As dentists, we are trained to be as conservative as possible. Over the years, materials have changed, making us change prep design in order to manage the biomaterial indications needed for strength. One thing labs have seen through the years is a lack of occlusal reduction. With the advancement in technology providing the ability for the lab to move chair side, we see where we can use a little help. I learned many years ago right out of school that I was an “under prepper”. I took that to heart and really worked at giving the lab what they needed to create a great restoration. As our office moved into CAD-CAM restorations it was seen immediately when things were under prepared on the computer.
I’m here to tell you there is a way to solve this problem and save time!
An occlusal reduction bur can save you a ton of time if used appropriately. My preference is the 828Y 017 bur from Meisinger. It is a 1.7 mm diameter bur with 2 mm of reduction. It is flared out so you cannot reduce the occlusal past that 2 mm mark. How can this bur save so much time?
Well, if you know you have the appropriate reduction, several things will happen:
1. The proposal from CEREC will be better. Anatomy will be more defined and pronounced.
2. The design process will be faster. Better proposals need fewer changes from the operator.
3. The assistants will not come get you after you have sat down with your coffee to tell you to come reduce more.
4. The opposing dentition will not have to be adjusted at delivery.
5. The restoration will not break and have to be redone. Saving you and the patient time, money and frustration.
Certainly not everyone needs a guide bur but why not use something that helps assure proper reduction for the restoration. Many materials are appearing on the market; make sure you know the proper reduction and prep design needed for a successful restorative outcome. Give the occlusal reduction bur a try and see what you think.