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  • Alexandra Kaziyeva

Fall 2023: First Month of Dental School with Anterior Teeth Wax-Ups

Practicing tooth #8 for sim lab practical

Variety of angles to view your tooth in order to confirm proper height of contour

First day took 4hrs, now takes ~1.5 hrs! Seeing improvement is so rewarding!

Lessons I've Learned:

1. Use a higher tempurature than recommended in class. Experiment with different temperatures: 250 or 275 deg (instead of 230).

2. Initially use the thicker waxed tip to add wax quicker.

3. Don’t touch the tooth with the wax tip: This creates unwanted issues. Let wax touch wax, just glide the fresh wax onto the peg tooth without touching the dry wax with the hot tip. Be delicate and have a light touch.

4. Draw your anatomy with wax: marginal ridges, cingulum, etc

5. Make sure the embrasures match the contralateral tooth

6. Make sure to establish proper contact areas: For #8, mesial is at incisal 1/3 and distal is at junction between incisal 1/3 and middle 1/3. Do not make your contact areas too narrow nor too wide. Compare your contact areas with the original tooth until it is as perfect as it can get. If you see light through where your contact areas are supposed to be, then you lost your contact. Best way to fix such an issue is adding a small drop of wax where you need the contact to be, quickly put the tooth back into the typodont before the wax dries completely. Wait a few seconds then you will see you established your contact plus some excess wax. Keeping the contact area, remove the excess around the area with a carver. Keep checking to see you did not lose contact again.

7. Important to create line angles: The best way is to rest your carver on the adjacent tooth and work your way towards incisal edge. As you are working on the facial view, work on the whole crown; do not just focus on fixing the one side of the tooth. As soon as you made some changes on one side, check the other side to make sure your surface is consistent and continuous. When carving away wax to establish proper line angles, constantly check your height of contour to make sure you did not take off too much wax and left with an under contoured tooth. If under contoured, just add wax mesial and/or distal and smooth it out.

8. Don’t be scared to touch the warm wax with your fingers to smooth out certain areas, works wonders.

9. Use tooth brush with soft bristles: The tougher the bristles, the more unwanted indents it makes on your wax-up.

10. Get good quality silk cloths to wrap your index finger and gently glide your wax-up: Use the slide of the cloth that is shiny. Moreover, you can wrap your toothbrush in the silk cloth and see the beautiful shine this creates. There are different types of silk out there; experiment with a few and even try different thicknesses to see which works best for you.

11. Using an alcohol pad gave me the best luster finish.

12. Don’t hesitate to use soap and water to smooth out your wax-up even more: I even experimented with toothpaste, and it didn’t do anything. Also, I tried to experiment with different soaps to see if it would make a difference (dish wash soap and hand soap yield the same result).

13. 95% of the time, I use the Hollenback carver. The rest 5% I use the Explorer (use good amount of pressure when using this carver) to make delicate and minute changes.

14. Look at all your tooth from ALL views possible. Check the length, check the thickness of all parts of the tooth. Make sure your tooth is not wide (can use Explorer to remove excess wax on the mesial and distal to make crown the proper width - make sure to not lose your contact areas)


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