Bur Choice When Removing Zirconia Restorations

Francis L. Keeling, Robert M. Taft, Stephan J. Haney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Removal of zirconia restorations can be challenging and time consuming, requiring dental burs with optimal cutting efficiency to minimize iatrogenic complications. Yet, there are very few burs marketed for this purpose and little evidence of their comparative benefit. This study evaluated one specialized bur and compared its cutting efficiency with three general-purpose burs (one single use and two multiple uses). Materials and methods: This study was designed to assess the cutting efficiency of 4 burs on a high-strength zirconia substrate. One of these burs is a multiple-use bur marketed for high-strength ceramics (Komet 4ZR), another is a single-use general-purpose bur (Piranha 837.012 coarse), and two are multiple-use general-purpose burs (Brassler 6837.31.012C coarse and Komet 6837.314.012 coarse). The cutting efficiency of each bur was determined by measuring the time taken to perform serial 2 mm cuts into a block of zirconia. Ten burs in each group were tested with repeated cuts until the time taken for a 2 mm cut was twice that of the first 2 mm cut (50% loss of efficiency). This study was performed under reproducible conditions using a custom-designed and fabricated rig assembly. Results: The results demonstrated a statistically significant difference in the cutting efficiency between bur types. The single-use general-purpose bur (Piranha 837.012) was the most efficient for all cut numbers p <2.2 × 10–16. The performance of all burs decreased with each cut, with cutting efficiency dependent on time point/cut number (p = 0.02). The rate of deterioration varied between burs, but this difference was not sufficient to be statistically significant. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that a single-use bur is more efficient than 3 multiple-use burs. The cutting efficiency of a single-use general-purpose bur (Piranha 837.012 coarse) on Cerec Zirconia Mono L was statistically superior to that of multiple patient use burs in this study, including one marketed for use on high-strength ceramics. Because single-use burs are comparatively inexpensive and require no sterilization, they should be strongly considered for the removal of zirconia restorations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Prosthodontics
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Single use
  • ceramic
  • crown removal
  • cutting efficiency
  • drill
  • high-strength ceramics
  • implant prosthetics
  • multiple use
  • prostheses
  • sectioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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