When I was studying dentistry, we used rubber dams for every restoration. I stopped using them when I graduated and started working as an associate in private practice. About five years ago, shortly after I started my own practice, a patient who was worried about mercury contamination requested that I use a rubber dam. I haven’t looked back since that day.
What’s good about it
They provide me with a clean and dry field while giving direct access to the tooth. I am able to bond restorations without the fear of contamination by either saliva or bacteria. They are also a real help when removing amalgams or old restorations as they stop patients inhaling any removed material. I use them for every single filling.
Some patients can find a rubber dam a little confronting and claustrophobic at first but even the most anxious patient ends up loving it. We have never received a single complaint about using rubber dams.
What’s not so good
It takes some time to properly fit but if your team knows what they are doing and you’ve practised it a few times, that time soon becomes negligible.
You also need a collection of different shaped rubber dam clamps on hand because of the wide variety of tooth shapes. Very occasionally I find that none of the clamps will fit a particular tooth and the patient has to go without a rubber dam. It’s a good idea to stock up on clamps.
Where did you get it
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