July 17, 2018

Irvine Porcelain Veneers for a Sensational Smile Makeover

Irvine porcelain veneers

After Laynie’s smile makeover with porcelain veneers Dr. Huefner took these portraits of Laynie and her beautiful new smile.

Laynie, a beautiful young lady, had just graduated from college.  She was very concerned about the appearance of her teeth and just about to start a new career, this was the time for her to finally do something about it.  When she came to see Dr. Huefner for her cosmetic dentistry consultation, Laynie and Dr. Huefner discussed her teeth and smile in detail and Laynie narrowed it down to correcting four things:

  • Laynie didn't like either the way her teeth or gums looked.  She came to Dr. Huefner to discuss all her options with cosmetic dentistry.

    Laynie didn’t like either the way her teeth or gums looked. She came to Dr. Huefner to discuss all her options with cosmetic dentistry.

    she wanted whiter color teeth

  • her teeth looked short, and she wanted longer teeth
  • she had gingivitis, thus her gums were red and swollen
  • her left central incisor tooth was much darker than all the rest

Dr. Huefner recommended a plan of treatment that would solve all the problems that Laynie wanted corrected.  First, she would see Dr. Huefner’s dental hygienist and have her teeth cleaned and her gums treated.  By doing that and improving her oral hygiene, the redness of her gums would disappear and instead have a healthy, pink color.

irvine porcelain veneers and laser gum reshaping with dental gum laser

By treating her gingivitis and then doing some minor gum reshaping with the dental gum laser Laynie got healthy looking pink gums and teeth that weren’t too short. By bleaching Laynie’s lower teeth and then placing porcelain veneers on eight of her upper teeth. Laynie got the beautiful smile with white, even teeth that she wanted.

Second, since Laynie wanted longer teeth Dr. Huefner would do some minor laser gum reshaping with his dental gum laser.  This would eliminate some of the “gummy smile” that she had and give her more normal length front teeth.

Third, Laynie would have her lower teeth bleached.

Finally, Dr. Huefner would place porcelain veneers on eight of Laynie’s upper front teeth.  By doing the last two things Laynie would have the whiter, more attractive teeth that she wanted and they would all be the same color.  There were no major problems with Laynie’s lower teeth, so the bleaching the lower teeth by themselves would suffice to overcome the problem she had with yellow lower teeth.

BL2 shade porcelain veneers

Laynie’s smile makeover looked terrific! A beautiful, healthy and natural looking smile for a stunning young lady. Laynie’s total treatment time took just about a month.

Laynie accepted Dr. Huefner’s treatment plan and her treatment went as planned.  It took just over a month’s time to accomplish all treatment and the result of Laynie’s Irvine porcelain veneers treatment was amazing.  An absolutely beautiful smile for a very attractive young lady was achieved!

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentist, Irvine Porcelain Veneers

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

Gummy Smile and uneven gums easily corrected with dental gum laser

gummy smile treatment with laser

Top photo: Brandi's gums covered over half of her lower front teeth making them appear as little stubs or baby teeth. Second photo: Immediately after laser gum reshaping which removed unnecessary excess gums and exposed the tooth to its normal length. Note the slight roughness of the gum tissue immediately after the laser treatment. Third photo: One week after laser treatment. The gums are smooth again and 95% healed. Bottom photo: Three weeks after laser treatment. Gums totally healed and Brandi's teeth and gums now look very normal.

Brandi from Laguna Niguel had a gummy smile.  She actually had excess gums that covered over much of her lower front teeth making them appear half the size that they actually were.  Her teeth almost looked like they were baby teeth!  She was very unhappy with the appearance of her tiny teeth and gummy smile and came to Orange County cosmetic dentist Dr. Huefner to discuss her treatment options.  She didn’t know if she needed to have surgery, dental crowns or veneers or if anything could even be done to improve her smile.

Why some people have a gummy smile?

There are several different reasons why people will have an overly gummy smile, but the most common is that there is simply an excess of gums tissue (i.e. thicker than normal) covering over much of one or more teeth.  The great news that if it is only an excess gums problem, and most often this excess is not useful or necessary, then some of the excess gum tissue can be reduced with a very simple and noninvasive dental procedure called laser gum recontouring or laser gum reshaping.

