1725 South New Hope Road
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054

Artistry = Best Dentistry


The Lost Art of Waxing

Tanum and Leigh Ann With Jason

This week my team was blessed to welcome our talented laboratory technicians from Precision Dental Arts in Twin Falls, Idaho. Together with a few close colleagues and my clinical and laboratory assistants, Leigh Ann and Tanum. We spend the day learning about Full Contour Dental Waxing from Jason Boyse.

Creating teeth from wax is the first thing a dental student learns. At UNC, I spent six hours a week for the first year of school in a lab waxing teeth over a stone model of a mouth. With a sore neck, wax melted into my pants, and burns on my finger tips from hot instruments and wax carvers I would shape little wax crowns and veneers and wait in line for my instructors to evaluate them. It was not uncommon to finish a tooth perfectly, perhaps better than the instructing dentist was capable of, only to have him crush the delicate form between his fingers and say, “almost”. This miserable Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi-like experience taught me the intricacies of dental anatomy, function and the importance of detail.


Dr. Will Kelly, DDS

Waxing has always been critical to the production process of dentistry. The traditional way crowns have been made is investing a waxed pattern of the restoration, burning it out and casting gold into its form. Today, beautiful and durable molten ceramic is similarly pressed into investments of these waxed teeth. Unfortunately, with the advent of digital dentistry, the art of waxing is being lost. Teeth can be designed in digital environment and milled. Yes, my practice depends onthis technology daily. It produces a nice precise fitting restoration-- but we value teeth designed at the wax level for a degree of artistry that a computer can not create. When we want front teeth to have a shape and texture that mimics nature and is absolutely beautiful it takes an artist and this process. For back teeth restorations  to not only touch correctly, but have the level of contour and anatomy to function and feel like real teeth they need to be waxed by a knowledgeable master.


Jason Boyse with Dr. Kelly and his ColleaguesJason Boyse is truly an artist and a master of full contour waxing, dental anatomy, and smile design. Watching Jason’s hands at work is a rare treat. He can make teeth grow out of wax the way God designed them to develop in our bodies. With my team and a few close friends, I had a great day of hands on learning improving the way we shape teeth with Jason’s advice. Having the opportunity to learn more from Jason’s talent will be reflected in our dentistry in many ways. Our assistants’ temporaries will become even better and my discussion and ability to bring excellent smile design to my patients from our lab with be even richer. From Jason’s wax-ups we can mockup smile design in the patient’s mouth to try the look and feel of their future restorations. Ultimately, combining good planning and artistry makes better dentistry. We are blessed to have an exceptionally talented team.


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American Dental Association           American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry            Pankey Institute Alumni