While some dental patients might refer to the rubber dam as “that dam rubber thing”
  It is one of the oldest and most useful dental aids that has ever existed.

The rubber dam is piece of latex material approximately 6 X 6 inches in size used
during dental treatments. It is used specifically to help keep the field of operation
on the teeth dry and clean.

That said, the rubber dam has a multitude of uses and benefits when placed and
used properly ;

* Pevents foreign materials from entering the throat area.

* Keeps the isolated operating area aseptic when required.

* Retracts the cheeks , lips and isolates the tongue.

* Permits more light, allowing dentists better visibility.

* Facilitates most filling procedures, immensely!

* Protects the patient from possible injury from a dental tool.

* Saves operating time in the dental chair.

* Allays patient’s fear of being injured by a dental drill or tool.

* Keeps the oral cavity free of filling materials and tooth debri.

Unless you have a very active gag reflex and cannot tolerate the rubber dam,
you should always insist that the dentist uses it routinely. A dentist’s best
restorative work can be done with a rubber dam in place most of the time.

When a rubber dam is not used, the treatment is very much compromised and the
operating dentist is more challenged to do his or her best work under adverse
conditions.

From my point of view, a rubber dam should be used for all restorative procedures
and root canal therapies. There are however,some operative procedures that do not
lend itself to using the rubber dam efficiently or effectively.For example, Gum-line
lesions that extend below the gingival margin ( gum line) and most crown and bridge
preparations are some examples of such procedures.

If your dentists does not use a rubber dam for most common restorative procedures,
I would strongly suggest that you seek out the services of another dentist who does.

Due to the current incidence of Aids and Hepatitis B in our society thought by some
authorities to have the potential of being transmitted during dental procedures, the
use of the rubber dam is even more appropriate than ever to help the dentist work
in a  clean and safe environment.

Thereby protecting the patients from the dentists and the dentists from the patients.

Most conscientious, competent dentists will use the rubber dam where it is possible,
however the careless, speedy, incompetent dentist will seldom ever take the necessary
to use one.

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