Laser gum reshaping

In Brandi’s case, she was an excellent candidate for laser gum reshaping to remove that excess gum tissue that was hiding half of her lower front teeth.  In the top photo you can see how much excess gums tissue she had and how small her lower teeth appeared.  When we explained to Brandi that this could be easily corrected with the dental gum laser she was excited and anxious to have Dr. Huefner do the laser treatment.  Dr. Huefner gave Brandi a short acting local anesthetic that would numb her gums for approximately 15-20 minutes.  This short acting local anesthetic would give Dr. Huefner enough time to complete the laser reshaping without causing Brandi any pain or discomfort.

Brandi wanted to know whether there would be a lot of bleeding of her gums during the procedure and if she would be getting stitches.  Happily the answer was no to both of these questions.  The laser actually stops the gums from bleeding and the dental laser procedure never requires stitches in the gums!

In the second photo you can see Brandi’s teeth and gums immediately after the laser gum reshaping.  The dental gum laser temporarily leaves the surface of the gums a little rough.  It is usually just a couple days until the gum surface heals and becomes smooth again, as shown in the third photo one week after the laser gum procedure when it was almost completely healed.  Two weeks later Brandi came back into our office another dental procedure and we took a final photo of the completely healed gums (bottom photo).  Brandi was delighted with the results.  She no longer had a huge excess of gum tissue or short little stub teeth that looked like baby teeth!

Sadly, laser gum reshaping is one of the most under prescribed cosmetic dental procedures.  I can only speculate why.  Most likely because very few dentists actually have been trained and certified using the dental gum laser or have been trained in advanced cosmetic dentistry and smile design.  With the cost of dental gum lasers coming down, more training programs being offered in cosmetic dentistry and more cosmetic awareness of dental consumers, I anticipate this procedure becoming offered and utilized much more to patients who have gummy smiles and can benefit from laser gum reshaping.

As a footnote, there are occasions where excess gums are not the problem and instead is actually an excess of bone around the roots of the teeth.  In those cases laser gum reshaping may only give a slight to moderate improvement.  If a patient requires more than be accomplished with the dental gum laser then a different procedure called dental crown lengthening can be done by a periodontist (dental gum specialist).  However, dental crown lengthening is a minor surgical procedure and considerably more involved than the much less invasive laser gum reshaping.  To determine which of these procedures would best correct the gummy smile problem a cosmetic dentist or periodontist will take some measurements around the gums, which can be done in a matter of just a few minutes.  Usually x-rays are also required.  In our cosmetic dental practice, over 90% of the time laser gum reshaping has been the procedure we have recommended, not the surgical dental crown lengthening.

Complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation

For patients who have a gummy smile, or just uneven gums, and are interested in learning if they are a candidate for laser gum reshaping we offer a no charge initial cosmetic dentistry consultation.  Call Pam or Sue at our office if you wish to schedule this appointment with us.  949-4956322

Dr. Norman Huefner
Laguna Niguel cosmetic dentist


Orange County Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Huefner Fixes Bugs Bunny Teeth with Dental Veneers

A professional dancer, Dana thought her Bugs Bunny teeth and gummy smile were hindering her professional career.

Dancer doesn’t like her Bugs Bunny teeth

Dana came to us with a special problem.  She is professional dancer and very conscious about her appearance.  She puts in hundreds of hours of practicing, has a great stage presence and gives great performances but her appearance on stage was diminished by her lackluster smile.  Her goal was to be the best that she could be and it was time for her to make her smile the best that it could be too.  She had already had consultations from a couple of dentists but didn’t have the confidence in either of them to proceed with their treatment recommendations.  She had heard from others that Dr. Huefner was a very reputable Orange County Cosmetic Dentist so came to see us for another opinion.

dental veneers oranger county and laser gum reshaping

Lower photo: Dana, a professional dancer, didn't like her crooked Bugs Bunny teeth and gummy smile. Upper photo: After lower teeth whitening, laser gum reshaping and eight dental veneers Dana had a beautiful, soft, feminine, well balanced smile with white teeth to enhance her dance career.

Before making any recommendations Dr. Huefner always wants to know the patient’s goals.  What is it that they are striving for?  What don’t they like about the way their teeth and smile currently look?  If Dr. Huefner could give her precisely the teeth and smile that she wanted, what would that look like?  Dana has studied her teeth very carefully and was quick to list the things about her teeth and smile that she didn’t like:

  • “My front two teeth stick out, I feel like I have Bugs Bunny teeth”
  • her teeth were too short
  • too crooked
  • too yellow
  • she showed too much of her gums

What she wanted was a bright, white smile that had beautiful straight teeth and less of a gummy smile.  When she was smiling on stage she wanted her teeth to enhance her image rather than detracting from it.

orange county dental veneers and gummy smile correction

Dana chose the color of her new dental veneers, shade BL2 from the tooth shade guide. Her smile makeover with laser gum reshaping and eight dental veneers by Dr. Huefner eliminated her Bugs Bunny smile and gave Dana much more confidence on stage.

