A Rubber Dam is a thin square of rubber (First used in the United States in 1864 by Sanford Christie Barnum1).
Holes are punched into it to place it over one or several teeth.
The teeth then sit up through the rubber and a frame is then placed to keep the rubber flat.
The main job of rubber dam is to keep the teeth you are working on dry and visible (‘Not to see is to Guess‘).
It also protects your throat and stops water and debris from filling your mouth.
We use rubber dams routinely for fillings, crowns and root canal treatments.
High quality care can be provided under these conditions.
Tongues, lips and cheeks are also protected with rubber dam and the isolation is also a strong infection control measure.
High speed drilling, washing and drying create an aerosol spray with the patient’s blood and saliva increasing the risk of spreading infections.
Most dental materials need a dry environment to work effectively and to prolong their life, rubber dam is ideal for this.