To do a dental diagnostic wax-up, the dentist will take an impression of your mouth in wax.
Then, the dentist will use the wax-up as a guide to show where the implants need to be placed.
Common Dental Procedures
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When cosmetic dentistry is planned, it is often important to do a diagnostic wax-up to help determine the eventual appearance and result after treatment is performed.
Impressions are made of the upper and lower arches, and stone models are poured and fabricated. Modifications may be made to the models similar to expected preparation of the actual teeth and then tooth colored wax is placed on the involved stone teeth to create the desired result and determine the necessary steps to achieve it. This allows both the dentist and the patient to evaluate the anticipated final appearance and to determine if it meets their expectations.
Also, digital pictures can be taken and modified to evaluate before and possible after appearances.
In addition, it may be possible to place (not bond) composite filling material (tooth colored) on the teeth to evaluate possible changes in shape, size and maybe even color.
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A dental diagnostic wax-up is a planning procedure used by your restorative dentist, prosthodontist, periodontist, orthodontist or oral surgeon to help communicate valuable information to the patient, laboratory, or other dental specialists.
The procedure typically involves taking a set of dental impressions (or molds) of your teeth, creating dental casts (stone replicas of your teeth) and then modifying the shape, size, contour or entire location and position of your teeth, in model form prior to beginning your final dental rehabilitation. The dental diagnostic wax up is similar to a "working model" used by an architect or auto designer prior to building the final product.
Without a diagnostic wax-up, certain dental procedures (ranging from a single tooth to an entire mouth) are simply too difficult to visualize. Similar to an engineer or architect, in certain situations, your dentist cannot build the final product without a working model and visualization of the treatment plan. A dental diagnostic wax-up provides all of these benefits for your dentist and is an extremely worthwhile endeavor when indicated.