Dana was delighted that Dr. Huefner felt her situation was relatively straight forward to accomplish her goals.  He recommended starting by doing tooth bleaching on her lower teeth and doing a relatively easy and uncomplicated cosmetic procedure called laser gum reshaping to make her gums even and reduce her gummy smile.  Then Dr. Huefner recommended placing eight dental veneers.  He would make her dental veneers whiter, which would make her smile look much better on stage. Dr. Huefner agreed with Dana about the Bugs Bunny look and that her teeth were a little short and crooked, and the dental veneers would correct that as well.  One of Dr. Huefner’s biggest goals was to make her very tiny lateral incisors (the teeth next to the two front teeth) a little bigger, as they appeared very tiny and disproportionate to the rest of her teeth.

After carefully listening to Dr. Huefner Dana really appreciated the well thought out course of treatment.  She was thrilled that her entire smile makeover would be completed in less than a month’s time, so she started her treatment right away.  Her teeth bleaching and laser gum recontouring with the dental gum laser went very smooth.

Orange County cosmetic dentist Dr. Huefner creates beautiful smile for Dana

During the course of treatment Dr. Huefner and Dana had many discussions about the color of her new dental veneers.  Since she really wanted great stage presence Dana chose a more white tooth color shade for her new dental veneers, BL2 from the tooth shade guide.  Although slightly lengthening her teeth with the dental veneers, Dr. Huefner made the dental veneers that were going to be placed on the six smaller teeth a little larger and longer, so they would be better proportioned to her front two central incisors and eliminate that Bugs Bunny look that she hated.  He also gave her a softer and more feminine smile design from the tooth shape catalog.

Dana’s smile makeover with dental veneers was completed on time and a great result achieved.  Afterwards, when asked what she liked best Dana said, “I just feel much more confidant when I smile on stage now.  I don’t know why I was so hesitant to have the treatment because it really went much easier than I ever thought.”

Dr. Norman Huefner, Orange County Cosmetic Dentist

Gummy smile fixed with non-invasive laser gum reshaping – Orange County Cosmetic Dentist

laser gum reshaping

Top photo: Paul didn't like his gummy smile, which also made his teeth appear too short. Middle photo: Immediately after laser gum reshaping which removed the excess gum tissue around Paul's upper front teeth. Bottom photo: One week after laser gum reshaping Paul's gums had completely healed. He showed less gum tissue when he smiled and his front teeth didn't look as short. Paul also wanted his teeth to be whiter, so the next step for him to do was teeth bleaching.

Paul from Lake Forest, CA, is a sales rep.  He’s a friendly, outgoing guy who is pretty darn successful because he takes great care of all his clients.  He is very confidant in his ability, but there was something that bothered him about his appearance – he showed too much of his gums when he smiled!  Oftentimes this also creates an esthetic dental problem, because if there are too much gum tissue covering the teeth then it can make normal length teeth look too short as well.

After being bothered about the “too much gum showing” issue for several years Paul finally came into our office to ask if anything could be done?  Before answering Paul we needed to make sure there weren’t any other issues that he was concerned about?

We asked him if the spacing between his teeth bothered him.  Also did he like the color and shape of his teeth?  “No, Doc,” Paul answered, “I’m OK with all that.  I don’t need perfect teeth, just hate how much of my gums I show when I smile.  I wouldn’t mind my teeth being a little whiter, but I’m not interested in any kind of major cosmetic dentistry.

So for Paul the solution was very simple.  We could reshape a little of his excess gum tissue with the dental gum laser, which would result in showing less gums and also make his teeth appear more normal in size.  We would do that first, and then if he wanted them whiter we could bleach his teeth the following week.

Paul asked, “Is the laser stuff surgery?”

“No Paul”, Dr. Huefner answered.  “Laser gum reshaping is a very minor non-invasive procedure that only needs a little local anesthetic and heals up in less than a weeks time.  You might feel like taking an Advil or Tylenol that night, and you should stay away from any foods that are acidic or spicy for a few days, but it should go fine and in a week your gums will be healthy, pink and normal looking.”

Paul wanted to know how long the procedure took and if he could do it right then?  Dr. Huefner answered that it would take less than a half hour and he could get started right away if he wanted.

