The last two posts have focused on utilizing shell provisionals during the restoration of an entire arch of teeth. A critical step in the fabrication of any provisional is trimming to perfect the marginal fit and create the proper embrasure form and emergence profiles. Once the provisional has been trimmed the final polish not only creates the esthetics but a smooth surface that optimizes tissue health. For many years I trimmed my provisionals with carbide burs in a straight handpiece.
I admit that one thing I am picky about as a dentist is the cutting quality of a bur or diamond when I pick it up. I hate reaching over and seeing that there is “gunk” in the surface texture of the diamond, or worse using it and having to push it through the tooth because it is dull. With this in mind I thought I would check out the idea of single use diamonds. The concept behind single use diamonds is that you will never start a procedure with a dull bur.
So I’ll admit that until today I thought it was strange when people said they used carbide burs instead of diamonds to cut their crown preparations. Recently while looking through a catalog from one of the major bur companies I flipped to the page that has the carbide burs designed for crown and bridge. I got curious enough to call the manufacturer and today I had my first opportunity to use them.
I ordered three burs that are identical to the three diamonds I commonly use, an 018 and 016 rounded shoulder and a football for the lingual of anteriors. At first it felt strange, as the force needed and the cutting resistance weren’t what I have felt for 22 years. After one or two teeth I switched back to my diamonds and was shocked at how rough the surface appeared in comparison and how cumbersome they felt in my hand.