Apr 18, 2019
Dental Student
I’m in my first year of dentistry, and while I can cope with the ridiculous amount of theoretical classes, the practical aspect of dental anatomy is driving me crazy. I’m talking mainly about wax and soap carvings into teeth. I have a midterm in about 2 weeks and considering I have extremely poor hand skills, it’s really making me stressed.

Has anybody gone through this? It's so frustrating that I'm so poor at carvings :cryi:


Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2005
Hi there,

Probably every dental student feels the same at some point while taking the Morphology class. My suggestion is to right down the anatomical features and required reductions in all aspects of the tooth on a piece of paper under each surface's name and have it by your side during carving. In addition, imagine the finished tooth as you carve. It helped me back in the day, and although I may have not perfected my carving to the maximum extent by the end of the semester but it greatly improved compared to day one of the class.

Good luck.


10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2007
Wax carving is the hazing portion of dentistry. The old timers get to belittle the new guys, no matter the talent of the new guy. It's all part of the game. Here is a story to prove my point.

In my class we had a guy that was not only a dental lab tech but a lab tech school instructor proir to getting into DS. When we were doing the wax carving lab work he go a C-!!!!! His looked way better than mine and I got a C. Go figure.


2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2015
Wax ups during D1 are rough. Try to think like a sculptor in the sense that it is subtractive vs additive. Build it up big and carve it down, don’t try to add features like marginal ridges, but focus on the pits, fissures, grooves, fossae. Your marginal and transverse ridges will appear.
Look at the cast from ALL sides. Look at the contralateral tooth. Make sure your emergence profile is in line with the rest of the arch. Remember it’s thinnest at the cervical. Polish the wax gently with a face mask.
As much of a pain it is, it is very important in your education and it will make learning occlusion and articulation easier. If you’re not too uncomfortable, post a picture so we can provide constructive feedback. Don’t be embarrassed, I’ve made some wax ups first year that we’re downright offensive. Don’t worry, you’ll get through it.