WeTeamUp Terms: “Tool Profile”


What is “Tool Profile”?

Tool profile is the shape of the tool’s cutting edge as seen from the side. As a milling tool shapes your part, it leaves a path that is the negative of its profile shape. The selection of tool profile is dependent on the type of milling that is being done. For instance, some shapes are better for 3d milling, while others are better for flat surfaces.

Interesting details about “Tool Profile”:

In the dental industry, there are only a few profiles that are widely used:

  • Ball: As the name suggests, this profile is shaped like a ball. These are the most commonly used tools in dental. Teeth are complicated shapes to mill. For this reason, we need a tool that can cut predictably from many different angles. Ball profile tools are best suited for this kind of 3-dimensional shaping. Ball profile tools leave a “scalloped” surface finish. To control this, you need to keep the scallops very small, which takes a considerable amount of mill time to achieve.Ball


  • Flat: Flat profile tools are used for geometries that need a flat surface. Most commonly they are used to define detail areas on implant-based restorations, such as screw seats and implant interfaces. Also, they are used when milling models to create smooth flat surfaces on the die and articulator seating surfaces.Flat


  • Toric: Toric profiles are flat bottomed, with rounded corners. They come in various diameters and corner radii. They are primarily used to do roughing of metals like chrome cobalt and titanium.Toric

Thanks for reading! We hope this break down of the term “Tool Profile” has been of value. Stay tuned next week for another post like this!

Check out the growing list of WeTeamUp Terms posts HERE

Published by

Greg Everett

Hi, I’m Greg Everett. I managed a milling center in Southern California for over 10 years. I’ve got lots of “in the trenches” experience in the dental lab. I enjoy helping others, and I never stop learning. Let’s grow together!