Diamond burs are a staple tool for many dentists, used for a wide range of clinical procedures from cutting away hard tissues to polishing the final restoration. There are an extensive number of diamond burs available in a variety of shapes, sizes and coarseness. Selection of a particular bur for a specific procedure is often based on factors such as the shape of the cavity, the clinical condition to be treated and the substrate to be cut and removed. The choice of a diamond bur can also be influenced by the ease of sterilisation and disposal.

The use of a sintered diamond bur in dentistry is growing, with the benefits including increased durability, superior cutting action and reduced friction. The unique combination of high purity and toughness of the diamond results in a bur with a long lifetime which can outlast standard plated lapidary points by up to 5 times.

A sintered diamond bur is a multi-layered abrasive instrument which consists of graded abrasives embedded in a thick durable binder. The diamond head is fully sintered to the mandrel resulting in a strong durable bur with a consistent sharp and effective cutting edge.

These sintered diamond burs are ideal for cutting & shaping Zirconia, Alumina Oxide and other hard ceramic materials as well as gemstones and jewellery. They are a popular choice for many dental laboratories, jewellery and lapidary.

The in vitro wear test compared the performance of the diamond versus two different tungsten carbide (WC-Co) dental burs on sintered zirconia. All three burs were tested at a rotational speed of 200,000-400,000 rpm using a custom made test rig. The test results showed the diamond burs outlasted both WC-Co and zirconia-cutting tungsten carbide burs. However, all three burs demonstrated a decrease in the cutting efficiency over time.

The results from this in vitro study are similar to previous studies that have shown that abrasive tools can wear down and lose their effectiveness over time. The reasons for this are complex and include abrasive particle size and distribution, sterilization and disinfection protocols, storage conditions, corrosion and multiple uses. In addition, the hardness of the substrate that is being cut can also impact on the life of a bur.

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