Workhorse Burs Improve Denture Case Efficiency

Dental Lab Products, Dental Lab Products June 2021, Volume 43, Issue 3

For this CDT/prosthodontist, Komet USA’s durable instruments make benchwork and denture relines much easier.

Dentures are a big part of his practice, so Miles Cone, DMD, CDT, FACP, has spent countless hours working on denture relines and doing his best to remove the excess reline material as efficiently as possible.

Dr Cone also admittedly hoards instruments he has used over the years and has a drawer full of worn-out burs that could handle only so many tough cases. So when he first got his hands on a line of ceramic cutters from Komet USA, he expected them to be solid because of his experience working with many Komet products, but he also expected them to have limitations in terms of their cutting ability on tough materials and in terms of lasting long.

Much to his surprise—and happiness—these instruments have withstood everything he has thrown at them. They not only speed up his workflow, but seem as if they may last forever. “Maine has one of the oldest demographics in the country, which means we do a ton of dentures,” explains Dr Cone, a prosthodontist in Portland, Maine.

Although he loves the reline materials he works with—namely, a “tenacious material from GC America”—it can be difficult and time-consuming when it comes to removing them.

“I struggled for years, and I’ve tried every bur that’s out there from every company,” he says. “I’m a hoarder and keep things around, so I’ve got a drawer full of burned-out burs and carbides and sandpaper.”

When Komet first sent him a kit of ceramic cutters, he wasn’t sure what to expect. “I was thinking, ‘This thing’s going to break. It’s going to chip,’ ” says Dr Cone. “But what is awesome about these burs is [that] they don’t generate heat the same way that carbides do. It’s an absolute lifesaver when slogging away at the bench with tough denture material.”

He learned that the ceramic cutters dissipate the heat well and don’t clog and get gummed up as is typical with carbide burs. He now confidently reaches for a number of instruments in his Komet denture repair kit, with some specifically designed as part of a flexible partial contouring system.

“These cutters are so good at hogging out just globs of denture reline material, and they get it out quickly and efficiently,” he says. “Normally, by the end of this, you’d be sore and feel like you have carpal tunnel syndrome. But that is no longer the case.”

Komet offers a variety of instruments that can help laboratories, specialists, and general practitioners alike.

“These burs are not just for high-end laboratories,” he says. “[For] every lab doing dentures, and for the doctors who have bulk patients, [such as] the community dental center—these [will] make your life so much easier.

“Imagine using a carbide on days where I’ll have 2 or 3 denture patients,” he adds. “I couldn’t possibly do it. My hands and joints wouldn’t be able to tolerate it.”

Dr Cone loves the different coarses and shapes in the denture repair kit.

“These ceramic burs have been an absolute game changer just for what I do day-to-day in the trenches,” says Dr Cone, whose office consists of himself, his wife as office manager, and an assistant. “I like having beautiful things in my hands, and these instruments are kind of like having a MacBook Air or an iPhone. There’s a certain level of cool factor for my lab bench and they work so well.”

Another benefit of these instruments, according to Dr Cone, is that dentures and denture reline work are not going away anytime soon, even as many labs shift from analog to more modern, automated methods of work. “I tell people all the time that where we currently stand right now, doing denture relines is going to be a thing for a long time. You can make a digital denture, but when that patient has a sore spot or their tissue starts to break down, you still need to have those [reline] skills,” he says. “As long as we’re doing relines, people are going to need to remove those.”

That is why he suggests colleagues give Komet ceramic cutters a try: “I think this is something that the denture technicians and the clinicians that are doing the same procedures that I’m doing really need to invest in. You’ll want anything to make your life easier.”

The Komet kits also assist in the finishing and polishing of flexible partials despite the difficulty of dealing with some resins when using some carbide burs. “These ceramic cutters go through and leave such a clean finish to it. They have multiple applications. They’re not just for dentures,” he adds.