Aim: The aim of the study was to compare the caries removal efficacy in terms of bacteriology and efficiency in terms of time taken by conventional and smart burs.
Materials and methods: A total of 40 extracted permanent molars with occlusal caries were selected for this study. These teeth were split at the center of carious lesion buccolingually, in order to obtain two similar halves. Thus, 80 samples were obtained in this way and were randomly divided into 2 groups of 40 samples each. Caries was removed using conventional burs in group I and polymer bur Smartprep (SS white) in group II. The time involved in caries removal was measured for both the groups. After excavation of all carious lesions, the samples were decalcified, dehydrated, and embedded in paraffin wax from which thin sections of 5 μm were obtained, which were histologically evaluated for bacterial presence under a light microscope.
Results: An intergroup comparison between conventional bur (group I) and smart bur (group II) showed a statistically nonsignificant difference in terms of the presence of microorganisms after caries removal with a p value of 0.073638 (p > 0.05). However, the time taken for caries removal was significantly more for smart burs than diamond burs with a p value of 0.001 (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The polymer burs were found to be as effective as the conventional burs in terms of microbial presence after caries removal, but are more time-consuming than conventional burs.