I was rooting through box lots I had bought at auctions over the years. I came across two boxes of dental burs from the 1980s. Most of them were either conical diamond burs or carbide burs with round heads. The shafts were quite short, maybe an inch with a skinny shaft, maybe 1/16". A few had straight carbide tips on them which seemed useful for cutting inlay holes. I started looking around and found that dental burs can be bought with longer shafts called handpiece length. The code for this is (HP). And that the straight shaft carbide bits are readily available and can be had with straight blades and "cross cut" code (CR) blades.  

 Seems like they can be bought for well under $10 each, with Asian ones quite cheap. Is anyone using these?

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My dentist saves used burrs for me on a regular basis.  From what she says, the lifespan of them for dental work is fairly limited, but they seem to continue to be perfectly fine for wood purposes...  inlays & the like.

So now I've got scads (too many, actually) of both the long and short lengths, but I can't tell her to stop saving them, as I'm afraid to "turn off the supply"! 

Now, if she'd only gift me with an old dental light..... :)

Fortunately for me, I bought the dental light at the auction that included the burs--it is wonderful and so much better than the under $50 work lights I was using before then. And I got it for $45. Have you developed a preference for the long or short shaft burs? Apparently dentists today only use the burs once because they are hard to sterilize with 100% confidence. 

The shorter ones seem to be more controllable in my Dremel, but I really hadn't given it much thought.  I envy you on finding a neat dental light at such a bargain!  Maybe one of these days....


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