The best thing we can do for our patients is paint a realistic picture of what they can expect from our efforts and proposed treatment. One of the easiest ways you can do this for them is mock-up up their teeth to let them visualize the changes youâre proposing. This is an important step before you perform irreversible treatment. While this can be achieved several ways, the following is my quick and effective preferred method.
Have a wax-up of the proposed changes completed. Itâs critical that you have a clear understanding of your patientâs goals, and if your lab is doing the wax-up make sure to communicate these goals with them. Also, if your lab is preparing the wax-up itâs vital they know your limitations in preparing your patientâs teeth; if not, they may provide a wax-up that will be unachievable.
Once the wax-up is complete you need a matrix of it in order to transfer it to the patientâs mouth. One of the easiest ways to fabricate this matrix is to use a material like Copyplast from Great Lakes Orthodontics; itâs a flexible thermoplastic material. You could also use Platinum 85 from Zhermack, which is a PVS putty that you form over your model. Itâs critical that you make a stone duplicate of your wax-up if youâre using one of these materials. I find it less stressful to use a stone duplicate from my lab for either method so I donât have to worry about damaging the wax-up.
Once your matrix is made, simply load it with a bis-acryl of your choice and place it over the teeth. Assuming you made an accurate matrix, youâll have a close representation of the wax-up on your patientâs teeth with very little flash to remove.
While this method will not work for all cases, it works nicely for many, and it's a great way for you and your patient to preview the proposed changes. The mock-up can be removed by simply pulling at the margins with hand instruments. I hope youâll find this technique helpful in your practice.
John R. Carson, DDS, PC, Spear Visiting Faculty. [Â www.johnrcarsondds.comÂ ]