Paul said, “Yep, let’s do it!”

We gave Paul a little local anesthetic around his gums and did the laser gum reshaping as we had planned.  He came back the following week, everything had healed up very nicely and was ready to start the teeth whitening procedure.

The end result was this gentleman from Lake Forest had a much improved, less gummy smile and all it took was one dental office visit!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Paul’s gum reshaping with the dental gum laser.

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.

Tiny teeth that wore down by teeth grinding “grow up” to beautiful adult smile with porcelain veneers orange county

orange county porcelain veneers

Andrea's smile makeover after laser gum reshaping and porcelain veneers by Dr. Huefner. Her treatment took approximately one month's time and she went from having extremely tiny teeth to normal size teeth and incredible smile!

Andrea had graduated from college.  In fact she had done very well, excellent grades and honors.  She got her first job but disappointingly, wasn’t taken very serious by her boss and colleagues.  Andrea knew it wasn’t her brains, eduction, attitude, effort or work ethics.  She knew what the problem was….her teeth!  Admittedly, Andrea was small in stature, but her teeth were extremely small, in the smallest 3% of the population. And when she smiled, not only didn’t you see much teeth, but she had a slightly gummy smile.  All these “dental features” made her look like she was in middle school when she smiled.  People do judge, and perceptions are reality to many.  In an adult world, dealing with fellow employees and customers her smile was holding her back, she knew this!

So, how does one go from small baby-size teeth to adult teeth? Cosmetic dentistry was the answer.  Andrea’s mother was a dental hygienist, and referred Andrea to Dr. Huefner’s cosmetic dental practice.

short teeth from bruxism

Before cosmetic dentistry Andrea had very tiny teeth and a gummy smile. Although in her mid 20s, her teeth and smile made her look ten years younger.

Upon careful examination it was noted that not only did Andrea have very small teeth to begin with, but she had a “grinding habit” (bruxism) for a number of years and had worn off about 20% of the enamel on her teeth, making them appear even shorter.  Also, she had some “excess” gums over her teeth, that also made her teeth look shorter and the slightly gummy smile made her look younger as well.

short teeth after laser gum reshaping, before placing porcelain veneers

Before placing Andrea's porcelain veneers her excess gums were reshaped with the dental gum laser. Although that reduced some of her gummy smile and made her teeth a little longer, they were still too short. Porcelain veneers to lengthen her teeth was the next step.

Andrea and her mother were pleased to learn that she could easily be treated by combining two very common cosmetic dentistry procedures.  First, we would reduce her gummy smile and lengthen her teeth at the gum line by using our dental gum laser.  That is a short, almost effortless procedure, essentially painless, that dissolves away unwanted excess gum tissue. Then we would lengthen all her teeth at their edges by placing porcelain veneers on her front and side teeth, and onlay restorations on several off her back teeth that had really worn down.

porcelain veneers coto de caza

To Andrea's delight, we were able to lengthen her short teeth considerably with porcelain veneers to now have teeth with an average tooth length. The difference in her appearance between the before and after photos showed that she looked like she matured over ten years to her actual age.

We proceeded almost immediately with her treatment, and Andrea got a fabulous result! We created for her a normal, adult-size smile with porcelain veneers and she almost instantly looked like she went from age thirteen to her real age, mid 20s in just a months time.  Since Andrea “was still a bruxer” (teeth grinder) we completed her treatment by fabricating a night guard anti-bruxism appliance that she would wear over her teeth at night to protect her teeth and new porcelain veneers.

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

Gummy Smile and Missing Front Tooth Undergo Dental Metamorphosis with Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry

orange county cosmetic dentist

Tim had Dr. Huefner replace his old porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge with an all-ceramic bridge. Dr. Huefner also improved his gummy smile with the dental gum laser. In addition, Tim had five porcelain veneers placed and the end results was a terrific smile for Tim!

Tim, a successful businessman in the finance world has a big smile and a big heart, but felt he didn’t have a smile that was in harmony with his professional image.  For starters, when he smiled he had a very gummy smile.  He lost a front tooth when he was much younger and had a porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge that was OK, but really didn’t match the rest of his teeth any more.  Speaking of the rest of his teeth, they were discolored and appeared way too small.  He came to our Orange County Cosmetic Dentistry practice to discuss his options.

gummy smile orange county

Tim didn't like his gummy smile, which also made his teeth appear to small. He was displeased with the appearance of his bridge in the front and also the color of his other natural teeth. Dr. Huefner utilized the dental gum laser to reduce Tim's gummy smile and cosmetic dentistry to create beautiful teeth for him.

