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?”
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.
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 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