Carbide Burs



George Freedman, DDS
Most dentists give very little thought to the tiny tools that are used so often in the clinical practice. Burs may often seem insignificant in size and cost with respect to other commonly used equipment and materials. They do, however, have a major impact on the efficiency of the dental practice and the eventual bottom line.
Burs cut through hard dental tissues and harder dental materials. A sharp, new bur makes tooth preparation virtually effortless for both patient and dentist. Dull, worn burs require more application torque and greater manual effort, cutting more slowly, and causing more patient discomfort. Rapid, efficient burs contribute to the smooth rhythm of the practice and improve the bottom line.
Single-use (disposable) burs are always sharp and cut tooth surfaces rapidly, predictably, and ergonomically, making the dental appointment more comfortable for the patient. Since they are disposed, there is no risk of cross-contamination for patients. Many disposable burs are less expensive in the end.
Reuseable (multiuse) burs are initially more expensive. Each subsequent use decreases the cost per use of the instrument, except that the staff time and material cost of presterilization and sterilization must be added to the equation. In fact, most practitioners find the per-use cost of reusable burs actually higher than that of disposable burs.
While bur prices vary greatly, the cost price is not always the best indicator of its utility in the practice. And the bur experience differs from dentist to dentist. The best method of evaluating a bur’s utility in a particular practice is to test drive it. Every practitioner can determine the specific value and utility of the bur within moments when using it in an actual clinical situation, inside a patient’s mouth. Once a good fit is determined, the practitioner should continue with that product, regardless of cost, until an even better instrument is found. The overall annual cost of all the burs used in a practice is a minimal part of the materials and supplies spent. Good bur choices, however, will positively impact productivity, patient perception and comfort, and dentist ergonomics.
Many dentists make a common supply-stocking mistake: too many bur shapes, sizes, and special-use items that are rarely, if ever, used. The simplest way to overcome this problem is to determine which burs have not been used in the past 12 months. Chances are that if they were not needed in the past year, they will not be needed in the next year either. In short, they are not necessary for the practice.
The practitioner can improve clinical efficiency by limiting the basic bur armamentarium, thereby increasing organization, decreasing costs, and di­minishing practice stress. The best person to determine the burs to be included in the limited armamentarium is the chairside assistant who can readily monitor which cutting instruments are used most often.


MultiPrep Fine Cross Cut Burs provide a unique multipurpose bur upgrade for rapid, precise, and easy cutting of metals, porcelain, composites, and natural dentition. There are 80% more crosscuts than other crosscut burs, and proprietary blade ge­ometry means high-cutting efficiency. Less force is required to achieve the same cutting rate of other burs. Chatter is greatly re­duced. Extremely smooth cutting is an added benefit. They are available in an extensive selection of shapes and sizes for most clinical needs. For more information, call (800) 989-8826.

CJM Engineering

Munce Discovery Bur 31-mm Shal­low Troughers and 34-mm Deep Troughers have stiff, narrow shafts with 6 round, color-coded carbide head sizes (Nos. 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, and 4) and the No. 6 Endodontic Car­iesectomy Bur. Indispensable for uncovering calcified canals and exposing separated instruments, the new, even narrower 0.7-mm shaft of the Nos. 1/4, 1/2, and 1 Troughers facilitates cement-line dissection around posts, post coreouts, and troughing without shaft impingement on deep exploratory walls. For more information, call (888) 256-0999 or visit the Web site

SS White Burs

Doctors who used to use 2 or 3 carbides to remove crowns reported using one Great White Gold Series carbide bur to remove 2 to 3 crowns. The faster cutting rate is experienced in amalgam, PFM, and all nonprecious metals, and doctors indicate this saves them 12 hours each year. These burs are ideal for quick removal of amalgam and modern-day composite materials. The burs are also the perfect instruments for any procedure requiring a plunge cut. The Great White 2 can help reduce the number of burs inventoried in any office. For more information, call (800) 535-2877.

DENTSPLY Tulsa Dental Specialties

The appropriately sized surgical length Endo Access Round Carbide Bur provides extended reach and improved vision for progressively moving the access preparation deeper and into the pulp chamber. When there is a narrow interocclusal space, the round bur may be used as a side-cutting instrument. For more information, call (800) 662-1202 or visit

Sabra Dental Products

These multiuse carbides are manufactured at an ISO9001 facility from the highest quality tungsten carbide. The line is available in FG, FG-SU, FG-SS, RA, RA-SU, and HP in 44.5, 51, 65, and 70 mm for Hall and Stryker J-Latch and Key style. They are also made in specialty size FG-SU-L (30 mm). Sabra burs are guaranteed to be sharper and cut better, reducing your chair time while increasing your profit. They are sold in 5-packs or bulk in any quantity. For more information, call (800) 888-4435 or visit


Johnson-Promident is one of the largest manufacturers of carbide burs and offers more than 300 different types of burs. The burs feature high-quality tungsten carbide tips that are braised onto the neck of a stainless steel shank. They are manufactured under strict tolerances and are crafted to resist wear, chipping, and breakage. All Johnson-Promident rotary instruments provide unbeatable value. For more information, call (800) 210-8945 or visit the Web site

Shofu Dental

Shofu Robot Carbides are ideal for cosmetic restorations with high-quality tungsten finishing heads on stainless steel shanks. With a multifluted design, these carbides are available in 2 types. Carbide Finishers, available in 10- and 12-blade designs, are ideal for the surface finish of all types of restorative materials. Carbide CTF Finishers, with 8, 16, or 30 blades, trim and finish cosmetic restorations near the gumline without damaging the subgingival tissue. For more information, call (800) 827-4638 or visit

Integra Miltex

These carbide burs are designed to provide maximum strength and reduce the risk of breakage. The shank of the bur is made out of stainless steel, and the cutting end is brazed to the neck of the instrument, minimizing the likelihood of breakage. The burs are available in regular carbide burs and trimming and finishing burs. Carbide burs are packaged in easy-to-peel single packs, 5-packs (handpiece burs only), 10-packs, and the popular clinic pack bag (100 per
package). For more information, call (866) 854-8300.

