How many different types of dental burs are there? That is a difficult question to answer because burs are made up of hundreds of varieties which are constantly increasing in quantity each year.
Many times, due to simple lack of knowledge or research, both the most advanced dental professionals and beginners may miss out on models that would significantly facilitate their dental clinic and laboratory work.
At Dentaltix, we understand the confusion that may arise when purchasing such products online, which is why we have created a category of dental burs to help you choose the one that best suits your needs without losing yourself in doubt.
In the 80's, the main international dental institutions decided to unify burs under a common nomenclature and a universal classification, such that they are now included in the ADA specifications nº.23 and ISO standards.
The first and simplest classification is according to the type of rotary instrument to be used:
- Burs for TURBINE (High Rotation) or FG (Friction Grip):
They are the smaller ones and are to be used with high-speed dental turbines. They have a handle diameter of 1.6mm and a free end. The length of the handle is defined by the ISOs starting with 3XX (the final length may vary according to the type and effective cutting method). On our website, we have a wide selection of both diamond and tungsten ones.
- Dental burs for ANGLE (CA) o RA (Right Angle):
Intermediate size for use with low/medium speed dental contra-angle handpieces. With a handle diameter of 2.35mm and a notch at the end of the handle that fixes them to the instrument head and easily distinguishes them from the rest. The length of the handle is defined by these ISO always starting with 2XX (the final length may vary according to the type and cutting method). We also have both diamond and tungsten contra-angle handpieces available.
- Dental burs for HAND PART or HP (Hand Piece):
These are larger ones for use with handpieces in both the clinic and laboratory, and with a shank diameter of 2.35mm. The shank length is defined by these ISO starting with 1XX (the final length may vary according to the type and form of cutting). Again, we have a very large selection of laboratory burs where you may find such burs.
Another classification can be made according to the type of material:
- Tungsten Carbide (ISO 500):
A substitute to the previously all-steel burs, the heads of these burs are made of alloy which improves and reinforces their physical properties. Tungsten carbide burs according to ISO standard are distinguished by the ISO 500 numbering.
- Diamond (ISO 806)
This variant provides high quality and precise burs thanks to the incorporation of multiple layers of carbon powder (diamond) in its working part by means of galvanizing techniques.
Diamond burs, according to the ISO standard, are distinguished by the ISO 806 numbering.
It is also possible to classify them according to their shape, and surely, this is the most defining and unique part for each type of dental bur. Initially, they would simply be named according to their silhouette with the well-known "spear", "rugby ball" or "inverted cone" among others that have somewhat maintained their legacy.
Following the ISO standardization norm effectuated by the great majority of brands, we can find each shaped numbered according to the following:
Another way of classifying dental burs is according to their grit size: The same bur with the same shape, may have different grit thicknesses depending on the processing requirements. They can be distinguished, on top of the ISO numbering, by the specific colouring found around the bur's neck. Thus, from coarser to finer grit, we find the granulation of burs.
You can see an example of the different colors for the same ball dental bur, which is possible to use for the cleaning of caries with its coarsest grit or for the polishing of contours with its finest one.
In addition to this, we can also classify burs according to the diameter of their heads.
Specifying the size of the bur's head helps us differentiate sizes within the same shape models. Taking as an example the ball bur (ISO.001 shape), we may find the smallest ISO.009 size, ideal for detailed work such as cleaning incipient caries points, as well as much larger diameters for use in prostheses or surgery.
After reviewing these standardized regulations we can get a good idea of the way this functions using the typical ball end mill as an example; which today, at the expense of other brands, should actually be named: 806,314,001,524,016.
After considering this guide, we at Dentaltix hope that it will be of great help and make it easier for you to buy dental burs. Some time ago, we wrote a more basic article about dental burs, which may also provide you with some help while picking the ideal dental bur.
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