about her teeth?  Because if there was anything else she wanted changed we should do it now.  It didn’t take Sarah very long to bring up two other things she didn’t like.  “Well, my other teeth are kind of small and lean in, and I have always wanted whiter teeth,” she told Dr. Huefner.

She was correct in her assessment, but what I learned is that Sarah didn’t just want her two front teeth to look better, Sarah wanted a beautiful smile.  With that in mind I suggested cosmetic dental treatment that would achieve her goals by redoing the two crowns she didn’t like with all-porcelain EMax crowns, and then placing six Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers (also utilizing EMax porcelain) on her other upper front teeth.  The color of all the eight teeth would therefore be the same, and the new crowns on the front two teeth would be made thinner than the other ones were, and the Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers would be made slightly larger but in proportion with her mouth.  Most importantly, she would end up with a beautiful smile.

Close up of Sarah’s new smile makeover with six Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers and two all-porcelain EMax crowns one week after final placement.

After discussing the recommended treatment with her husband Robert, Sarah called a few days later and scheduled her appointment.  Dr. Huefner gently and carefully, removed the two crowns that she hated and prepared her teeth.  He then made Sarah her “trial smile” with plastic crowns and veneers to “test drive” the new smile design.  This would enable her to make sure we made her new smile white enough and that she was hapy with the design of the shape and length of her teeth.  Sarah chose a BL2 shade for her final porcelain crowns and Laguna Niguel porcelain veneers, but asked for lateral incisors (the teeth next to the two front teeth) to be a little longer and slightly more squarish.  We communicated all of the design aspects to our ceramist Dave Stohlman at L.K.Dental Studio and he fabricated Sarah’s new smile.

Sarah continued to wear the “trial smile” for two more weeks.  Then she returned, the “trial smile” was removed and the new porcelain crowns and Laguna Niguel veneers were tried in for her final approval prior to cementing them into place with our Argon curing laser.

The final results for Sarah’s smile makeover was amazing! Perfectly proportioned teeth, beautiful natural color, a smile that she is extremely proud of! Clearly this is an example of cosmetic dentistry at its finest.

The end result?  An absolutely beautiful smile for Sarah and no more tears over the appearance of her teeth.

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

Life changing Irvine porcelain veneers for Danielle

irvine porcelain veneers

Below: Danielle was very displeased with her teeth, especially the ugly looking cap on her front tooth. She also wanted whiter teeth the weren’t crooked. Above: Dr. Huefner bleached her lower teeth, did some minor gum reshaping around several of her upper teeth to reduce some of the “gummyness”. He then replaced the ugly porcelain crown with a new all ceramic crown and placed nine porcelain veneers. The result Danielle was life changing.

Irvine Porcelain Veneers

Danielle, a thirty year old mother of two from Irvine, came to us very distraught about her teeth and smile.  A number of years ago she had fallen and chipped her right front tooth.  She told us that her dentist at the time “put a cap on it.”  However, she never liked the cap.  It didn’t match the rest of her teeth in color, and there was a dark black line were the gums were next to the tooth.  “I just hate smiling,” she said, “and I hate seeing my teeth in photos.  She went on to tell us how the tooth turned black and needed to have a root canal before the dentist would make the new crown for her.

We told Danielle that we were confidant that we could make her a new crown that would match her other teeth much better, and wouldn’t have any black line around the gums.  Danielle replied that was great, but even though the one front tooth was the thing she disliked the most about her teeth, she didn’t like her other teeth either.  They were all kind of yellow, she thought that she showed too much of her gums when she smiled and her teeth were crooked and out of proportion.  She told Dr. Huefner that she was desperate.  Was there anything he could do to completely redo her upper front teeth with cosmetic dentistry so that she could have confidence when she smiled?

After hearing Danielle’s expectation Dr. Huefner did a detailed analysis of her smile.  He measured her teeth and gums, looked carefully at her bite and how much of her teeth and gums showed when she smiled.  “I think today is your lucky day,” Dr. Huefner told Danielle.  “With some of the new techniques that cosmetic dentists are utilizing today I feel very confidant that we could do a smile makeover for you that would accomplish all of your goals.”

