Diagnostic wax up is making of intended restorative on dental casts for evaluation and planning final restorations, a wax replica of a proposed treatment plan. The diagnostic wax up is a method that can be used for single tooth implant, crowns, bridges or veneers. This method is especially important when cosmetic dentistry is planned. In this cases it is very important to do a diagnostic wax-up to help determine the eventual appearance and aesthetic result after treatment is performed.
This procedure usually involves taking a set of dental impressions of patients teeth, creating dental casts and then modifying the size, shape or position of patients teeth in model form prior to beginning final dental rehabilitation. This method gives important diagnostic information that will indicate whether a specific treatment is adequate. It also helps in the choice of a right treatment method and may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment or preprosthetic surgery. The diagnostic wax-up can be helpfull in evaluating the amount of available restorative space and point out any need for treatment in the opposing arch to obtain such space. It can also help in planing occlusal scheme and indicate which modifications are needed in the remaining dentition. Additionally, the diagnostic wax-up will upgrade and ease communication between the dentist, the technician, and the patient.

There are few steps in a diagnostic wax up procedure. First step is taking dental impressions, occlusal records and if needed a set of photographs. Next step is fabrication of two sets of study models in dental lab. One will be used for wax up and other will be used to keep the original situation and later for comparison. After the fabrication of diagnostic wax up, communication between the clinician, the technician, and the patient illustrating the plan three-dimensionally will be easier.
By fabricating a diagnostic wax up before discussing the proposed treatment plan with the patient, the dentist can confirm that the plan is possible to achieve. It is especially useful as a diagnostic aid to demonstrate the desired esthetic changes like tooth position, alignment, inclination, proportion, shape and morphology. Diagnostic wax up will also show the occlusal scheme and function of final restoration. Some patients may want to see the proposed esthetic result in their mouth before accepting the final treatment. If this is the case, a diagnostic wax up will provide the basis for creating an intraoral mock-up. This step will only work well when there are minor changes proposed. In this cases stent which is made from the wax up is filled with provisional material and placed over the natural teeth and allowed to set. After the stent is removed, the mockup should closely represent the outcome of proposed treatment.

Diagnostic wax up have an important role in visualization of final restorations. In certain situations clinician cannot build the final restoration without a working model and visualization of the treatment plan. A dental diagnostic wax-up provides all of these benefits for your dentist and is an extremely worthwhile endeavor when indicated. Without a diagnostic wax-up, some dental procedures (ranging from a single crown to an entire mouth prosthetic rehabilitation) are too difficult to visualize. A dental diagnostic wax-up provides many benefits for dentist and is an extremely worthwhile endeavor when the indications are right.