Dental Applications

Burs Used in Dentistry

Dental Bur

Dentists and dental laboratory technicians use a variety of rotary instrument burs in both the dental office and the dental laboratory. The burs are manufactured to fit various handpieces and may be made from steel or carbide, or they may have diamond-coated tips. Burs come in many shapes, each of which is used for a different purpose. While dental burs are used to work on human teeth or bone, laboratory burs are used to work on acrylic materials, such as dentures and partials, or plaster, metal, or stone materials.

Abrasives also have a place in the dental office or dental laboratory. They may be mounted or unmounted and are made from silicon carbide, high-grade corundum or diamond grit. Abrasive discs are used to polish and smooth material, are flexible or rigid, and may be grit-coated on one or both sides. Diamond grit may be used as a coating or it may be embedded into the bur or disc. These are known as sintered diamond instruments.

Bur Applications in Dental Practices and Dental Laboratories

The following chart describes some of the various dental bur applications.

Excavating Bur round open cavity
remove carious tooth structure
open tooth for endodontics
pear open/extend cavity prep
remove dental decay
inverted cone remove caries
make retention prep undercuts
Preparation Bur fissure-plain or crosscut cylinder form cavity walls
place retention grooves in walls
fissure - tapered angle wall cavity preparation
amalgam removal
wheel form retention in preps
cylinder crown preparation
cylinder - end cutting crown shoulder preparation
diamond - many shapes crown prep tooth reduction
Inlay Bur cylinder restorations
wheel grooving
Surgical Bur many shapes cut tooth or bone structure
Finishing Bur many shapes smooth, trim, and finish restorations
Laboratory (Vulcanite) Bur cutters - many shapes cut acrylic, plaster, metal
wax-round milling
Abrasives mounted stones - many shapes polishing and smoothing
disc shape grinding and cutting
Polishers silicone - mounted or unmounted polishing