Diagnostic Wax-Ups: The First Preview of Your New Smile
Diagnostic wax-ups can give patients insight into what their smile can look like with properly applied dental restoration procedures. Diagnostic wax-ups provide a much more realistic and tangible preview than other methods, which is helpful for both patients and dentists. Having an accurate preview can help patients make a more informed decision about whether to follow through with a dental restoration procedure. An accurate preview can help dentists and oral surgeons to more thoroughly assess the restoration needs of the patient and visualize what the process will be to achieve the desired results.
Initial Diagnostic Wax-Up Information
To create a diagnostic wax-up, the following materials must be obtained by a dentist or oral surgeon and sent to a lab:
- CR bite registration
- Protrusive bite record
- A facebow transfer of the maxillary arch
- Casts that show an accurate representation all aspects of a patient’s mouth
- Photographs of the patient’s mouth and smile from every angle
- MRIs or radiographs if there are joint issues
- Perio evaluation
- Evaluation and treatment plan
Creating a Diagnostic Wax-Up
A diagnostic wax-up is created by first fabricating a model of the patient’s mouth, then applying wax to generate what the results of restoration will look like. Diagnostic Wax-Ups are made from white stone models and white wax is used so that patients can really see what the results will look like. The model can be scanned and stored in the system after creation so that if a patient does decide to move forward with restoration, part of the process has already begun.
Types of Diagnostic Wax-Ups
Wax-ups may vary depending on the patient’s teeth, jaw alignment, and preferences. A basic diagnostic wax-up may be used to start deciding upon the process to use for restoration. A case presentation wax-up may be completed to show the patient the most accurate representation possible of what the teeth will look like after restoration. An orthodontic wax-up may be necessary if alignment and positioning are issues that must be corrected prior to restoration. A full contour wax-up is used to show patients what the result will look like when the treatment plan includes improvements to contours and aesthetics.
Benefits of Diagnostic Wax-Ups
Diagnostic wax-ups can save both patients and dentists time and frustration. When a diagnostic wax-up is done to show what the results of one type of restoration process will look like, patients can voice concerns then instead of after the entire restoration process is complete. This allows dentists and oral surgeons to propose alterations and variations that may fit better with the patient expectations.