First, Dr. Huefner recommended that he do some laser reshaping of her gums.  That would reduce the amount of gums that she showed, and make the length of the teeth in much better proportion when she smiled.  Second, he recommended bleaching her lower teeth, which would enable him to use a much whiter color for her upper teeth.  But doing cosmetic dentistry on her upper front teeth was the key.  He would replace the one cap that she hated with an all ceramic cap.  On her other teeth he would place Irvine porcelain veneers.  At the end of treatment she would have white, straight teeth and a killer smile!

Dr. Huefner felt that Danielle’s “new teeth” would make a more attractive smile if they were a little longer. He planned on accomplishing this by doing some minor laser reshaping of her gums to remove the gummyness, and also making the new crown and porcelain veneers longer than her natural teeth were. This would give her a more normal overbite.

One of the things that Dr. Huefner stressed to Danielle was that he suggested making her “new teeth” a little longer, not only at the gum line with the dental laser, but also at the edges of the teeth.  Danielle had almost no overbite at all, and by lengthening the teeth slightly it would give her a much more normal smile.  Danielle was very hesitant about that idea. “What if I don’t like how long you make them.  Would you have to redo all the Irvine porcelain veneers and crown to make them shorter?”

Dr. Huefner assured Danielle that wouldn’t need to be done because he and Danielle would determine the length, shape and color of the teeth in the “trial smile” stage of her treatment.  “Huh?”, answered Danielle, “I don’t understand.”

Dr. Huefner explained that he would first make her temporary veneers and temporary crown based on a design he would create that he thought would make her smile look it’s very best.  She would be able to wear that “trail smile” for several days to evaluate it. “It’s kind of like taking a test drive,” Dr. Huefner told Danielle.  “You get to evaluate my smile design, the color, shape, position and length of all the teeth.  If there are any changes you want to make, we will do that for you either on the trial smile or by noting those changes to our ceramist who will be making your new Irvine porcelain veneers.”

Danielle started feeling much more comfortable about the entire treatment and process that Dr. Huefner was recommending.  She really liked the fact that many unknowns would be worked out BEFORE the actual Irvine porcelain veneers and porcelain crown were made!

A few weeks later Danielle returned to begin her treatment.  She started bleaching her lower teeth and Dr. Huefner reshaped some of her gums with the dental gum laser.  She was amazed on how easy both of those two procedures went.  Then Dr. Huefner removed the old porcelain crown that she hated and placed Danielle’s trial smile with the temporary crown and veneers.  She returned a few days later to discuss the smile design.  “I absolutely love the length of the teeth,” she told Dr. Huefner.  “There is only one thing I want changed…..I want the color to be a little whiter.”

Dr. Huefner and Danielle looked again at all the tooth color shades from the tooth shade guide.  Dr. Huefner advised Danielle not to choose BL1, the whitest tooth shade.  The reason is that Danielle’s upper lip goes up exposing all of her front teeth when she smiles.  This allows a lot of light to reach the teeth, and she may then feel that her teeth are way too bright.  Danielle understood his explanation, and chose a BL2 tooth shade, one of the most popular shade he uses according to Dr. Huefner.  “BL2 will look white enough for you without looking over the top, or too white,” he told Danielle.

BL2 shade porcelain veneers irvine

Danielle chose BL2 shade from the tooth shade guide for her new porcelain crown and porcelain veneers. This tooth color was the perfect choice for her. The new teeth were made slightly longer than her natural teeth were, which gave her a normal overbite and less gummy looking smile. The new porcelain crown and porcelain veneers also made her teeth straight and all the darkness that was seen on her original crown was eliminated. Danielle was the first to agree that her new smile was absolutely beautiful and life changing for her!

