Rubber dam instruments

The DENTAL DAM, invented more than a century ago by Dr. Barnum, is used in dentistry mainly for endodontic therapy to reduce contamination and to maintain the operative field dry and isolated during the treatment. The main function is to isolate the tooth being treated from its environment, in particular from the bacteria in the oral cavity: this ensures a clean and dry operative field without contamination from blood or saliva.
Advantages of using rubber dam include:

  • The operative field remains clean and dry
  • It reduces microbial contamination at the primary source, providing an excellent barrier to the potential spread of infectious disease in the dental office
  • Rubber dam improves access to the operating field as the soft tissues including the cheeks and the tongue are retracted and protected

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  • It reduces the risk of accidentally cutting the patient’s tongue or lips
  • It protects the patient’s airway from any materials which may fall into it during treatment
  • The full isolation of the operative field allows the use of unpleasant antiseptic substances (such as Sodium hypochlorite) for rinsing the endodontic canals
  • The saliva ejector is not necessary since the operating field is isolated
  • Rubber dam use unquestionably reduces the potential for swallowing or aspiration of residual amalgam or resin
  • The rubber dam prevents the patient from speaking to the dentist and it also inhibits the patient’s need to rinse out by reducing the accumulation of fluids in the mouth
  • The clamp in some cases, facilitates the gingival displacement during the vestibular canal obturation

Specific use in following cases:

  • Endodontics:
    • Single or multi-root endodontic treatment
    • Endodontic treatment of encapsulated elements
  • Conservative:
    • Sealing
    • Occlusal filling
    • Interproximal filling
    • Vestibular filling
    • Teeth whitening
    • Splinting
  • Prosthesis:
    • Reconstruction of stumps
    • Reconstruction of stumps
    • Cementation of veneers

The dental dam is anchored to the tooth with a rubber dam clamp. Rubber clamps are available in many different types assorted in dimensions and shapes which may be subdivided in 5 macro categories: anteriors, premolars, molars, upper molars and lower molars.