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The miracle of Rubber Dam

I must say, it was a first when one of our patients told me that Rubber Dam was “the best thing to happen to dentistry”. There is a lot of fantastic gizmo’s and gadgets in the dental field, but Rubber Dam does not usually come up top trumps. The patient in particular, was having some composite fillings placed in a couple of lower molar teeth. In order to get the best filling possible, the bonding agentswe use need to have a completely dry field. Any moisture can inhibit the white composite filling from sticking to tooth enamel as best it can. This is why, sometimes, rubber dam is used to protect the tooth and filling from moisture.

Rubber Dam is a latex sheet (also made non latex for allergy sufferers) that is held in position over a tooth in particular. This isolates the tooth, ensuring that no moisture can make contact when treating the tooth. Rubber Dam has many uses and is not just used for moisture control:

It is used when Root Canal Treatment is performed to ensure that no bacteria enters the canals of the tooth. The whole procedure, during Root canal, is to ensure the tooth is completely clean, and no infection or bacteria is left in the tooth. Everybody’s saliva contains bacteria, so using Rubber Dam ensures that no saliva can make contact with the tooth.

During some procedures in dentistry we use small instruments, such as files and burs. We do not want our patients to inhale or swallow these, so Rubber Dam ensures this does not happen.

As you may know, we use lots of solutions and strange tasting agents during treatments. Rubber Dam ensures you do not swallow anything.

The tongue can be very hard to control, during dental treatment, and when using fast drills we do not want you tongue “investigating”. Isolating the tooth that the dentist is working on makes this much safer.

We do use a lot of water during dental procedures, in order to keep the tooth cool while using the drill. Some patients finds swallowing very difficult and stressful while being treating. The use of Rubber Dam stops water from collecting in the back of the throat, making it easier for the patient to swallow.

There are so many uses, and I don’t want to bore my bloggers, but as you can see the use of Rubber dam can be very beneficial to our patients. At first it can be a bit daunting, when the dentist comes at you with a whooping great Rubber sheet that covers your mouth, but trust me, you will be surprised how easy it is to adjust to. Its not always possible to use, but the dentist will try to use whenever possible. Of course, if you don’t like it, we won’t use it. Just let the dentist know 🙂

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