Two weeks later Danielle returned to try on the Irvine porcelain veneers and porcelain crown that Dr. Huefner’s ceramist, Dave Stohlman from LK Dental Studio, had made her.  Dr. Huefner said that she needed to preview them in three different lighting conditions: natural daylight, incandescent light and fluorescent light.  He wanted to make sure shed like the color of her teeth in all three lighting conditions.  She did that and approved the BL2 color.  Danielle loved her new Irvine porcelain veneers, especially the added length that Dr. Huefner had made them.  She gave Dr. Huefner her written permission accepting them for permanent placement.  Dr. Huefner then used his dental curing laser and bonded on Danielle’s new all ceramic crown and nine Irvine porcelain veneers.

Needless to say, Danielle was ecstatic with the results and her new smile.  Now she has a beautiful smile and all the confidence in the world when photos are taken of her.  Mission accomplished and one very happy lady!

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


Beautiful Smile and Perfect Teeth with Orange County Porcelain Veneers

Former Mrs. U.S.-Globe beauty pageant winner Jill Frick gets smile makeover by Dr. Huefner with Orange County porcelain veneers

The other day I had a conversation with former Orange County resident and Mrs. U.S. Globe beauty pageant winner, Jill Frick.  I had made Orange County porcelain veneers for her over ten years ago.  I was so pleased to see how beautiful her smile still was, and how beautiful the Orange County porcelain veneers I made her still were and how well they were still holding up.  Since then I’ve done smile makeovers with Orange County porcelain veneers for over a dozen beauty pageant winners, along with several models and actresses.  But Jill’s story is typical of someone who was beautiful to begin with, but after having Orange County porcelain veneers becomes even more beautiful and attractive.

Jill had composite bonding that over the years had been chipping away and discoloring. After discussing her goals with Dr. Huefner Jill decided it was time to upgrade her smile with a more permanent and better looking treatment, Orange County porcelain veneers.

It started out very simply, Jill had had plastic composite bonding on her front teeth that was done to overcome some of the cosmetic issues with older fillings and darkened teeth.  But plastic bonding, also called composite bonding, has certain limitations compared with the Orange County porcelain veneers that we use today.  Her plastic bonding wasn’t as strong and started chipping and discoloring.  It was at the point that she knew it was time for her to had her smile makeover redone, but this time with modern Orange County porcelain veneers instead of the composite bonding.

Before we started Jill made it very clear to me that this time she wanted her teeth to look much better than the composite veneers she already had.  She wanted her new teeth to be whiter, natural looking, and very elegant looking.  You see Jill had been a national spokesperson for the Women In Need Foundation’s abuse recovery program.  She was often on stage, speaking to groups about the program she was so dedicated to.  It was very obvious that Jill wanted me to give her my very best.  Without hesitation, I assured her that I would do just that!

This is the “trial smile” that Jill wore on her teeth after Dr. Huefner removed her old composite bonding. Dr. Huefner used these temporary composite veneers to determine Jill’s final smile design, specifically the shape, length, proportion and color of the final Orange County porcelain veneers that master ceramist Dave Stohlman would be making for her.

So, the first thing I did for Jill was bleach (whiten) her lower teeth and remove her old composite plastic bonding and place temporary veneers.  We call this phase of treatment “the trial smile”.  In one visit I custom made Jill ten plastic veneers of the color, length and shape of the Orange County porcelain veneers that I envisioned for her.  This was a very important step, a “test drive” so to speak, because if Jill liked the shape, length and color of her trial smile I would then duplicate that design in her final Orange County porcelain veneers.  The trial smile would serve as a template for them.  However, if Jill didn’t like the design, or wanted one or more elements changed, we would do that, or make note of the changes, before making the Orange County porcelain veneers.  I was very pleased that after wearing her trial smile Jill returned to my office a few days later loving the smile design I had done for her and gave me full written approval to move forward with the actual Orange County porcelain veneers following that design.  We did add a couple minor elements in the final design that wasn’t possible in the trial smile plastic temporary veneers.  We added natural incisal translucency to the tips or edges of her Orange County porcelain veneers, whitened the color slightly, and also added some very slight surface texture that imparts a real natualness to the Orange County porcelain veneers, especially when light is seen reflecting off of the surface.

I sent all of the very specific design information to Dave Stohlman, the master ceramist I use for most of my Orange County porcelain veneers.  It took Dave a couple weeks to complete Jills final Orange County porcelain veneers, but there was no rush.  Jill was very comfortable wearing the beautiful trial smile temporary veners, as after all, they looked almost perfect themselves.