Although Tim felt he had a host of problems that would be challenging to treat his dental issues were actually pretty straight forward to treat.  First, we could reshape some of his excess gums (called gingival recontouring) with the dental gum laser.  That would reduce some of his gummy smile and make his teeth appear longer.  Gingival recontouring is a commonly performed procedure done by many top cosmetic dentists  It is minimally invasive, very little bleeding is involved, never requires stitches, has minimal discomfort and usually heals up within 5-7 days.

After Tim’s gums were treated we would replace his old porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge with an all-porcelain bridge.  The new bridge would have better color and appear much more life-like and real.  So that the other teeth that showed when he smiled would all be the same color and be in proper proportion we also advised placing five porcelain veneers.  The results would be the eight teeth that Tim really shows off when he smiled would all look fantastic!

Tim was excited to hear we had a game plan that would work for him and achieve his goals.  He accepted our treatment plan, followed the course of treatment we had recommended and was completed in a little over a month’s time.  Also note that time chose a masculine smile design from the tooth shape library.  In general when the front incisors have more squarish corners they appear more masculine.  Also, when they are more rounder they appear softer, more youthful and feminine.  The tooth color Tim chose was BL2 from the tooth shade guide.

Notice how much more attractive the whiter, brighter smile is.  Also the difference in color and shape of the new all-porcelain bridge compared to the old porcelain-fused-to-metal bridge.  But most of all time was happy that he no longer had a gummy smile!

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

Correcting Gummy Smile and Fang Teeth Without Braces by Using Porcelain Veneers and Laser Gum Reshaping

gummy smile crooked teeth treatment

Monica was embarrassed and very self conscious about her smile. Her teeth were crowded, but what she disliked the most was that she had "fang teeth" and a "gummy smile". She refused orthodontic treatment, but accepted an alternative treatment utilizing laser gum reshaping and porcelain veneers. Compare this photo to the end results and see why she was to pleased with her cosmetic dentistry!

Monica, a young lady from Mission Viejo, was really embarrassed by the way her teeth looked. She came to our Orange County cosmetic dental practice to discuss what options she had to give her a nice smile.

Before making any suggestions we always want to know “the patient’s story”, what is prompting them to finally get cosmetic dental treatment, what they don’t like about their smile and what kind of teeth and smile they want us to create for them?

When Monica was asked these things she was very quick to tell her story.  “I just hate my teeth, especially my fang teeth!”, she told us.  “My teeth are crooked, my front teeth are way too small and it also really bothers me that I have a really gummy smile.”

porcelain veneers and laser gum reshaping

Laser gum reshaping was utilized to remove much of Monica's excessive gum tissue which covered over a lot of her front teeth. Then porcelain veneers were utilized to overcome the crowding and overlapping of her teeth, a cosmetic dentistry technique oftentimes referred to as "instant orthodontics" (although NOT actually orthodontics). The end result, along with the fact that her entire treatment was completed in less than six weeks time was amazing.

After looking carefully at her smile, her teeth and gums it was obvious that Monica would best served by having braces (orthodontic treatment). After making that suggestion Monica immediately responded with, “That has already been recommended by another dentist I saw.  So, I went to the orthodontist and he told me it would take at least two years of treatment and that my teeth were so crowded that I would have to have several teeth pulled! There is no way that I would do that. Dr. Huefner, is there any way you can fix my smile with cosmetic dentistry?”

Monica is typical of many of the adult cosmetic dentistry patients we see in many respects.  She would best benefit by having braces, but absolutely refuses that type of treatment.  Thus, we offered her an alternative cosmetic dentistry, usually involving porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.

“If you’re not willing to have braces, then yes, we can give you an amazing improvement in your smile with cosmetic dentistry,” Dr. Huefner explained to Monica.  Delighted, she then asked us just exactly that would involve?

We told Monica that we would first reshape her gum to reduce much of her gummy smile with our dental gum laser.  This is a very conservative, minimally invasive technique that has very little discomfort and heals up very rapidly.  Monica thought her teeth were small, but in fact they were normal but just covered up by a lot of gum tissue.  Laser gum reshaping could be employed to dramatically remove much of that excess gum tissue that had covering up her teeth and bothered her for so many years.

