The 101 for Dental Burs Maintenance

Dec 05, 2023Mr. Bur

Rotary Instrument Maintenance: The Best Guide for Dental Hygienist or Dental Assistant


  • When handling contaminated instruments, we should always wear a glove.

  • Pre-soak the burs for at least 10 minutes in a disinfectant solution intended for dental burs that contains a corrosion inhibitor to reduce diamond coating dulling.

  • Use a brush to clean the burs thoroughly if needed.

  • Rinse several times to remove the disinfection solution.

  • Dry the burs and store in a clean and moisture-free environment.

Cleaning with Ultrasonic

  • Burs can be ultrasonically cleaned by placing them in bur holders.

  • It is advised to run a general purpose cleaner for 5 minutes.

  • Rinse several times after cleaning.

  • Dry the burs and store in a clean and moisture-free environment.


  • Proper instrument sterilization is extremely important to eliminate infectious disease transmission among patients and employees.

  • Place the burs in sterilization bags.

  • Autoclave the burs at least 10 minutes at a temperature of 135°C.

  • Dry the burs and store in a clean and moisture-free environment.

  • Use a dry heat sterilizer for one hour at 170 °C (340 °F). This won't corrode or dull carbide bursts when used as directed by the manufacturer's instruction.

  • Cold sterilizing solutions should be avoided since they include oxidizing chemicals that could weaken carbide burs.

General Rotary Instrument Usage Tips

  • Only qualified dentists should use dental burs to ensure the safety of both the user and the patient.

  • Sterilize all burs before each use.

  • Burs should be replaced frequently to avoid using a dull, worn, or damaged bur on a patient. A dull or damaged bur could result in reduced efficiency and possible harm to the patient.

  • Never force a bur into the turbine.

  • Observe recommended speeds and air pressure. This is especially true for burs with a large head size or coarse/super coarse diamond grit size, as excessive speed can generate unwanted heat.

  • Do not put pressure on the bur when in use.

  • Don’t keep the bur still; constant movement will avoid burning of the bur.

  • Do not “extend” the bur (always insert the bur fully into the handpiece chuck).

  • Always use the bur with sufficient water coolant.

  • Do not use a bur in a worn chuck; doing so may result in bur slippage and/or vibration, which can lead to breakage.

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