Health Hazards of Dentist's Drills

  • Author:
  • Published: 26 April 2016
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Journal of Synchrotron Radiation/International Union of Crystallography
thumbnail image: Health Hazards of Dentist's Drills

Dental burs, the dentist's drill bits, are made of stainless steel, diamond, or tungsten carbide combined with cobalt or nickel. The latter combinations could pose health hazards due to their heavy metal content if fragments of the material are left behind on the tooth or inhaled.

Assem Hedayat, University of Saskatchewan, Ning Zhu, Canadian Light Source, Saskatoon, both SK, Canada, and colleagues have used synchrotron radiation to detect and analyze debris from tungsten carbide–cobalt (WC-Co) burs under a composite tooth filling. They performed Synchrotron-radiation-based micro-computed tomography (SRμCT) to reveal the three-dimensional microstructure of the samples. The team found fragments from the drill stuck under the filling, where they were in direct contact with the dentinal tubules and the dentinal fluid. The detected particles had a mean diameter of 34.3 μm.

According to the researchers, products resulting from reactions between the dentinal fluid and the fragments are potentially capable of reaching the dental pulp. Since WC-Co has been classified as apparently carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), debris from such dental burs is a potential biohazard for patients. This should warrant further toxicological research.


Article Views: 4459

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission and consult our permission guidance prior to making your request

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on YouTube Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH