Home » Identifying the 5 Types of Dental Burs and Knowing the ISO Code

Identifying the 5 Types of Dental Burs and Knowing the ISO Code

by Melissa Bell
3 minutes read

To make the process of finding what you’re looking for faster and easier, we went more in-depth about the classifications of the different types of dental burs.

Starting by considering the five factors that the ISO classification takes into account will help you recognize all you need to know about dental burs:

1. Differentiating dental burs based on their material

A dental bur’s composition is crucial to consider. Formerly, they were made of steel, but modern materials offer better cutting qualities and durability. There are two major types:

  • The Tungsten operative carbides dental burs are replacing the old steel burs in the dental industry. Due to its outstanding wear-resistant properties, tungsten carbide is highly efficient and three times more rigid than steel.
  • Dental burs made of diamonds are the hardest materials known to man, making them the material of interest when it comes to wearing down, the strongest tissue in the body: tooth enamel. Natural or synthetic diamond powder coats the active part of diamond burs. There are fewer natural diamond burs available commercially than synthetic ones, so it is uncommon to find them.

Typically, natural diamond manufacturers emphasize this characteristic since it contributes to the burs’ greater efficiency, quality, and durability. Natural diamond burrs are, of course, more expensive than synthetic diamond burrs.

dental dentist tooth

2. Classifying dental burs by their shanks

It is the second simplest classification, and the three types differ in size, speed, and function. There are:

  • Dental burs with turbine functions are undoubtedly the fastest rotary instruments available. It has an exposed end and a diameter of 1.6 mm. High rotation bursts are also called high-speed bursts or friction grip bursts (FG bursts). Furthermore, according to their shank length, friction grips are also known as FGM (Friction Grip Mini) or FGL (Friction Grip Long).
  • Contra-angle dental burs: Their diameter is 2.35 mm, and their non-active ends are notch. Low-speed bursts can also be called RA burs (Right Angle) or CA burs.
  • Burs for handpieces. It also has a 2.35 mm shank diameter, but it is much longer than the contra-angle burs. A straight dental handpiece bur is also referred to as an HP bur.

3. Differentiating dental burs based on their shape

They’re everywhere! Many of them are named after objects we’re familiar with. Examples include:

  • Perhaps the most common bur is the ball bur. It is used to create grooves for prosthetics and open cavities in dental surgery. After pulpotomy, they can also open and shape the pulp chamber.
  • A cylindrical bur is designed for use with a flat, round, or pointed tip. Ceramic crown preparations often require the use of a flat-tipped cylindrical bur.
  • There are flat-tipped and rounded conical burs. For example, chamfering and counter chamfering the finishing line are among the uses of this tool.
  • The inverted cone burst is widely used in dental surgery, among other things, for opening cavities or creating retentions (undercuts). It is also used to create occlusal surfaces.
  • In dentistry or prosthetics, flame burs are ideal for delicately defining the proximal or buccolingual walls.
  • Wheel Bur: Used to make deep cuts, mechanical retentions, and occlusal shapes.

4. Determining the grit size of dental burs

Dentists use dental burs of varying grit sizes to determine how aggressively they can erode their patients’ teeth. A color ring around the neck of the bur determines the coarseness of the grain. ISO standardizes this coding, and the most common colors are:

  • White: Superfine
  • Yellow: Extra fine
  • Red: Fine
  • Blue: Standard
  • Green: Coarse
  • Black: Super Coarse

5. Dental burs classified according to head diameter

Dental burs can be categorized in this manner. The diameter of the bur’s active part determines its size, and there are a great number of sizes to choose from.

After knowing these five classifications of dental burs, it should be fairly easy to understand ISO coding. As a result, we can choose dental burs from different manufacturers speaking the same language.

Related Articles