Jill’s final smile design with Orange County porcelain veneers done by Dr. Huefner and master ceramist Dave Stohlman. Jill was extremely pleased with the final results, especially the color and shape of her new porcelain veneers. Many people would argue that Jill’s smile makeover gave her a perfect smile. You be the judge.

When we finally got the Orange County porcelain veneers back from Dave Stohlman, we had Jill return so that we could remove the trial smile temporary veneers, and try in the Orange County porcelain veneers for her approval.  Jill absolutely loved them!  We then bonded on the Orange County porcelain veneers utilizing our dental laser and a translucent bonding cement that gave her final Orange County porcelain veneers a very natural and life like look to them.

As a dentist who absolutely loves doing cosmetic dental treatment and all of the very specific minutia necessary to get a superlative result like with did for Jill with her Orange County porcelain veneers I could go on and on, describing countless aspects of all the details done for Jill.  And (laughing to myself), if you’ve gotten this far reading this post, you certainly know that I could do just that.  However, I will let the final photos of Jill’s Orange County porcelain veneers speak for our treatment more than any words could.

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


Trial Smile temporary veneers help patient and dentist design teeth

trial smile porcelain veneers and crowns

Bottom photo: There were many things about her teeth that Collette didn't like and wanted improved. Middle photo: Dr. Huefner designed Collette's "trial smile" based on what she had told him and what he thought would look best. However she wanted several changes made to the "trial smile" before she would approve of the design. Upper photo: The final smile makeover with porcelain veneers and a porcelain crown based on Collette's goals. Notice that not only is the color whiter than the "trial smile" teeth, but Collette also asked for slightly longer and more slender shaped front teeth.

Trial smile temporary veneers and crowns eliminates guesswork and enhances success and patient satisfaction

The anxiety of not knowing what the final results of cosmetic dentistry will be, either with dental veneers or porcelain crowns, is  a huge aspect that hinders many patients from having cosmetic dentistry done.  At least with clothes, a TV, car or house you know what it’s going to look like before you buy it.  With cosmetic dentistry you know you want nicer looking teeth, but do you and the dentist have the same end results in mind?  What if you go through the entire process and don’t like the teeth and smile that your cosmetic dentist has designed and made for you?

When cosmetic dentists do smile makeovers with porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns there is much for your dentist to determine.  What color will the new teeth be?  How long will they be?  What shape will each tooth be?  How thick or thin? How much to lean the teeth outwards or inwards? How much of the gums show?  Are the gums uneven or would the patient benefit from adjusting their shape with the dental gum laser? A skilled cosmetic dentist who has years of training and experience in cosmetic dentistry takes all this into consideration when designing the new smile and communicates this with the patient.  But what if the cosmetic dentist does everything that he or she is taught and designs the new smile according to normal standards and the patient doesn’t like the result?  This is a legitimate fear that many patients  and dentists have, but fortunately many cosmetic dentists will now incorporate a unique and very helpful procedure that eliminates much of the fear of the unknown before the final dental veneers are made.

What am I referring to?  Cosmetic dentists call this first stage of treatment the “trial smile” or the “provisional temporary” stage.  Actually the way we treat our cosmetic patients is to make two sets of veneers or crowns.  The first ones we’re referring to here are made of composite plastic.  We do this after carefully listening to the patient about their likes and dislikes and then evaluating the patient’s teeth, gums, lips and face the cosmetic dentist designs teeth that he/she think will give the patient the results they are seeking.  But what if the patient doesn’t like the newly completed porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns?  What if they aren’t the right color or shape?  Or if the patient wants the new teeth longer or shorter?  Wouldn’t it be a lot better to find out these things and make appropriate adjustments before the final dental veneers or crowns are made of porcelain by the lab?

This is the beauty of the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns. The patient gets to wear the “trial smile” for a few days or possibly weeks if they prefer to evaluate how the teeth look, feel and function and then make those corrections in the “trial smile” stage and/or before the final porcelain crowns or porcelain veneers are made by the lab.  And also very importantly, if the teeth are made longer are there any problems with speech?  Front teeth that are too long may challenges speaking certain sounds like the “V” or “F”.

