The Differences and Advantages of 5 Types of Dental Burs

dental burs

Choosing the correct dental burs for your practice is an important part of your success

There's a wide variety of dental burs on the market, with each one offering specific advantages. Some function better in certain capacities, and making the correct choice is an essential for the economic success of your practice.

We've examined five types of dental burs and provided information to help you make the right choice when selecting one for your dental or orthodontic practice.

dental burs

1. Diamond burs

Most often used for: Cutting through porcelain, polishing.

Advantages of diamond 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 bur, remember that natural diamonds will last longer than their man-made counterparts.

2. Carbide burs

Most often used for: Preparing cavities for fillings, shaping bone, removing old fillings.

Advantages of carbide burs:
These leave a smoother surface than diamond burs. Carbide burs also have less vibration and “chatter” than other types.

dental burs

3. Ceramic burs

Most often used for: Adjusting acrylic pieces.

Advantages of ceramic burs:
Ceramic doesn't conduct as much heat as other types of 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.

4. Steel burs

Most often used for: Removing dentin, cavity preparation.

Advantages of 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 burs.

dental burs

5. Different shapes

Each type of dental bur comes in a wide variety of shapes, each ones used for a specific purpose with certain advantages. Even if you choose the best material for your job, it may not be as effective if paired with an inefficient shape. Some of the most common shapes are round, pear and cross-cut tapered.

Pear burs are best suited for creating access points, preparing cavities and evening splitting roots of smaller teeth.

Round burs are used for cavity preparation and creating access points, but they can also create undercuts and channels for blades during a dental extraction.

Cross-cut tapered fissure burs are extremely efficient at cutting, which means there's less debris. As a result, they're perfect for reducing the height of crowns and sectioning teeth with multiple roots.