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Diagnostic wax-ups


A properly done diagnostic wax-up can be enormously valuable. Working through the wax-up can sort out functional and esthetic challenges through manipulating tooth positions, contours, and occlusion.  The wax-up will serve as a three-dimensional representation of the initial goal for the definitive restorations. This then can be utilized for creating the prep guide and provisionals. For implant cases, diagnostic wax-ups can be used to create radiographic stents and placement guides. It is a “blueprint” for the case that can help improve the predictability.


Information needed for diagnostic wax-up:

The more information we can gather prior to starting the diagnostic wax-up the better. Information such as incisal length and labial surface position can be evaluated prior to beginning the waxing.  Goals for the restorative dentist and the patient should be communicated as well.


  • Maxillary and mandibular impressions capturing all anatomical landmarks; buccle and labial vestibules and palate. Best if this is made with a PVS material so I may make multiple pours.


  • Relation record either CR of MI


  • Face bow transfer or incisal plane transfer such as Koi’s dento-facial analyzer or stick bite


  • Photos for diagnostic wax-up minimum

    • Full face in repose

    • Full face smile

    • Full face Retracted lips with incisal edges slightly parted so the incisal planes can be visualized

  • All full-face photos should show an even amount of each ear taken from the height of the plane of occlusion

  • The photos and the impressions should match.


  • Guidance as to the goals of treatment, and expected treatment plan for each tooth


Please contact me if you would like to discuss a specific case.

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