As an example, if a patient thinks he wants shade BL4, and the cosmetic dentist makes the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns in shade BL4 and then the patient changes his mind because he thinks that he still wants “whiter teeth”, then with considerably more confidence the cosmetic dentist can make the final dental veneers or porcelain crowns lighter than the “trial smile“, possibly shade BL2 or BL1.  Important, see tooth shades or color.  By the way this happens a lot!  In our experience more than 50% of the time patients choose a color, wear it in the “trial smile” and then choose the final color for the porcelain one or two shades whiter.

What if the teeth are too short or too long?  If too long the dentist can shorten the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns.  If too short the cosmetic dentist can add to the length of the “trial smile” teeth.  This is an extremely important aspect in the smile design process,  getting the length of the patient’s  new teeth perfect and along with that, a written approval of that length from the patient.

crooked teeth and mismatched porcelain crown before smile makeover

Collette had crooked short teeth and a mismatched porcelain crown on one of her front teeth. She wanted straight, white teeth that were longer. Her problem could be solved with porcelain veneers and a new porcelain crown. However in order to eliminate guess work and best create a new smile for Collette that she really liked the "trial smile" technique was utilized.

How about the shape?  What if the patient asked for square front teeth but when seeing them in the mouth didn’t like them?  Then the dentist can round the teeth on the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns to give a softer more feminine look.  Important, see tooth shapes.  In essence the dentist can make adjustments in the “trial smile“, or note changes to be made in the final design.  All this takes away much patient anxiety about getting the kind of smile that the patient wants and dramatically reduces the number of porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns that would have to be remade due to patient dissatisfaction.  Nobody, neither patient, cosmetic dentist nor lab ceramist likes it when a patient is unhappy with the cosmetic dentistry and the only thing left to do is redo the entire treatment.  This is a huge waste of everyone’s time and effort.

Of special note one third of all the cosmetic dentistry we do in our practice is redoing porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns done by other dentists who did not use the “trial smile” technique and ended up with a patient unhappy with the final result.  Proper use of the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns technique and great communication with the patient dramatically reduces the problem of having dissatisfied patients and needing to redo cosmetic dentistry.

Collette's beautiful new smile with porcelain veneers and a new porcelain crown. She chose a BL2 shade and asked for longer, more slender teeth. By utilizing the "

Collette with her beautiful smile makeover with porcelain veneers and a new porcelain crown. After wearing the "trial smile" she changed her mind and requested a BL2 shade teeth. Also, she wanted her front teeth a little longer and more slender. If we hadn't used the "trial smile" technique with patient approval we wouldn't have been able to fine tune her final smile design to match her desired results.

Collette’s treatment illustrates trial smile temporary veneers and crowns success

To illustrate how this all works let me share share the story of Collette’s treatment.  She lives in Rancho Santa Margarita and came to our cosmetic dental practice referred by her plastic surgeon, Dr. Juris Bunkis.  There were a number of things that Collette didn’t like about her teeth.  She had a crown on one of her front teeth that didn’t match the color of the rest of her teeth.  Her teeth were crooked and she wanted them straight.  Her side teeth leaned in and this oftentimes causes the front teeth to appear larger and the side teeth to appear darker.  Collette had also worn down her teeth, and concerned that short worn teeth make her appear old, wanted her teeth to be longer and more youthful in shape.  She also wanted whiter teeth, and after looking at our tooth shade guide, chose a BL4 tooth color, which was four shades whiter than her teeth were.  Dr. Huefner recommended doing nine porcelain veneers and redoing the one mismatched porcelain crown.  Collette agreed with Dr. Huefner’s recommendations and proceeded with her cosmetic dental treatment.

Dr. Huefner prepared her teeth and placed the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns, making her temporary veneers and crowns longer, straight and more full on the side teeth.  Collette wore her “trial smile” for several days and returned to Dr. Huefner to discuss the design before Dr. Huefner would make her final porcelain veneers and crown.

