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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 691-692
Tooth carving: A response

Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College and Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

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Date of Web Publication19-Feb-2013

How to cite this article:
Patil PG. Tooth carving: A response. Indian J Dent Res 2012;23:691-2

How to cite this URL:
Patil PG. Tooth carving: A response. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Oct 1];23:691-2. Available from:

I have recently gone through Dr. PK Baskar's letter to the editor entitled 'Tooth carving'. [1] I am surprised as to why Dr. Baskar feels that the subject of tooth carving can be safely discarded from the syllabus of Bachelor of Dental Surgery course. He explained the logic behind his thoughts that medical students need not have to practice carving organs with wax, and why it should be different for students of dentistry. My logic says that the students in dentistry have to carve the tooth directly in a patient's mouth in the form of various direct restorative procedures, which include amalgam restorations, posterior composite restorations, direct filling gold restorations, anterior direct composite restorations, direct composite laminate veneers, and so on. Even for the indirect or castable restorations, (such as posterior metal or porcelain inlays, onlays or crowns, anterior ceramic crowns, or laminates), a dentist has to carve the wax pattern. Also for the metal ceramic or all ceramic crowns and bridges, the dentist has to literally build-up and carve the external tooth form. Although the indirect restorations are fabricated in the laboratory and the dentist may not directly be involved in the carving process of wax patterns or ceramic build-ups, the final adjustments ultimately have to be carried out by the dentist himself. So the three-dimensional architecture or anatomy of each and every tooth (at least of crown portion) can only be oriented by learning wax carvings in his initial period of curriculum. I myself learned most of the tooth anatomy during my tooth-carving practicals in second year BDS, which I never forgot till date. If a dentist has not carved a tooth in his student life, how can he/she build the composite restoration in a patient's mouth? Even a single millimeter of a high-point in a faulty restoration (direct or indirect) can lead a patient into more detrimental temporomandibular joint disorders. How does the practice of tooth carving convert dentistry from being a biological science into a mechanical science? Although Sir. Herald Gillies, the world-famous plastic surgeon, said, "I cannot draw beautiful noses but I can make them." I, being a prosthodontist would say "I carve the nose to make the nose; I carve the ear to make the ear". [2],[3]

   References Top

1.Baskar PK. Tooth carving. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:130.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Gurbuz A, Kalkan M, Ozturk AN, Eskitascioglu G. Nasal prosthesis rehabilitation: A case report. Quintessence Int 2004;35:655-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Patil PG, Tagore M, Jaiswal N, Puri SB. Self retentive partial silicone auricular prosthesis: A case report. Eur J Prosthodont Restor Dent 2012;20:77-80.  Back to cited text no. 3

Correspondence Address:
Pravinkumar G Patil
Department of Prosthodontics, Government Dental College and Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.107462

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