The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Return to Blog Index

Dawson Quick Tip: Vinyl Impressions of Wax-Ups

So one of the things that I know that a lot of you are doing as good, complete dentists is actually doing afull contour wax-up, especially when we're doing an anterior case, a full arch reconstruction, or a full mouth reconstruction.

Something that's been very useful to us in helping to communicate with the patient and also be able to preview our results, is when we order the wax-up from the lab, we'll have the ceramist send us a vinyl impression of the wax-up.


We then have the patient in for about a 30-minute appointment, and we do an intraoral mock-up. We'll show you some photographs of some of those intraoral mock-ups, but we will also take a material like a Luxatemp or Protemp and fill the vinyl matrix with the tempering material, place it in the patient's mouth and let it sit for a few minutes, and then take it off.

This gives the patient the opportunity to preview what the results that we're proposing for their case is going to look like. And it gives us, the dentists, an opportunity to evaluate some things like phonetics and the smile design and the curve of the smile.

The benefits

So it's a great way to help the patient be able to see what their final results are going to be and actually help them to say yes to the case. It's great for us as the practitioner to be able to preview anything that we might want to alter before we even touch the first bur to the tooth.

And then another thing that's been helpful with the mock-up is when the patient actually has agreed to start their case and they come in for the prep day. Once they're anesthetized, we'll etch the teeth, and place the provisional material in the matrix again and seat that, and then we can prep through the mock-up material. This is a great way to help us be really conservative with our preparations, and we don't take any more off the tooth than is necessary just to get to that final result that we've already planned in advance.

How to Avoid Mistakes During Dental Treatment Planning

Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund is a senior faculty member. She has practiced dentistry in Atlanta since 1994 and lectures on esthetic dentistry. She has received her Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry; this is an honor held by fewer than 2% of dentists in the country.