Clinical Research Dental represents the Komet® brand of diamonds and carbides burs in Canada. Founded by the Brasseler family in Germany, the business manufactures the high quality dental diamond, carbide, and ceramic burs and polishing discs and will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2023.

Gebr. Brasseler* manufactures internationally recognized instruments for the dental industry under the brand name Komet® and has been supplying the North American dental market directly since 2007. Precise, high-quality instruments of the highest standards. Gebr. Brasseler is the world's largest manufacturer of rotating dental instruments and systems for dentists, dental technicians, oral surgeons, and orthodontists.


*Not to be confused with Brasseler USA which shares the same name, but not the manufacturing facility and standards.

Quality dental burs made in Germany

Komet, an industry leader in dental bur production, is a great addition to CRD's selection of quality dental products and supplies.

Do you think that finding the right bur is difficult? We are here to help! Read below to learn more about different numeration systems, ISO standards, different bur grit sizes, shanks, shapes, and sizes.

To truly make bur selection easier, request a demo with your local CRD representative to help guide you through the process. We will visit your practice with a bur wallet with physical samples of the burs and create a customized bur ‘menu’ for your office. Additionally, use our handy Bur Conversion Card and send us a close-up photo of a sample bur.

To demystify the bur numbering systems and make them easier to acquire, an explanation of the numbering systems might be useful.

Burology 101 – Understanding Bur Shapes and Classifications

Dental burs are plentiful, with seemingly endless choices of shapes, sizes, and colours. It gets even more confusing when trying to order burs from a catalogue or a website, trying to match shadow figures and numbers that don’t make sense.

There are two main ways to choose the right dental bur: either by imagining the shape you need and looking for something similar in a catalogue, or by finding and comparing ISO numbers. The ISO system for dental burs is classified by colour and number, which can help simplify the process of choosing the right bur. The classification system indicates the material the bur is made of, the style of the shank, the shape, coarseness, and diameter. Many manufacturers use colours and acronyms to help ease the confusion. Usually, you can find the ISO or a shape designation on the packaging.

ISO numbering system for dental burs

1. Material – Diamond (806, 807), Carbide (500), Ceramic (005) and Steel (330).

While cutting tools can be made of a variety of materials, the most popular in dentistry is a stainless-steel shank with a diamond coated working end. These diamond burs are fabricated by adhering diamond particles to the steel shank using galvanic bonding. Metal, dissolved in an electrolytic bath, is deposited on the steel shank, and entraps the diamond grits until 2/3rds of the particles are covered.

In clinical practice, the exposed diamond chips abrade the tooth structure until the desired shape of the preparation is achieved. The abraded surface of a tooth or composite material has a rough, ‘sanded’ appearance with lots of microscopic dust we commonly refer to as a smear layer.

A carbide bur is manufactured from a chunk of tungsten carbide welded to the end of a stainless-steel shank and is then CNC machined to the desired shape and blade configuration. This 2-part construction, when done right, provides the best combination of strength and durability. The tougher carbide working end is designed for multiple uses and resists wear and tear. The carbide flutes, those spiral blades, cleave off the material as it rotates, leaving a relatively smooth surface much like a woodworking plane rather than sandpaper, and is generally easier to subsequently achieve a high shine polish.

Some burs are made of ultra durable ceramic material for either caries removal or implant sites or denture adjusting. Fabrication of ceramic tools is far more costly, but the durability factor is substantially increased and justifies the increased price.

Steel burs were introduced along with the first rotary dental drill almost 300 years ago and are still used in limited applications today. The softer metal and the rust factor make steel burs impractical for use in modern dentistry save for a few procedures mainly involving amalgam restorations.

2. Shank and overall length

Three main types of handpieces are used in a dental office and all three have different shank requirements:

1. High Speed handpieces use a tiny 1.6 mm diameter shank, and the spinning of bur helps keep it securely retained in the head of the handpiece. The operational bur speed of a dental air-driven or electric motor is 200,000 rpm and the chucking mechanism employs the rotational forces to increase the retentive grip on the bur. FG burs fit in a High Speed air handpiece or a red dot (FG) attachment. These friction grip (FG) shanks come in a variety of lengths from Shorter than Short (STS) to surgical length (SL) depending on the application.

Information about the Shank Type is found on every Komet product page:

example of a product page with FG shank type

2.  Right Angle Latch or Slow Speed handpieces rely on a retentive notch at the base of the shank to secure the bur in the handpiece using a flip latch or push-button mechanism. The max speed of a slow speed air handpiece is generally less than 25,000 rpm.