Premier Dental Products

The Premier Tri-Fissure HP Carbide Bur H2803-012HP is ideal for sculpting porcelain fissure anatomy prior to stain and glaze. It carves even the hardest ceramics. Additional offerings include Evian Perio burs for periodontal debridement and a variety of surgical length carbides. These burs are available through your authorized dealer in packages of 5 burs. For more information, call (888) 670-6100 or visit


Alpen Carbides offer a comprehensive line of one-piece carbides that cut faster, last longer, and eliminate brazed joint breakage and rusting. The majority of carbides sold today are based on 60-year old 2-piece construction. These carbides provide clinicians with a comprehensive line of advanced one-piece carbides. Alpen Carbides are available in a full line of metal cutting, operative, and trimming and finishing burs. In addition to friction grip shanks, many shapes are also available in short shank, right-angle latch, handpiece, and surgical lengths.

Alpen SteriX are presterilized carbide instruments, individually packaged, that offer an aseptic bur right out of the box, providing infection control and convenience. With the largest one-piece carbide offering on the market, Alpen SteriX burs are sold in packs of 10 and 50.

For more information, call (800) 221-3046 or visit

Meisinger USA

The new Twist Finishers will produce a smoother restoration than ever thought possible. The new twisted innovative design allows the bur to smooth composite, leaving behind fewer surface striations than traditional straight-fluted composite finishing burs. These burs come in 4 working lengths, along with a football shape (US No. 7408). Twist Finishers come in friction grip shanks and are offered in fine, extrafine, and ultrafine blade configurations. For more information, call (303) 268-5400.


RAZOR Sculpt Trimming and Finishing carbide burs’ unique cutting path of ac-curacy responds to a feather touch, leaving an exceptionally smooth surface. Optimized blade profiles incorporate rake and relief angles for a clean finish while clearing excess materials away quickly. The unique blade design cuts without gouging or striations often left by diamond instruments. These efficient carbide burs finish cool, reducing damage to tooth structure. The burs are available in familiar safe-end tapered, long flame, and football shapes. For more information, call (800) 346-3636 or visit


NeoBurr carbides are engineered for safety. Designed with optimal blade geometry, the carbides cut effectively with greater blade contact on the tooth surface for a faster, smoother, vibration-free performance. Single-piece construction on most shapes minimizes vibration for reduced subsurface tooth cracking. NeoBurr offers safety, convenience, affordability, and performance. For more information, call (800) 235-1863 or visit


Rigid manufacturing tolerances and a unique construction mean you can rely on EDGE CARBIDE BURS to perform, never varying in effectiveness or efficiency and never wearing out before they should. Where most manufacturers use carbide on the cutting portion only, both the cutting portion and the neck of these carbides are constructed of tungsten carbide, resulting in rigidity, concentricity, and cutting control. EDGE CARBIDE BURS are diamond-cut in small batches to maintain the tightest manufacturing tolerances and to ensure quality and consistency are maintained. For more information, call (800) 265-3444.

Komet USA

Engineered to reduce composite finishing procedures to just 2 steps from the conventional 3-step method, Q-Finisher carbide instruments feature innovative cross-cut toothing that provides optimal surface quality after a single step. The final step is then accomplished with an ultrafine finishing instrument. The carbides feature microscopically verifiable noncutting tips that ensure gentle finishing without damage to gingiva, and the special blade arrangement with an innovative rake angle provides smooth, precise operation. For more information, call (888) 566-3887.

Dental Savings Club

The KUT Carbide Burs are designed to cut both tooth structure and existing restorative materials quickly and ag-gressively. The carbides do not catch, grab, or stall in harder-to-cut materials such as semiprecious or precious crown metals or amalgam. The KUT Carbides’ unique blade geometry of-fers a very fast and efficient operative cutting process that creates minimal chatter, with a low initial cost. For more information, call (888) 768-1230 or visit

Diatech USA

These carbide burs provide (1) precision concentricity, (2) less vibration and chatter, (3) less likelihood of rusting, and (4) reduced chair and prep time. When you combine this with the superior instrument life, the re­sults are a substantial savings of both time and money. Diatech’s advanced quality-control process guarantees precision carbide burs and their clinical performance for your complete satisfaction. For more information, call (800) 222-1851.

Brasseler USA

Brasseler USA has been selling some of the highest-quality carbides direct to dental professionals for 37 years. Not only do Brasseler carbides cut fast and maintain sharpness, but they can be reused because of their unique construction of a medical grade stainless steel, which re­sists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. Brasseler has an extensive offering of operative, surgical, finishing, and lab carbide burs and is a well-established leader in carbide bur instrumentation. For more information, call (800) 841-4522 or visit the Web site