The first thing she said to Dr. Huefner was that she was wrong choosing the BL4 shade.  Is there any way she could change the color of her final porcelain veneers, as she still wanted slightly whiter teeth?  When Dr. Huefner said “yes”, she asked Dr. Huefner to make her final porcelain veneers and porcelain crown shade BL2.  With regards to the length, yes the new “trial smile” teeth were longer, but she still wanted them a little bit longer.  “Is there anything else that you would like changed?” Dr. Huefner asked Collette.  After very close inspection Collette told Dr. Huefner that she’d like the front four teeth to be a little  thinner and a bit narrower near the gums.  Dr. made or note all the changes that Collette wanted and then she gave her written approval of those modifications that she wanted for her final porcelain veneers and porcelain crown. 

Then Dr. Huefner’s ceramist made the final restorations according to Collette’s approved “trial smile” or otherwise noted modifications and changes.  The major point here is that there was not any guesswork.  Dr. Huefner’s ceramist knew exactly what the patient and Dr. Huefner wanted him to do because so many significant things were worked out and determined during the “trial smile” stage.

The end result for Collette was a beautiful smile with nine porcelain veneers and one porcelain crown.  The final smile design would have been much different without utilizing the trial smile temporary veneers and crowns and getting Collette’s input.  Instead of being elated with the results, she might have even been dissatisfied.  How lucky we are in this day and age of modern cosmetic dentistry to take out so much of the mystery and guesswork and have a successful proven way to effectively provide results that achieve such high patient satisfaction with our porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns.

Dr. Norm Huefner, Laguna Niguel cosmetic dentist, serving Orange County and Rancho Santa Margarita


Anaheim Businesswoman’s Deformed Teeth Transformed into a Stunning Smile with Porcelain Veneers

Anaheim businesswoman wants smile makeover with cosmetic dentistry

disfigured teeth before cosmetic dentistry Anaheim

Susie was very self conscious about her smile, especially in front of her customers and grandchildren. Her whole life she had always wanted a "perfect smile" with white teeth!

Susie has a family owned business in Anaheim, CA, and is the main person involved in dealing with their customers on a person to person basis.  Unfortunately, over the years her teeth showed the signs of wear and age, and Susie became increasingly uncomfortable with their appearance.  Finally, one of her grandchildren made a comment that really made her self conscious, “Grandma, why are your teeth so ugly?”

At her first consultation Susie expressed her concerns.  “At our business I’m in front of our customers all the time.  I know my teeth are a wreck and it’s time for me to do something about it.  All my life I have wanted nice white teeth, so how can you do that for me?”

In Susie’s case her teeth were very healthy, but her two front teeth were very unsightly and she had numerous old fillings at her gum line that had deteriorated.  We explained to her that there were three basic approaches.  One is to take a “minimalist” approach, replace all her gum line fillings and place two porcelain veneers on her two front teeth.  The second approach would be to do porcelain veneers on her upper teeth, bleach her lower teeth, and then replace the gum line fillings on her lower teeth.  The third approach would be to place porcelain veneers on both her upper and lower teeth.

“Which of the three will look the very best?”, Susie asked. “If I’m going to finally do this I want my teeth to look the very best that you can do for me.”

After explaining the difference between the three options Susie chose to do porcelain veneers on her upper and lower teeth. That would enable her to get the perfect looking white teeth that she had always wanted.

Temporary veneers help choose the best size, length, shape and color

temporary veneers for Anaheim businesswoman

The first step in Susie's smile makeover was to place temporary veneers, also called the "trial smile". This is important to help determine the best size, length, shape and color teeth. Susie like the color of her "trial smile", but wanted her porcelain veneers to be a little whiter.

We started out by placing temporary veneers on Susie’s upper teeth, which we call the “trial smile” stage.  This is part of the process is extremely important to help us determine the best size, length and shape of porcelain veneer teeth along with giving her an opportunity to test out the color.  The temporary veneer color we used was a BL3.5.  She really liked the color compared to her dark, discolored teeth, but asked if we could make her final porcelain veneers even lighter.  “Of course,” we told Susie.  “You choose the color teeth you want from our tooth shade guide.”

