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Complete Guide to Buying Dental Burs 



What are Dental Burs?

Dental burs are crucial to your dental health every time you visit the dentist. These rotary tools are attached to a handpiece and used to shape and cut teeth and even polish the hard tissues of the mouth. With three main parts to their construction— the head, neck, and shank—each component is specifically designed to perform a different function. The blades or grits are located in the head and used to cut or grind the materials. The head can be made of anything, from gold to diamonds, and is chosen per the requirement of the job.

What are the types of dental burs, and when to use them?

For any dental procedure, dentists may choose from various dental burs to help transform and reshape teeth. The options include diamond, carbide, steel, ceramic, and cross-cut tapered fissure burs. Each of these burs has unique properties and slight variations in design that make them suitable for different types of dental work. Some may be better suited to more complex procedures, while others offer better precision and accuracy. Selection of the correct bur is critical for achieving optimal results, and dentists use their knowledge and experience to choose the right tool for each patient and their unique needs.

Diamond Burs- Precision is critical in any dental procedure, and diamond burs offer just that. With a stainless steel body bonded with diamond powder, they come in various grit sizes. These burs are perfect for grinding away hard tissues like enamel and bone, allowing dentists to shape and place crowns or veneers accurately. Whether to cut through Zirconia, grind porcelain, or grind down tooth structures, diamond burs provide faster and smoother cutting than any other tool. They make the cutting process efficient and effective, fulfilling the demands of any dental procedure that requires extreme precision.

Carbide Burs- These burs are made from tungsten carbide, a material that is three times stronger than steel and can withstand exceedingly high temperatures. A remarkable feature of carbide dental burs is their ability to maintain their edge over time, allowing them to be used for more extended periods than other burs. These are perfect for tasks like bone shaping, cavity excavation, and removing impacted teeth. The use of blades enables carbide burs to reduce vibration and patient discomfort during the procedure. These burs offer a smoother surface than diamond burs and can cut through metals.

Steel Burs- When wear-resistant carbides are added to steel, these burs offer unparalleled abrasion resistance and edge retention. Furthermore, steel burs are lower maintenance than other options, requiring less sharpening and upkeep in the long run. What sets steel burs apart, however, is their flexibility.

Ceramic Burs- Ceramic burs are an excellent choice for adjusting acrylic pieces or thermoplastics because they don’t conduct as much heat as other materials. This prevents potential damage to the integrity of the piece being worked on and ensures a smoother process. Another bonus of ceramic burs is their cooler cutting, significantly reducing the burn risks when changing burs.

Cross-Cut Tapered Fissure Burs- Cross-Cut Tapered Fissure Burs are tools that can streamline and significantly increase your cutting efficiency. These innovative burs reduce chatter, resist friction, and prevent clogging to ensure a smooth and productive experience. They are ideal for crown removal and improving retention in composite preparations and are helpful for extractions.

What is the difference between Carbide & Diamond Bur?

When it comes to dental procedures, using the right tool can make a difference. Each type of bur operates differently and serves a specific purpose.

  • Diamond burs are perfect for grinding down teeth but leave a rough surface that requires polishing.

Carbide burs are ideal for slicing away small pieces of the tooth and leaving a smooth surface, as their tiny blades allow precise cutting.

  • Diamond burs are excellent for cutting through enamel and bone due to their incredible strength.

However, carbides may struggle to cut through certain materials, such as lithium disilicate or Zirconia.

  • Diamond burs are ineffective in cutting through metals due to overheating and eventually losing their edge.

Carbide burs can withstand extreme temperatures and hence, cut through metals.

It’s vital to know which type of bur to use for each application to ensure the best results for your dental patients.

What do the Numbers on Dental burs mean?

Dental burs come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate different procedures. However, with a standardized numbering system, knowing which bur to use could become more evident. In 1979, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created a globally accepted numbering system for dental burs, bringing consistency and clarity to manufacturers worldwide. The classification includes specific identifiers for the parts of the bur, such as the shank, head, and neck, allowing for easy identification and use.

With the new ISO classification, burs are now coded with a 15-digit number which is further broken down into five segments of three digits each. It reflects specific classification features, enabling a more precise and organized system and improving dental practices worldwide.

First 3-digit set of numbers – Material of the burs

Second 3-digit set of numbers – Diameter of the shank and speed and function of the bur

Third 3-digit set of numbers – Shape of the bur head

Fourth 3-digit set of numbers – Size of the Grit

Last 3-digit set of numbers – Maximum diameter of the head of the bur

What do the colors on Dental burs mean?

The colored rings found on the neck of each bur hold valuable information about the coarseness of the bur’s grain. These rings are standardized by the ISO, which has established a universal system of color coding. The most common colors for burs are white, yellow, red, blue, green, and black. Each of these colors represents a different coarseness of the grain, ranging from super fine to super coarse. With the help of these colored rings, dental professionals ensure that they choose the right bur for the task at hand, offering superior treatment.

What do HA, FG, and RA mean in Dental Burs?

There are different types of burs to fit the needs of different dental procedures. One such type is the HP or handpiece bur, which has a larger, longer, straight shank with a diameter of 2.35mm. These burs are typically used on slow-speed handpieces and are especially effective for surgical procedures and the reduction of smaller cheek teeth.

On the other hand, FG or friction grip burs are made for high-speed handpieces and have a smooth shaft with a diameter of approximately 1.6mm.

Finally, RA or right-angle burs are designed to fit low-speed contra-angle handpieces. With a shaft diameter of 2.35mm and the same shapes as FG shanks, these burs offer versatility for dental professionals.

Choose Optimus Dental Supply for the Best Dental Burs

Optimus Dental Supply is dedicated to providing exceptional dental products and services to every customer in the industry. With over 2 decades of dental practice and entrepreneurial experience, we have the expertise to offer a comprehensive selection of Dental Burs that cater to different preferences and purposes. Our burs come in various shapes and sizes to meet the specific needs of every dental professional. At Optimus Dental Supply, we are committed to offering the best value to our customers. With competitive pricing and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our products and services, you can be confident that you are getting the best. Our knowledgeable staff will assist you in finding the best bur that suits your requirements. Trust us to support your dental practice by investing in our high-quality dental products.

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