Types of Dental Burs

Because there are more than 5,000 types of dental burs which differentiate themselves by their shape, size or the material they are made out of, this makes them one of the most abundant products in dental warehouse. For this reason, dental burs have a standard or ISO coding, which all manufacturers use in a similar way, and therefore making it a little easier for us to identify the exact bur needed. This coding is created taking into account different parameters of the dental burs, and which uniquely identify it. This coding is done as shown in the image above. As this is a topic for which there is a great deal of information available, we have completed this article as a guide to help you distinguish between all the different types of dental burs.

The coding of dental burs takes into account the following parameters in this very same order as a way to generate a unique numbering that corresponds to each bur:

  1. The material used for the head (diamond, tungsten carbide…)
  2. The handpiece with which they are compatible (turbine, counter-angle, handpiece…)
  3. The shape of the head
  4. The roughness or grain size of the head
  5. The diameter of the head at the widest point of the head

As explained, the head of the dental bur has a number associated with its shape. In the picture above you can see some of the most common bur shapes together with their numbering. Knowing this number can help you easily and rapidly identify which type of bur you might need.

The degree of roughness can often be identified by the colour of the dental bur. The roughness classification of dental burs is also standard, but is not reflected in all manufacturers or all types of burs. The classification for this is as follows:

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

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