How to Prepare a Wax Rim or Denture for Scanning

Preparing a wax rim and/or an existing denture for a 360° extraoral scan is an important step in accurately capturing and transferring the intraoral anatomy, VDO, and aesthetics.

This article and video (wax rim example) will outline the preparation steps required. 


  • Use a light body or a combination of light body and heavy body to border mold and capture an impression of the patient's edentulous arch.
    • The wax rim and/or existing denture serve as the impression tray for border molding.
  • Place the wax rim and/or denture in the patient’s mouth, have the patient move lips and tongue side to side, and gently push down on the denture.
    • Let the denture sit while the impression material sets

Information Capture

If you are using a wax rim:

  • Confirm the VDO proposed with the wax rim.
    • Adjust the vertical height as needed before proceeding.
  • Make the following carving patterns on the buccal surface of the wax rim to mark:
    1. The midline
    2. The high smile line
    3. The canine lines
  • Carve notches into the occlusal surface of the wax rim. This creates space for bite registration material to record an accurate, repeatable bite.
  • Create additional markings/carvings (i.e. X's, +'s, etc.) on the occlusal and buccal sides of the wax rim.
    • These marks allow the scanner to understand its location when scanning. It also assists in stitching together data.
    • These marks also allow us to align the patient's bite once we begin our scans

If you are using an existing denture: 

  • Remove and trim off any excess impression material, especially on the occlusal surface.
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the existing denture to ensure fit and correct VDO.
    • If teeth are significantly worn down, use blue mousse to fill the bite on the occlusal surface to verify that the VDO is correct.


Now, the wax rim and/or existing denture is prepared to be scanned extraoral. Jump to our article on

Extraoral Denture Scan: 360° Scan Technique to learn more. 

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