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You want to picture your smile before your dentist makes the changes. A dental mock-up is a smile simulation, which happens right over your existing teeth. Think of it as a test smile.
It is one of the first steps your dentist will use to design your new smile. The mock-up is used temporarily so you can see how the dentist envisions your new smile looking. You can see the changes in color and shape.
The reason we use a mock-up is so you can see how your teeth will look after the final dental treatment. It helps you see the dentist’s vision and make changes before the final procedures starts. Here are a few of the reasons for doing a mock-up:
- It lets you see the final outcome before the procedure begins.
- It is a temporary view, so you can make changes to meet your vision of perfect teeth.
- You can have multiple mock-ups done until you see the results you want to achieve.
- It builds confidence between the dentist and patient since both of you knows the desired outcome.
- It provides your dentist with feedback on what you want, instead of just his vision.
The process starts with the dentist evaluating your teeth and discussing your aesthetic desires and needs.
The second step is to make an impression of your teeth to be used in making a cast. The dentist explains the changes the two of your discussed with the technician, who then modifies the cast.
The changes to the cast are made by using wax. Once the technician is done, the dentist and you will sit down to discuss the wax design and see if more changes are needed.
Once you and the dentist agree the wax-up design is right, it is copied using silicon and then a silicon index is created. The resin is added to the inside of the index, and then it is placed over your teeth. This puts a copy of the wax-up design over your teeth, allowing you and the dentist to see how it will change your smile.
The changes are often dramatic. You may need a few moments, or days, to decide if you like the design or not. The dentist will take pictures of your current teeth and the new smile created with the mock-up. This allows you time to compare the photographs, share them with your family, and to decide if the new smile is right for you.
If the mock-up is thick enough, the dentist may allow you to take it home to show your family and for you to consider quietly at home.
Creating a mock-up is not possible for all patients.
If your teeth need to be modified before the dentist and his technician can make a prosthesis, the process of making a mock-up must be delayed. It cannot be used during the diagnostic stages. In these situations, a mock-up can be created at the provisional stage, before the final construction work begins.
Remember, the mock-up process is not the final result. You may be happy with the first mock-up, or you may dislike it. The mock-up procedure lets you and the dentist evaluate ideas and eliminate problems before making permanent changes. The process can be repeated until you find the smile you desire.
Sometimes, the mock-up helps you reach a different decision. You may decide you want to pursue orthodontic treatment instead of cosmetic treatment. Some patients even decide they prefer their current smile and choose to stick with it.
Using a mock-up helps the dentist to give you a beautiful new smile. When everything is done properly you end up with a fantastic new smile. The pictures below illustrate how dramatic the changes can be, showing the original teeth, the mock-up design, and the final smile created with veneers or crowns