What Is a Dental Damn? Oops, I mean, Dental Dam

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What Is a Dental Damn? Oops, I mean, Dental Dam

A dental dam, which is also known as rubber dam, is a prophylactic device. However, what is a dental damn actually? This device is probably also the most misunderstood prophylactic in the world, which makes the reason why we decide to talk about this device and how to use a dental dam properly. It can be pretty difficult to find dental dams for sale, although the price itself is truly affordable. However, you can find it easily in dentist offices. Keep reading to know more about dental dams!

what is dental damn

So, what is a dental damn ? Originally, dental dams are created to provide protection to the mouth when a dental work is being performed on an isolated tooth or more. As you can see, it is a simple rectangular piece of latex or nitrile. A dental dam is truly thin. Typically, this device is used in endodontic, general restorative treatments, and fixed prosthodontics, such as bridges and crowns.

What is dental damn purpose and benefits?

The main purpose is to keep saliva from interfering with the work, as well as to prevent materials and instruments from being inhaled, damaging the mouth, or being swallowed. The use of rubber dam in dentistry is often referred to as isolation. There are advantages from using a dental dam during the dental treatment, as listed below.

  • It helps creating a dry and clean operating field to avoid contamination, so maximum bond strength between dentin, restorative material, and enamel can be established.
  • It helps decrease contamination with micro-organisms found in saliva during a dental work, as mentioned in our explanation about what is a dental damn.
  • It helps improve visibility of the site being treated.
  • It helps decrease, although not eliminate, a chance of accidental inhaling or swallowing debris, restorative instruments, or tooth fragments.
  • It helps contain the corrosive endodontic irritants that can be harmful when swallowed and damage the soft tissues of mouth.
  • It helps reduce the risk of cross-infection during the dental work.
  • When being used with amalgam restorations, it helps reduce the exposure of patient to possibly harmful adverse effects from mercury ingestion.
  • It helps protect soft tissues of the oral mucosa from any sharp materials or instruments.
  • It helps patients to feel more comfortable during the dental treatment by making sure that there will be no water in mouth. It also helps make them feel safer by dissociating the noise of drilling.
  • It helps reduce the ability of the patients to communicate, especially for over-talkative ones, to accommodate faster treatment.

What is a dental damn in different countries? In some countries, the use of the rubber dam is mandatory during procedures like root canal therapy. The purpose is for the reasons of safety, as well as to control the cross infection. In addition to that, if there’s any injury preventable by the use of dental dam should occur, this can be medicolegally indefensible.

what is dental dam

Without a doubt, those advantages are related to what is a dental damn actually, which is to protect the mouth during any dental treatment or work. Bear in mind that since we focus on dental damn and its purpose and use in dentistry, we do not talk about how to make a dental dam since this will relate to the other purpose of this device.

That being said, despite all of the benefits it offers, more than half dentist doesn’t use dental dams. The assumption that dental dam is inconvenient and hard to place, as well as time consuming contributes to the low use of it.

I sincerely hope that this post can give you better understanding of a this device, and answer your question of what is a dental damn. Please leave comments under and let’s share experiences. You may as well ask follow up questions. We’ll do our best to provide satisfactory answers.

Image credit: dentistrytoday.com

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