WEAR OF ROTARY INSTRUMENTS
A PILOT STUDY
The aim of this study was to assess the wear of tungsten carbide burs and round rotary diamond instruments through measurements of rake angle and visual observations respectively under a f ield emission scanning electron microscope. Sixty short and long head pear-shaped tungsten carbide burs and 18 round rotary diamond instruments that had been used to complete < 5, > 5 and > 10 cavity preparations (n=10/ group) were selected from the 3 rd and 4 th year dental students, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya. There were two control groups consisting of long and short tungsten carbide burs of ten each. Two-way ANOVA was used to analyse the rake angle data. The data from the two control groups were collectively analysed following multiple paired t-test (p > .05) which showed no significant difference between the two types of tungsten carbide bur (short and long head). The mean rake angle of the control group was significantly higher (p < .05) compared to the < 5, > 5 and > 10 cavity preparation groups. The rake angle of the > 10 cavity preparation group was significantly lower than the other two test groups (p < .05). Round rotary diamond instruments in the < 5 cavity preparation group showed intact diamond particles with distinct cutting facets comparable to the control group. However, diamonds instruments in the > 5 and > 10 cavity preparation groups showed blunt diamond particles. In conclusion, wear of tungsten carbide burs and round rotary diamond instruments were evident after repeated use. Wear was more pronounced when instruments were used to prepare more than ten cavities.
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