A dental bur is a specialized drill bit used in dentistry. It is inserted into a dental drill and used to remove damaged material from a patient's tooth to prepare it for filling. There are some special needs that must be addressed in the design and manufacture of dental burs, including concerns about infection control, patient comfort, and efficiency. Numerous companies make dental burs and other dental accessories, providing them through catalogs and specialty suppliers.
A dental bur is a piece of dental equipment used by dentists to drill holes in the teeth of their patients. The dental bur is only part of a larger set up - the dental drill. Basically, the bur is the drill bit that does the actually cutting or drilling action.
There are many kinds of dental burs, and they are actually quite specialized. A dentist will have a whole set of dental burs, each piece having a specific function. While each type of dental bur may have unique properties, they all have the same basic parts. There is the head, the neck, and the shank. It is the shank that is used to connect to the dental drill, while the head is the “blade” which cuts into the teeth.
The typical dental bur includes a shank for insertion into the drill, a neck attached to the shank, and a head, containing the actual drilling bit. Bits are typically made with very strong metal alloys and may be coated with materials like industrial diamond and tungsten carbide. Teeth are extremely hard and durable, a trait usually desirable because it keeps the teeth healthy, but when they are drilled, a very powerful and sharp drill is needed to move through the teeth as efficiently and cleanly as possible.
Many dentists have a preferred dental bur brand, based on their experience with different products. Companies often provide samples to allow dentists to try their products, with the goal of enticing established dentists into switching loyalties, or getting new dentists interested in their products. The cost for burs varies. Disposable burs are less costly because they do not need to be designed with reuse in mind, while reusable burs can be more expensive, as they need to be able to withstand multiple uses, high heat associated with sterilization, and harsh chemicals used to remove infectious material.