Diamond burs are the most commonly used dental tools for cutting and grinding tooth tissues. These dental tools are available in different shapes and grits for use in a variety of restorative procedures including dental restorations, soft tissue re-contouring, enameloplasting & odontoplasty, and general tooth preparation.
Unlike traditional carbide burs, sintered diamond burs are made from real diamond. These diamond burs are essentially made from a fine powder of natural diamond bonded to a metal backing which makes them much more durable than other dental burs and less likely to wear down quickly. Sintered diamond burs are also known to cut teeth more effectively and for longer periods of time than traditional carbide burs, especially when used on harder tooth structures like zirconia.
The most common use of sintered diamond burs is to grind away tooth enamel for the placement of porcelain restorative materials. Over time this action can create rough surfaces in the tooth, causing discomfort for the patient and reducing the lifespan of the bur. This is because the diamond head of a diamond bur will become worn down and clogged with debris, which reduces the cutting efficiency of the instrument.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the changing frequency of a diamond bur, including its machinability, sterilization and disinfection procedures, storage conditions, and multiple usage.10 Several studies have shown that the changing frequency of a diamond bur decreases with each clinical application.
To observe the varying effects of reusing a diamond bur, the researchers performed SEM and stereomicroscope imaging of machined tooth surfaces with various groups of zirconia and metal alloy specimens that had been subjected to prosthetic prepartions. They found that the machining ability of the diamond burs was compromised after five preparations, and that the surface roughness of the tooth was affected as well. They recommended that a diamond bur be changed after 5 or more preparations to maintain its cutting efficiency and prevent the wear of the tooth surface.
These SUVA sintered diamond carving burs come in pearl, bullet, and flame shape, and can be used in a rotary tool such as a Foredom or Dremel with a 3/32 in collet or on any flex shaft handpiece that accepts 3/32 in shanks. They are available in a variety of sizes, starting with coarse grits for bulk removal and pre-forming to finer grits for detail work. They are a great choice for the professional gem carver and will outlast electroplated diamond burs by 50 times or more!