The use of a wax prototype of what a look or smile can become is part of our planning before we embark on a smile makeover. An impression of a patient’s teeth can be made digitally – or conventionally with “goop” – to establish a patient’s current or beginning situation. In combination with both xrays, examination, and photographs, the 3-D models that are printed from the impressions are modified in size and shape with the addition – or subtraction – of hand-fabricated modeling wax. This allows me – and the patient – to visualize what the teeth can become. Additionally, a plastic matrix that imitates the wax-up can be placed in the patient’s mouth using a composite material to see what it will look like once the permanent veneers or crowns are placed. Photos can be taken at this stage to allow the patient and/or friends and family to have a record of what the final treatment might look like. It also allows us to see if modifications to the prospective size and shape are appropriate.
Like an architect who has drawings and models before embarking on building a home, the cosmetic dentist takes the time and effort to plan and imagine the finished smile, so that the patient receives a predictable, satisfying, and beautiful smile!