The initial stages of denture fabrication required softening and manipulation of baseplate and set-up wax. An alcohol torch was used to soften and smooth the wax. A Bunsen burner was used to heat the spatula for easier carving of the wax. The softened wax was: 1) used to make the denture base plate, 2) carved to imitate realistic gingival (gum) features and contours around the teeth, and 3) otherwise worked to allow the placement and adjustments needed to align denture teeth along the wax rim.
Shown here are several heating devices, and other material, used by dentists when making a denture wax-up, including base plate wax, set-up wax, wax spatulas, alcohol torches, and Bunsen burners and warmers.
Tylman, S.D. and Tylman, S.G. 1960 Theory and Practice of Crown and Bridge Prosthodontics, Mosby Publshing.