The diagnostic wax up is one of our most significant tools in planning functional and cosmetic dentistry. It can be done by hand, digitally or a combination of the 2. Diagnostic wax ups should always be done with direction from the dentist regarding tooth position, cosmetic desire and occlusal functionality.
Some wax up to par done for cosmetic presentation only. These are done with the intention of providing a mock up or a provisional restoration. Others are done as feasibility studies in order to see if a certain outcome is achievable. And some are done purely for occlusal and functional mapping.
Below are 2 wax ups. The first one was done by Phil Nebeker’s team and was made for cosmetic projection as well as being able to generate a matrix for a cosmetic prototype and for a provisional restoration. This patient had short and he was unhappy with his current display length. After orthodontics and a plan for pressed ceramic veneers, Phil and his team waxed to my specifications increasing the length of the central incisors at A point approximately 2.5 mm. all cosmetic projections in my practice are based off of maxillary A point. Below is also is the carved and scalloped matrix generated from the wax up. This allowed us to generate a “prep-less” prototype. I like to photograph the prototype in several different images. My favorite is removing half of the prototype and allowing the patient to see the visual difference from their eyes. Always amazing to see the reaction.
The blue wax up was done by Bill Marais. This was both a cosmetic and functional wax up done to facilitate a full mouth reconstruction. As with the first case, cosmetic A point was located and the entire case was built from that position.
The last case is showing a similar layout of the half prototype view and then the final ceramic outcome.
Wax ups, done digitally or by hand are very patient specific and serve an incredibly valuable diagnostic projection.