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RUBBER DAM

What is a Rubber Dam? Benefits of using a Rubber Dam
Rubber Dam Movie How a Rubber Dam is placed

     The rubber dam is a flat thin sheet of  latex/ non-latex that is held by a clamp and frame that is perforated to allow the teeth that will be worked on to protrude through the perforations in the sheet while all the other teeth are covered and protected by the rubber dam.  

    

  1. a tooth bathed in saliva

  2. a tongue that insists on obstructing vision

  3. bleeding gingiva 

  4. bacteria laden saliva reinfecting areas

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 The benefits of using a  rubber dam: 

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It is a raincoat for your teeth

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It limits bacterial laden splash and splatter of saliva and blood.

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Restricts drowning response during rinsing the mouth in a procedure.

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It serves as a barrier, so your throat is protected from debris and tiny instruments from being swallowed or inhaled.

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It isolates and protects the area that needs to be worked on.

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Improves accessibility and visibility of the working area.

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Avoids unnecessary contamination through infection control.

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Helps to protect your gag reflex area from being triggered.

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It protects the lips and cheeks by keeping them out of the way.

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Helps to keep your tongue out of the way of the work area so it is not harmed.

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Many of the new materials used in dentistry today need a dry clean environment for tooth colored fillings to be successful.  The moist air exhaled from your mouth can increase the humidity in the working area causing weaker bonds leading to weaker fillings.

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Keeps teeth saliva free while performing a root canal so the tooth does not get re-contaminated by the bacteria that is in saliva.

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You don't have to concentrate on staying open or positioning your tongue out of the work area.

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Gives you peace of mind that objects will not fall into your throat.

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How the procedure is done:

    1. This is a picture of the dam off the frame. The placement of the rubber dam may feel a little awkward for the first minute or so yet you will be able to swallow and breathe normally behind it. If you are allergic to latex we can use non-latex Flexi-dam            

    2. The dam is placed loosely on the frame to allow for easier placement in the mouth.

    3. The clamp is placed and secured around the tooth. 

    4. Starting from the anteriors the rubber dam is placed between the teeth with floss. 

    5. Wooden wedges are placed between the teeth  to protect the gum tissue and stop the dam from getting caught up in the equipment.

    6. The work is performed.

    7. Next the rubber dam is removed by removing  the  wedges/ clamp/dam /frame/.

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 When it may be contraindicated:

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If a tooth is too short to hold a clamp

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Tooth not fully erupted

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Not enough area to clamp too

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patient's inability to handle their own oral secretions, e.g., a person with Parkinson's disease may have a diminished ability to swallow and therefore be unable to handle saliva accumulation under the rub

The Amazing Rubber Dan, Dr. Miller, pg 765 P.P.A.D., January 2003.

February 06, 2008

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