RA (latch) burs fit in a Slow Speed air attachment or the Blue ring (RA) attachment.

example of a product variant with RA shank

3. There are two versions of a Straight Slow Speed handpiece: the air variety commonly found on the rack of a dental delivery unit and the electric motor used in a ‘lab’ setting. Both are used for adjusting appliances extra-orally in a dental office and both use the longer HP shank burs. Longer HP shank burs are available for oral surgical procedures and orthopedic surgeries. The more common 44.5 mm length burs are prevalent for lab cutters or acrylic adjusting burs.

example of a product page with HP shank type

Tip: When browsing CRD website, try searching by the shank type to quickly find burs you are looking for.

how to search burs by shank type

The Full Range of the Komet Bur Shanks

Click to open the enlarged image in a new window

all Komet bur shanks: FGSTS, FGSS, FG, FGL, FGSL, FGSXXL, RASXL, HPSXL, HPSXXL, HPSY, HPSL, BL, HPS, HPST

3. Shape

Although the ISO shape designation is indicated on most bur packaging, clinicians default to the verbal description or application – a “tapered round end” for C&B rather than “shape 198”. The shape and ISO numbering system seems arbitrary and confusing to most end users but is a great way of comparing burs from different manufacturers for acquiring the same bur regardless of the somewhat arbitrary manufacturing number systems.

ISO vs. Shape

Using the chart below, you can identify a shape number or ISO number for the burs being matched. Comparing one brand to another would be much easier if the manufacturers used the standardized ISO system, all 5 of the ISO parameters would match between manufacturers. Unfortunately, many companies use the shape code identifier which very rarely aligns between competing bur rivals. Bur companies can entice repeated business by calling a particular bur by its unique manufacturer shape code or name, as that bur becomes familiar to the purchaser.

These unique numbering codes are marketing tactics, method of retaining as much repeated business as possible since many end users are confused by the lengthy manufacturing order codes. Reordering familiar favourites usually involves the path of least resistance - save the package from the last order, re-order that code. When searching for a new solution like an effective Zirconium cutting diamond or a bur to remove a non-precious metal PFM involves a detailed conversation with a bur ‘specialist’ that can act as a sommelier of sorts to assist with the selection, procurement and organization of the burs needed to perform the variety of procedures patients require.

Bur specialists will have the resources available to decipher these codes and implement a re-order and storage system to ensure the proper assortment of burs. Enlisting the services of technical sales reps that understands burs and their functions can greatly ease the confusion and frustration of acquiring the ‘right’ burs for your practice.

ISO / Shape Chart

Description
Image
Shape
ISO Number

Barrel

barrel bur ISO numbers 037, 038

037, 038

Cylinder (Rounded Shoulder)

cylinder (rounded shoulder) bur, ISO numbers 146, 156, 157, 158

835KR, 836KR, 837KR, 880, 881 (KS)

146, 156, 157, 158

Depth Cutter

depth cutter bur

552

Double Inverted Cone

double-inverted cone bur

806, 813

019, 032

Football/Egg

football bur

379, 369, 368

243, 257, 277

End Cutting

end cutting bur

839, 840

150

Flame

flame bur

390, 860, 861, 862, 863

247, 248, 249, 250, 254, 297, 298

Flat End Cylinder

flat end cylinder bur

835, 836, 837

108, 109, 110, 111, 141

Flat End Taper

flat end taper bur

845, 846, 847, 848

169, 170, 171, 172, 173

Modified Chamfer (Curettage)

modified chamfer bur

877K, 878K, 879K

297, 298

Gross Reduction (wavey)

gross redaction wavey bur

651, 652, 654, 655

511, 512, 513

Interproximal Mosquito/Needle

interpoximal mosquito/needle bur

465

Inverted Cone

inverted cone bur

805, 807

010, 225

Knife Edge

knife edge bur

825

304

Needle

needle bur

852, 858, 859, 859L, 889

160,170, 171, 172, 173, 198, 199

Pear

pear bur

237, 238, 239

Pointed Cylinder

pointed cylinder bur

879, 884, 885, 886

129, 130, 131

Round

round bur

001

Round (+ neck)

round + neck bur

802

002

Surgical Length Round

surgical length round bur

801L

001 (316)

Round End Cylinder

round end cylinder bur

838, 881

139, 141

Round End Taper

round end taper bur

849, 850, 850L, 855, 856, 856L

196, 197, 198, 199

Wheel

wheel bur

818

041, 042

Rounded Wheel

rounded wheel bur

066, 067, 068

Safe Ended

safe ended bur bur

220

Separation

separation bur

889

169, 540

Tapered (Rounded Shoulder)

tapered rounded bur

845KR, 846KR, 847KR

544, 545, 546

Bevel Parallel (Modified)

bevel parallel modified bur

877, 878, 879

288, 289, 290

Tree

tree bur

852

161

Note: Clinical Research Dental has more Komet burs in stock than are represented on the website. Contact us at customerservice@clinicalresearchdental.com or Request a demo to find the exact bur you are looking for.

4. Grit Size - Colours

Every diamond bur has a colour ring designating the coarseness and are standardized in the industry by ISO as to the range of diamond particle size. Diamond grits for dental burs are measured in microns (.001mm) as opposed to sandpaper that uses the mesh system – a diamond particle that would pass through a #500 mesh (screen) is 30 microns or less, for example. For those grades where there is a range it is up to the manufacturer to decide exactly the coarseness of their version of the medium, coarse, or super coarse bur – a Komet green stripe, coarse bur is 151µ compared to a BrasselerUSA* black stripe, super coarse that uses 151µ.

