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Using a mock-up is a great way to create value for esthetic dentistry. They help to visualize the desired end result in the patient's mouth; it helps you and the patient see what is possible.

There are many different ways to achieve a mock-up. Direct free-hand bonding is one method. A silicone index or copyplast of a diagnostic wax-up, which is then filled with a self-curing provisional material and applied to the teeth, is another very good method. However, both of these take time and can be costly.

A very simple method is to use Triad light cured lab resin and apply it directly to a diagnostic model. Once it's carved and shaped it can be cured, and then taken to the patient's mouth for evaluation.

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My patient Lisa presented with a narrow buccal corridor. She wanted a broader smile. Orthodontics was not an option for her. As an alternative, a mock-up would help her visualize the possibility of a wider smile. I made a diagnostic model and the gingival outline was marked in red. Separator was then painted on the model, followed by a thin layer (0.5-1.00mm) of Triad.

The Triad was molded and carved to the proposed dimensions and then light cured in a Triad oven. It was then refined with finishing disks and sealed with Palaseal (light cured denture sealer). Lisa was appointed for the mock-up try-in. It dramatically improved her smile appearance. She loved it so much, she scheduled for six porcelain veneers to widen her buccal corridor.

Read more dentistry articles by Dr. Jeffrey Bonk.

Jeffrey T. Bonk DDS, Spear Visiting Faculty.