After careful consideration, Susie chose a BL2 tooth shade, and approved the size, length and shape of the temporary veneers. Then our ceramist fabricated Susie’s final veneers using IPS Empress porcelain.

porcelain veneers Anaheim

Cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers enabled Susie to get the beautiful white teeth she had always wanted. Many of her Anaheim customers have commented on how beautiful her smile is!

New Improved Smile with Porcelain Veneers

Susie’s final smile makeover with porcelain veneers came out beautiful and when she smiled it was an amazing!  “I feel so fresh and clean now when I smile,” Susie said.

One thing that we didn’t point out is that before we started her treatment Susie’s right front tooth stuck out much more than her left one, which resulted in the gum levels around the two front teeth being slightly different.  When Susie smiled her lips didn’t raise up enough to show that, so it wasn’t something that we needed to fix.  However, some patients have a upper lip that raises up when they smile, and if they had the same problem as Susie had they might require an additional dental procedure to make the gums even for the front two teeth.

Anaheim cosmetic dentistry and porcelain veneers

Can you tell which is the before and after photos? OK, that's obviously not a serious question. But Susie getting a smile makeover was obviously a serious decision that she never regretted!

At Susie’s business in Anaheim she told us that now she gets compliments all the time on what a beautiful, friendly smile she has.  And most importantly, Susie said she is happy that her porcelain veneer treatment keeps her from ever being embarrassed about her teeth around her grandchildren!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Susie’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

Orange County patient is a very clear example that demonstrates the life changing aspect of porcelain veneers

extremely discolored teeth before porcelain veneers

Thao had braces treatment which had straightened her teeth. But her old fillings, cavities and extremely discolored teeth had produced such an unattractive smile for her that she was very self conscious and ashamed to smile.

Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry

Thao, who recently moved to Orange County, was ashamed by her smile.”My teeth are ugly,” she said.  “I just finished braces and had some periodontal treatment, so they are straight now, but I want pretty teeth.”
After speaking with Thao for a while we learned that she immigrated to the U.S. from a country that had very little opportunity for dental care when she was growing up.  As an adult, she had huge discolored fillings and existing decay.  The result was that the appearance of her teeth showed straight, but unfortunately very discolored and extremely unattractive teeth!

She had learned that our dental practice is one of the leading cosmetic dental practices in Orange County and came to us to solve her “ugly discolored teeth problem.” Before making our recommendations we asked Thao what she had in mind?  Did she just want the fillings replaced and cavities repaired with new fillings or was she really looking for a more perfect smile?  She told us she wanted white teeth and all her life she wanted a pretty smile, so she ready now to get dentistry that gives her that.

Porcelain Veneers Often Treatment of Choice for Severely Discolored Teeth

As a cosmetic dentist, it was quite obvious to us that the best way to treat Thao’s severely discolored teeth problem was with porcelain veneers.   Although many dentists might place full porcelain crowns, in our opinion that would have required too much drilling away of Thao’s teeth.  Porcelain veneers are a much more conservative treatment that retains much more of ones tooth structure and has a much lower incidence of possible root canal treatment, especially on teeth like Thao’s with a history of periodontal disease and bone loss.

trail smile temporary veneers orange county

This is the "trial smile" of Thao's temporary veneers which enabled her to "test drive" the smile design that Dr. Huefner had planned for her. She was very pleased with the length and shape of her "trial smile", but wanted the color to be just a little bit whiter.

Test Driving Veneers with The “Trial Smile”

When we explained our recommended treatment with Thao, she quickly understood the benefits of porcelain veneers and how and why in our opinion that would be the best treatment method to give her the teeth and smile that she has always wanted.  The biggest problem that Thao had was that she didn’t know how she wanted her new smile made, but yet wanted to make sure that she would like her new smile.  She didn’t have any idea what color she wanted her new porcelain veneers, but definitely wanted them much whiter than her dark, dingy teeth were.  Also, how long would we make her new teeth?  And what shape?  She looked a many of the photos of the thousands of cosmetic dentistry patients we’ve treated over the past three decades in Orange County, which seemed to confuse her even more.