Then, we went on to explain to her, we could place eight porcelain veneers on her teeth to make them “appear” straight.  Many cosmetic dentists call the procedure “instant orthodontics“.  Although not actually orthodontics, it gives the illusion that her teeth are straight, as if she had braces treatment.  Rather than two plus years of braces, her “instant orthodontic” treatment could be completed in under three weeks time!

Excited, Monica was ready to move ahead with the cosmetic dental treatment we recommended.  However she had one challenge, she was on a limited budget. “I can’t afford to do eight porcelain veneers,” Monica told us.  “How about only doing six?”  We explained that we would get a much better looking result for her by doing eight, but we certainly could do six if that is all she was able to do at this time.  If at a later time she decided to do the additional two porcelain veneers, that could be easily done then.

Monica started her cosmetic dental treatment the following week.  The laser gum reshaping was done first.  It was amazing how much excessive gum tissue she had, and the results were fantastic!  No more gummy smile.  After allowing about two weeks for her gums to totally heal up Monica’s teeth were prepared for six porcelain veneers and six temporary veneers were placed to give her a nice smile while her permanent porcelain veneers were being made.  Three weeks later her temporary veneers were removed and her permanent porcelain veneers bonded onto her teeth.  Beginning to end, Monica’s treatment was completed in about six weeks time.

After her treatment this young lady from Mission Viejo was thrilled!  No more gummy smile.  No more crooked teeth.  And best of all, no more “fang teeth.”  Monica had great looking teeth and was no longer embarrassed to smile.

Transforming from a geeky kid smile to a blossoming young lady with porcelain veneers

gummy smile spaced teeth porcelain veneers rancho santa margarita

Thirteen year old Alison was going through an awkward time in her life. Her appearance was important to her, but her classmates made fun of her gummy smile and spaced teeth. "I have a gummy geeky smile," she said.

Alison, a 13 year old teenager from Rancho Santa Margarita, came in with her dad for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.  The first thing we noticed is that she had “an attitude” and really didn’t want to be in a dental office.  Her dad explained that she had braces for a year and that she refused to cooperate with the orthodontist and asked that her braces be taken off before the spacing was closed and her teeth were straight.  He went on to say that “she’s been going through a tough time” and he just couldn’t fight with her about the braces any more.  Thus, he told the orthodontist to go ahead and take off her braces.  “Is there any quick way that you can give her a nice smile without going through the braces route?” her dad then asked us.

We asked Alison what she thought about her smile?  “I have a gummy geeky smile and they make fun of my teeth at school,” she said.  We told Alison that before we make any recommendations we’d like her to list the things about her teeth and smile that she didn’t like or want changed. Alison was very quick to list:

  • I show too much gums
  • My teeth are spaced
  • They are yellow and I want white teeth
  • One of my front teeth is chipped
gummy smile treatment rancho santa margarita

After gum reshaping to eliminate her gummy smile and bleaching her teeth Alison had a much nicer smile. She still had gaps and a chipped tooth. Her final smile makeover would be done by placing eight porcelain veneers.

We could see that Alison was very frustrated with her appearance.  Most people can look back and remember how awkward being a young teenager was – wanting to be liked and accepted, fit in with your friends and schoolmates, get positive attention from the opposite sex.

After careful thought we told Alison and her dad that she had two options.  We could do 8 porcelain veneers which would correct the spacing, discolored and chipped teeth, but wouldn’t do anything to eliminate her gummy smile.  Or, we could do some gum recontouring first to eliminate her gummy smile appearance, and then do porcelain veneers.  Clearly the latter approach would give us the most control over giving Alison a much nicer smile.

Alison’s dad said that they would go home and talk it over with her mom.  Two days later he called and scheduled Alison’s appointment to begin cosmetic dentistry.  “She really wants a nice smile more than anything in the world so her mother and I are going to give it to her,” he said.

Alison’s treatment went very smooth.  Her first phase was doing the gum reshaping to eliminate her gummy smile and bleaching all her teeth.  Then the second phase was completing her new smile by placing eight porcelain veneers.

porcelain veneers for teenager

Alison blossomed into a confidant young lady after her treatment was completed by placing eight porcelain veneers.

Looking back at the before and after photos Alison’s cosmetic dental treatment with porcelain veneers and gum reshaping is probably one of the most profound and life changing treatment’s we’ve done in our cosmetic dental practice in over thirty years.  Almost instantly this Rancho Santa Margarita teenager went from (in her own words) having a gummy geeky smile and being an awkward teenager to a blossoming young lady very confidant in her appearance.

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