Functional Diagnostic Waxing Up
Il Ki Ricky Lee
Wax is an excellent material that is widely used in dentistry. It can be transformed into many other materials, so its role is to connect one material to another. It can be transformed into a metal, zirconia, lithium disilicate, acrylic or resin-based restoration or coping. Moreover, it can be an excellent learning tool for understanding or reproducing tooth or gum shapes, because it is simple to apply, remove and shape.
It is essential for the dental team to understand the anatomy of teeth and the oral cavity before performing any prosthetic treatments on the patient. Wax-ups can provide a blueprint and a prescription for the final prosthetics for the dentist, dental technician and patient. This diagnostic wax-up becomes a vital communication tool for the dental team involved.
Therefore, a diagnostic wax-up can be used for temporary or provisional crowns, to guide the preparation of the teeth as well as to frame the outline of ceramic build-ups.
However, many dentists and dental technicians forgo this step and sometimes ignore the importance of a diagnostic wax-up due to the costs involved to produce this stage. By doing so they are ignoring the overall time saved in the treatment of the case.
This chapter explains how to fabricate prosthetics by using wax. The most difficult task is to mimic the natural teeth, not only to resemble their colour or internal structure, but also to reproduce the shapes and balanced contours within biological and functional limitations.
To mimic nature’s complicated shapes and colours, first of all we have to have knowledge of the anatomical features and their biological and functional correlations. Furthermore, we need to observe precisely the relationships with the surrounding adjacent teeth to achieve the contact points, the height of the ridge, the bucco-lingual limits and the opposing tooth for occlusion and functionality, with reference to the contralateral side to reproduce a mirror image.
To reproduce the natural appearance and replace prosthetics on an abutment or tooth preparation means that there are anatomical starting points such as cervical margins