Many different waxes are used in dentistry. The composition, form, and color of each wax are designed to facilitate its use and to produce the best possible results. The discussion in this lesson is limited to aspects of clinical interest.
a. General. Inlay wax is used to prepare patterns. These patterns are reproduced in gold or other material in the fabrication of inlays, crowns, and fixed and removable partial dentures. Inlay wax is sometimes called casting wax.
a. General. Baseplate wax is used mainly for making occlusion rims and for holding artificial teeth to baseplates during the fabrication of dentures.
a. General. Sticky wax has many uses in a dental clinic and dental laboratory. It holds broken pieces of a denture together and assembles components of fixed partial dentures and wrought partial dentures in preparation for soldering.
Utility wax is used to provide rim locks and otherwise to adapt impression trays for individual impressions, to build up post-dam areas on impressions, and to form a bead or border on preliminary and final impressions. Utility wax is pliable enough at room temperature to use without heating. Utility wax is normally issued in stick form and is usually red in color. When it is supplied in rope form, it is sometimes called rope wax.
Disclosing wax is used to determine unequal pressure points in a denture that may cause discomfort to the patient. These points are located by painting the wax on the tissue side of the denture base and holding the denture in place under pressure in the mouth. The wax flows away from the points needing relief. Disclosing wax is sometimes known as pressure indicator paste.
Boxing wax is used to form a box around impressions of the mouth when making a cast (model). The boxing limits the flow of either plaster of Paris or artificial stone gypsum material. Boxing wax is usually issued in red strips measuring 1 1/2 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 1/8 inch thick. Boxing wax is soft and pliable enough at room temperature to be formed into a desired shape without heating. For further softening, a strip of wax can be passed through an open flame.
Low-fusing impression wax is a wax that is especially compounded so that when subjected to controlled pressure it will flow to some extent in the mouth. Its main ingredient, spermaceti, is obtained from the head of the sperm whale. Low-fusing impression wax is often used in relining or rebasing complete and partial dentures. Because it is easily distorted, impressions must be handled with care. Boxing is not recommended, and separators are not necessary when pouring the cast.