Finishing and Shining the Wax

You need to end up with a minimal thickness of 2-3mm after polishing the denture. Make your wax- up at least three millimeters. That means the wax and the recording base, plus the space under the recording base should be three millimeters thick. Don't make it five millimeters.

Your final wax margin should be similar to that of a crown. The wax has to reach the denture borders. There should be no vagueness or tabs of wax especially around the teeth.

To smooth a wax-up, brush it lightly with an alcohol torch. These are short quick movements. It is easy to momentarily check the wax surface after each pass of the flame. Then dip it into cold water and then rub it a few times with a cold wet paper towel. Remove any wax that flowed on to the teeth.

Slight dimples (caused by exposing air bubbles) can be smoothed with the touch of a hot explorer.

The wax-up has to be sealed to the master cast without covering the land area.

The last thing you do is to check the occlusion. Sometimes teeth are moved during the wax-up. Sometimes you overwax the tuberosity area. If you don't check it on the articulator the patient will be occluding on the bases, not the teeth.

Don't take your wax-up to the instructor at 8:40 and say you have to have it in the lab by 9:00 in order to get it processed in time for delivery. Show it to your instructor the day before you want it processed.

After your wax-up is complete, you should preserve the facebow record. You can also wait to preserve the facebow record after processing. However, if your maxillary cast is cut down by the lab tech, you may have to re-do the facebow. Look for the details of this procedure in this section under "Preserving the Facebow Record."

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©1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.