Komet burs grit size and colouring system for diamonds and carbides

Bur Type

Colour

Grit Size

ISO no

Supercoarse

Black ring

181 µm

544

Coarse

Green ring

151 µm

534

Medium

No ring

107-126 µm

524

Fine

Red ring

40 µm

514

Superfine

Yellow ring

20 µm

504

Ultrafine

White ring

15 µm

494

5. Head Size

The last digits of the ISO identifier are the simplest: the indicate the diameter of the cutting head of the bur at the widest point. This dimension is listed in tenths of a millimeter so a cutting head that is the same dimension as the shank for instance will be represented by 016 or 1.6 mm.

dental burs head sizes

This explanation of the dental bur numbering systems might make burs easier to acquire and re-order. However, if you are still confused or don’t have time to match all those numbers, we are here to help:

Request an in-person demo to find a perfect bur from our Bur Wallets or get a customized Bur Menu:

Komet demo in your practice

Download & print the Komet Bur Conversion card to match your current burs with the Komet ones:

download free bur conversion card
Scott Dowie, Komet Rotary Instruments Product Manager

Scott Dowie,
Product Manager
Komet Rotary Instruments | Bien Air Electric Systems


About the author

Scott Dowie has been a sales consultant in the dental field for over 24 years, first enjoying 17 years with Brasseler Canada. For the past six years, Scott has lived and worked in the Toronto area, representing CRD as a Territory Account Manager & Rotary Instrument

Product Manager and then as a Product Manager of Komet Rotary instruments and Bien Air Electric Systems. In this position, he is CRD’s resident expert on rotary instruments, helping manage the Komet and Bien-Air brands, and helping dental practices across the country customize solutions for their daily and specialty instrument needs.


Komet® Bestsellers

Komet Dental offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of rotary dental instruments and systems in the world, including traditional round burs to crown cutters, from composite removers to polishers, from preparation to endodontics. With very few exceptions, Komet Dental manufactures each of its products at the company’s production site in Lemgo, Germany, the home of the family-run company employing more than 1,000 staff. This is where dental quality – made in Germany, yet appreciated all over the world – is created. Explore the Komet Burs collection at CRD or start with these Komet bestsellers.

There's good. There's better. Then there's Komet.

Clinical Research Dental represents the Komet® brand of diamonds and carbides burs in Canada. Founded by the Brasseler family in Germany, the business manufactures the high quality dental diamond, carbide, and ceramic burs and polishing discs and will be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2023.

Gebr. Brasseler* manufactures internationally recognized instruments for the dental industry under the brand name Komet® and has been supplying the North American dental market directly since 2007. Precise, high-quality instruments of the highest standards. Gebr. Brasseler is the world's largest manufacturer of rotating dental instruments and systems for dentists, dental technicians, oral surgeons, and orthodontists.


*Not to be confused with Brasseler USA which shares the same name, but not the manufacturing facility and standards.

Quality dental burs made in Germany

Komet, an industry leader in dental bur production, is a great addition to CRD's selection of quality dental products and supplies.

Do you think that finding the right bur is difficult? We are here to help! Read below to learn more about different numeration systems, ISO standards, different bur grit sizes, shanks, shapes, and sizes.

To truly make bur selection easier, request a demo with your local CRD representative to help guide you through the process. We will visit your practice with a bur wallet with physical samples of the burs and create a customized bur ‘menu’ for your office. Additionally, use our handy Bur Conversion Card and send us a close-up photo of a sample bur.

To demystify the bur numbering systems and make them easier to acquire, an explanation of the numbering systems might be useful.

Burology 101 – Understanding Bur Shapes and Classifications

Dental burs are plentiful, with seemingly endless choices of shapes, sizes, and colours. It gets even more confusing when trying to order burs from a catalogue or a website, trying to match shadow figures and numbers that don’t make sense.

There are two main ways to choose the right dental bur: either by imagining the shape you need and looking for something similar in a catalogue, or by finding and comparing ISO numbers. The ISO system for dental burs is classified by colour and number, which can help simplify the process of choosing the right bur. The classification system indicates the material the bur is made of, the style of the shank, the shape, coarseness, and diameter. Many manufacturers use colours and acronyms to help ease the confusion. Usually, you can find the ISO or a shape designation on the packaging.

ISO numbering system for dental burs

1. Material – Diamond (806, 807), Carbide (500), Ceramic (005) and Steel (330).

While cutting tools can be made of a variety of materials, the most popular in dentistry is a stainless-steel shank with a diamond coated working end. These diamond burs are fabricated by adhering diamond particles to the steel shank using galvanic bonding. Metal, dissolved in an electrolytic bath, is deposited on the steel shank, and entraps the diamond grits until 2/3rds of the particles are covered.

In clinical practice, the exposed diamond chips abrade the tooth structure until the desired shape of the preparation is achieved. The abraded surface of a tooth or composite material has a rough, ‘sanded’ appearance with lots of microscopic dust we commonly refer to as a smear layer.