We explained to Thao that we had the perfect method to overcome her concerns, allowing her to become more involved in the design of her porcelain veneers and getting to see what she was going to get, and approve of the smile design before her new porcelain veneers were made.  The method we were referring to is one we use for almost every cosmetic dentistry patient that we make porcelain veneers for, the “trial smile” phase of porcelain veneers.  We would make preliminary temporary porcelain veneers for Thao, called the “trial smile“, with the shape, color and length that we felt would best fit her face, lips, skin color, age, etc., and let her “test drive” the design for several days.  Then she would come back to our office and we would evaluate her “trial smile” together.  If she wanted them longer or shorter, we would make those changes.  If the color was too light or dark, we would be able to tell the lab specifically what color she wanted.  Also, that we wouldn’t even have her new porcelain veneers made until Thao gave us her written approval of all the aspects of the smile design…the teeth shape, color, length, etc.

porcelain veneers orange county

Per Thao's instructions, her porcelain veneers were made just a little whiter than her "trial smile".

Now Thao was becoming more and more comfortable with having chosen Dr. Huefner for her cosmetic dentist and the whole process of having porcelain veneers made for her eight upper front teeth.
From then on out, Thao’s porcelain veneer treatment was a breeze.  We made her trail smile and she like the design so much that only made on change in the design, she wanted her teeth to be just a little bit whiter.  She signed off on all aspects of the smile design, so now our ceramist knew very specifically what she wanted and then proceeded on fabricating her new porcelain veneers.

Thao continued to wear her “trial smile” for two more weeks, then returned to get her new porcelain veneers.  We gently removed the plastic “trial smile” veneers, and then placed her new porcelain veneers on her teeth to preview and get her final approval.  She loved them!  After signing her final approval, stating that she accepted the porcelain veneers, we bonded them into place and she finally got the beautiful new smile that she had always dreamed of!

life changing porcelain veneers orange county

Thao never thought she was pretty. But after replacing her "distracting and unattractive" teeth with beautiful porcelain veneers it was obvious how really pretty she is!

This brings up an important question, what if Thao didn’t like the porcelain veneers that we made for her?  Well, the truth is that by going through the very detailed process as we do that that is rarely the case.  We do so much planning and communicating with our patients, that almost all of the guess work is over before the porcelain veneers are ever made.  But, if any or all of the porcelain veneers did not meet her expectations, we would have placed her back into her “trial smile” temporary veneers, and then had the lab make any changes that Thao specifically requested.  You can clearly see from Thao’s final photo that was not the case.  She loved her new smile!

Life Changing Cosmetic Dentistry

One of the most rewarding things about cosmetic dentistry that we really love is that by fabricating beautiful teeth we make beautiful smiles.  And, of course, this greatly enhances the appearance of the face and can be life changing for the patient.  No one could ever dispute that in Thao’s case this certainly is true.
A month after Thao’s porcelain veneer treatment she came back to our office and we did a portrait photography photo shoot for her.  When we showed her the best portrait of her she was almost in tears.  “I never thought I was ever pretty,” she said.  “I definitely feel pretty now!”

before and after porcelain veneers orange county

With her new porcelain veneers nobody would ever suspect that Thao's teeth were as discolored as they were. The homogenous white color of her porcelain veneers dramatically effected her facial appearance.

Words like that are what motivates us to be the best cosmetic dentist that we can be and to go the extra mile for our patients, to create for them the beautiful teeth that gives them an amazing smile.  We are so pleased that Thao got the beautiful smile that she had always wanted and we were integrally involved in this life changing process.

But Thao’s story doesn’t end there.  She just came back to our office a few weeks ago with some great news.  She is engaged!!!!  What a beautiful bride she will be.  There is no doubt in our minds that she will be smiling much differently for her bridal photos than she would have a year ago with her teeth the way they were then.  Congratulations Thao, you are a beautiful woman with a pretty smile!  You are very deserving and we are confidant that you will be a great wife to your new husband.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Thao’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
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