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Dawson Quick Tip: Waxing Smarter Instead of Harder

I'd like to spend a few minutes discussing some of the ways that we can do what's called waxing smarter instead of harder when we're doing our three dimensional workups on the articulator.

Waxing can be a very frustrating skill to learn as we start to become a better Dawson Dentist and a better clinician, and start doing more two dimensional and three dimensional treatment plans for our patients.


One of the first things to understand is that when we're doing a diagnostic wax-up, the goal isn't to have our wax-up be entirely in wax when we're finished. We have to understand that there are sometimes parts of tooth structure which are already in the proper position three dimensionally.

What we want to think about is re-contouring or reshaping portions of the tooth structure which may be outside of the arch form or in a position where we don't want it to be. Then we can go back in and start to do additive waxing and then only carve and reshape as necessary.

Too many times we get in there and start putting wax everywhere, and then we try to over-contour or spend too much time trying to carve the anatomy back into the teeth. Always try to wax smarter instead of harder.

Understand that there's tooth structure where it needs to be, only add what you have to, and hopefully that will save some time and some frustration as you start to do your diagnostic wax-ups.

Have you found any tips for waxing smarter? Leave them in the comments below!

Why Porcelain Breaks

Dr. Leonard A. Hess maintains a comprehensive-focused private practice in Monroe, North Carolina. Growing up in the mid-west, Dr. Hess attended Indiana University for his undergraduate education. His doctor of Dental Surgery degree was obtained from Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago, IL. Dr. Hess is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Equilibration Society, ADA, AGD, NCDS, and CDS. Locally, Dr. Hess has served on the peer-review board for his ADA district. He has also served on the Board of Directors of SPCC College in Union Co. As a senior faculty member of the Dawson Academy, Dr. Hess has demonstrated a passion for learning and teaching from the very start of his career. In the past six years Dr. Hess has taught hundreds of hours of hands-on continuing education throughout the country. From study clubs to the AACD national meeting, Dr. Hess has helped thousands of his peers incorporate functional esthetic care into their practices. Dr. Hess currently evaluates and tests new products for manufacturers such as Whip-Mix, Septodont, Heraeus, Kerr, and Dentsply. In addition, Dr. Hess is a frequently featured author in Advanced Esthetics and Interdisciplinary Dentistry, Inside Dentistry, Contemporary Esthetics and Restorative Dentistry, and Vistas. Dr. Hess resides with his wife and son in Weddington, NC. Outside of dentistry he enjoys spending time with his family, golf, aviation, traveling, skiing, and auto racing.