Articulation Studies - Avoiding Treatment Failure
If you are considering changing your smile or reconstructive dentistry it is important to understand the significance of the diagnostic wax-up.
A diagnostic wax up is the next step towards collecting the objective data (both functional and aestheitc) needed for developing the cosmetic change or reconstructive dental procedures and treatments.
A wax up starts with dental impressions of your teeth and gums, an occlusal record or bite registration, and for many cases a facebow transfer for an articulator. The models are then sent to the lab and the changes that you have discussed with your dentist can be made to the teeth on the model.
The lab uses wax to create your new look. The charge for a wax up can vary depending on the complexity of the case, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. But the advantages of the wax-up are well worth the cost.
When the wax up is finished you and the dentist can now evaluate a tangible 3-dimensional model of your new teeth. If you are happy with these changes then the dentist can predictably make alterations to your teeth and provide you with temporaries that look fabulous.
During reconstructive procedures it is possible that if the dentist is going to change the vertical dimension of your teeth, you may need to wear one or more appliances over the teeth called stents. These will help determine if the change in height will be comfortable for your jaw. Often dentists treating certain types of TMD (temperomandibular dysfunction) often mistakenly referred to as TMJ, will create these stents for their patients before, during, or after the wax up process.
Your temporary veneers, crowns, bridges, or other restorations are duplicated from the wax up. Now you and your dentist can fully evaluate how comfortable you are with the changes made to the new teeth in your mouth.
How the teeth look and function can now be tried out. It will be important to also evaluate your phonetics (how you speak), and also how your joints and muscles adapt to the new changes.
Once you have worn your temporaries and they have been adjusted to suit your needs a record of this can be sent to the laboratory and they can create a copy in a dental material like porcelain that will fit over your teeth and replace the temporaries.
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