WHAT IS BASEPLATE WAX (or Modelling Wax)?

A dental wax containing mostly wax, resin and different types of additives ; used chiefly to establish the initial arch form in making trial plates for the arrangement of artificial denture teeth, and for the construction of complete dentures.
Properties: Baseplate wax is composed mainly of paraffin and microcrystalline wax as well as resin and coloring matter that mixed together then casted into rectangles sheets. The sheets are red or pink, typically cut into 3 inches wide and 6 inches long (7.62 cm X 15.24 cm) for the North American Market and 8.41 cm wide X 17.15 cm long  (3 5/16 X 6 ¾ inches)for the European  market . Baseplate wax is relatively hard and slightly brittle at room temperature but becomes soft and pliable when heated. Baseplate waxes vary in their consistency and strength, as well as colour and price.

At the present time there are three classifications for base plate waxes:

Class 1 Soft

Class 2 Hard

Class 3 Extra Hard


The harder varieties are suitable for use in warm climates but tend to crack and flake at low temperatures. The softer series are suitable for use at low temperatures but may flow excessively at very high temperatures.Base plate Waxes are the relevant products for use in the dental laboratory.

Each manufacturer decides which categories their waxes conform to. This process ensures that they can supply waxes that meet the relevant industry standard, while maintaining different ranges in performance. Baseplate Wax Class 1 and 2 are the only relevant products for use in the dental laboratory.

The desirable properties of baseplate wax could be defined as follows:

  1. High strength and rigidity at mouth temperature.
  2. Broad softening range above mouth temperature.
  3. Easily pliable in its softened state, without flaking, cracking or tearing.
  4. Low thermal contraction.
  5. Easily carved at room temperature without flaking or chipping.
  6. Little change in properties on melting and re-solidification.
  7. No residue on boiling out.


Baseplate wax is a durable (usually pink) substance used mainly to fabricate occlusion rims for dental construction into which denture teeth are arranged (IE. holding artificial teeth to baseplates) before laboratory processing and during fabrication of the denture. Baseplate wax must be capable of holding porcelain or acrylic teeth in position both at normal room temperature and at mouth temperature.

Among its many functions, we find inlay patterning, boxing of impression, casting, establishing the arch form, establishing the level of occlusal plane, recording the maxillary mandibular relation, corrective impression, and bite registration.  All this for the initial modeling of, and later the fitting of trial dentures (try-ins) before the finished product is perfected.

Carmel Industries