Five Types of Dental Burs and When to Use Them
There’s a lot of different types of dental burs on the market, and each one offers specific advantages. Some function better in certain capacities, but making the correct choices are essential for the economic success of your practice.
We’ve examined five kinds of dental burs, and provided information to help you make the right choices when selecting one for your dental or orthodontic practice.
The article and infographic below show the dental burs’ names. Prefer a download? Here’s the printable PDF of the 5 Types of Dental Burs.
1. Diamond burs
Advantages of using diamond dental burs:
Diamond burs enable faster and smoother cutting, and are needed when a cut requires extreme precision. Diamond burs with a finer grit can create a higher polish, and are therefore more appropriate for precise work instead of removing large pieces of material.
When purchasing a diamond dental bur, remember that natural diamonds will last longer than their man-made counterparts.
Use diamond burs for: Cutting through porcelain, polishing.
2. Carbide burs
Advantages of using carbide dental burs:
Carbide burs leave a smoother surface than diamond burs. Carbide burs also have less vibration and “chatter” than other types. Because these burs have the ability to withstand high temperatures, they maintain their edge for much longer than other burs.
These burs can also be used on a wide variety of materials, such as gold, silver and acrylics. In addition, they last a long time without chipping or breaking.
Use carbides for: Preparing cavities for fillings, shaping bone, removing old fillings.
What Are the Main Differences Between Carbide Burs and Diamond Burs?
Both carbide and diamond burs are instrumental parts of your dental practice, and necessary tools that you need to be successful. While they both have their strengths, it’s important to realize their differences so you can easily choose which would be more appropriate.
Each of these burs operates differently. With diamond burs, you grind down the tooth, which leaves a rough surface. As a result, you have to polish it later. Carbides, on the other hand, are ideal for slicing away very small pieces of the tooth. This is because carbide burs have small blades.
Carbides may tend to have difficulty with cutting through lithium disilicate or Zirconia. Since a diamond is one of the hardest materials on earth, they are ideal for tackling any surface that carbide burs can’t handle. Diamond burs are especially good at cutting through enamel and bone.
However, diamond burs have difficulty with metals. If you try to use a diamond bur on metals, it may overheat and become dull. A carbide bur would be a better choice.
3. Ceramic burs
Advantages of using ceramic burs:
Ceramic doesn’t conduct as much heat as other types of dental burs, making it easier to maintain the integrity of any acrylic pieces that are being adjusted. This also makes it a good choice for adjusting thermoplastics. Cooler cutting also reduces the risks of burns when changing burs.
Use ceramic burs: Adjusting acrylic pieces.
4. Steel burs
Advantages of using steel burs:
High speed steel burs offer abrasion resistance and good edge retention when combined with wear-resistant carbides. They’re also lower maintenance and very flexible. However, these burs tend to chip and dull more easily than other dental burs.
Use steel burs for: Removing dentin, cavity preparation.
5. Zirconia-Cutting Burs
Advantages of zirconia-cutting burs:
More and more patients have zirconia for higher performance. Its strength makes it a perfect choice for crowns and bridges.
However, this also presents a special challenge when they need adjustments. This is why you need a specialized cutting tool that has both durability and efficiency. This is what we had in mind when we created our Z-rex diamond burs.
Use these burs for:
These burs are perfect for adjusting trepan or removing any ceramic restorations. With their revolutionary ERA bonding, they create a shortened procedure time, which means you can see more patients, equaling greater profitability.
6. BONUS! Cross Cut Burs
These can streamline and increase your cutting efficiency. With reduced chatter, they also resist friction and clogging.
Use these burs for:
Crown removal or removing crowns. May also be used for improving the retention in composite preparations. Also useful in extraction.
Veterinarians can also use these to remove tooth roots and section teeth in cats. It’s particularly useful during extractions on small cats. It is ideal for mesial and distal bone removal in all cats.
Check Out Our Top 5 Most Popular Shaped Burs and Carbides
At Diatech, we have the complete inventory of every tool you’ll need for your dental, orthodontic or veterinary practice. In fact, we’d like to share our top five most popular burs, carbides and shapes.
Selecting the Right Dental Bur for Your Practice Is an Important Part of Your Success
At Diatech, we pride ourselves in making the highest-quality burs, specializing in natural gold diamond burs and an extensive variety of carbide burs. Have questions or aren’t sure what you need? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help.