How to Scan Wax Rims

This article and videos review the steps for:

  1. Preparing a wax rim to be scanned
  2. How to scan a wax rim

Preparing a Wax Rim: Steps Before Scanning


  1. Use 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 serves as the impression tray for border molding.
  2. Confirm the VDO proposed with the wax rim. Adjust the vertical height as needed before proceeding.
  3. 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
  4. Carve notches into the occlusal surface of the wax rim. This creates space for bite registration material to record an accurate, repeatable bite.
  5. 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.

Scanning a Wax Rim: 360° Scanning Technique


The scan of a wax rim is complete in three phases. First, you will scan the entire cameo (wax-sided) side of the wax rim. Then, you will scan the entire border. Lastly, you will scan the intaglio surface.

  1. Extraorally, turn on the scanner over the occlusal surface of the wax rim. Glide the scanner across the entire occlusal surface.
  2. Proceed to scanning the entire buccal surface of the wax rim after scanning the occlusal surface.
  3. Proceed to scanning the entire lingual surface of the wax rim.
  4. To scan the rest of the palatal region, bring the scanner to site #8 and #9. Sweep the scanner back and forth, capturing the palatal region. Continue until reaching the posterior border of the appliance.
  5. Turn off the scanner. This allows the image to process.
  6. Turn on the scanner over the buccal surface. Slowly roll the scanner over the border towards the intaglio surface. Perform this rolling motion from buccal-to-intaglio border to capture the entire circumference of the wax rim's border.
  7. Capture the palatal region of the intaglio surface.
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