Did you know that the American Dental Association (ADA) now identifies “using a rubber dam when appropriate to decrease possible exposure to infectious agents”1 as a step that dental professionals can take to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 in their offices?

If that is not enough reason to make the use of dental dams standard practice in your office, you may want to consider the following additional benefits they could provide for you and your patients:

Benefits

  • Patient protection/risk management
  • Improved access/visibility
  • Increased efficiency
  • Moisture control/improved results
  • Infection control

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  • Dental dams reduce the risk of a patient aspirating or ingesting debris and foreign objects. Knowing that a protective barrier is in place may also help the patient relax and minimize his or her gag reflex.
  • By isolating teeth and retracting cheeks, lips and tongue, dental dams eliminate visual obstructions and significantly improve operative field access and visibility. Dental dams also help prevent dental mirrors from fogging.
  • By providing unobstructed operative field access and visibility, dental dams allow professionals to work more efficiently.
  • Many dental restorative materials are adversely affected by the moisture in saliva. Dental dams provide a moisture-free, uncontaminated environment that allows these materials to set under optimal conditions, ensuring better restoration or procedure results.
  • Dental dams create an effective barrier between the oral cavity and the operative field to prevent microbial contamination during dental procedures, either through direct contact or aerosolization from high-speed instruments.

Benefits

Patient protection/risk management
Dental dams reduce the risk of a patient aspirating or ingesting debris and foreign objects. Knowing that a protective barrier is in place may also help the patient relax and minimize his or her gag reflex.
Improved access/visibility
By isolating teeth and retracting cheeks, lips and tongue, dental dams eliminate visual obstructions and significantly improve operative field access and visibility. Dental dams also help prevent dental mirrors from fogging.
Increased efficiency
By providing unobstructed operative field access and visibility, dental dams allow professionals to work more efficiently.
Moisture control/improved results
Many dental restorative materials are adversely affected by the moisture in saliva. Dental dams provide a moisture-free, uncontaminated environment that allows these materials to set under optimal conditions, ensuring better restoration or procedure results.
Infection control
Dental dams create an effective barrier between the oral cavity and the operative field to prevent microbial contamination during dental procedures, either through direct contact or aerosolization from high-speed instruments.

Choosing the right dental dam

Dental dams are available in various sizes and thicknesses, colours and scents, as well as in latex and non-latex materials. However, the most important selection criteria are:

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  • Elasticity
  • Chemical tolerance
  • Latex content

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  • Tear strength is critical to ensure that a dental dam can be stretched over teeth without ripping, even when pierced with a dental dam punch.
  • Dental dam material must be able to withstand the chemical compounds contained in various dental materials.
  • Because many patients and dental professionals have a latex allergy or sensitivity, a latex-free dental dam is often the best option.
Elasticity
Tear strength is critical to ensure that a dental dam can be stretched over teeth without ripping, even when pierced with a dental dam punch.
Chemical tolerance
Dental dam material must be able to withstand the chemical compounds contained in various dental materials.
Latex content
Because many patients and dental professionals have a latex allergy or sensitivity, a latex-free dental dam is often the best option.

Hedy® polyisoprene dental dams

Hedy® polyisoprene dental dams meet all of these criteria. Winner of the 2020 Dental Advisor Best Product Award for non-latex dental dams, Hedy polyisoprene dams are made from premium, latex-free, powder-free polyisoprene that has a polymer structure and physical properties similar to natural rubber, but without the potential allergen of latex protein.

Hedy polyisoprene dental dams offer a remarkable 1230% elongation and impressive tear strength, even when pierced with a dental dam punch.

They are available in blue 5- or 6-inch squares and in medium or heavy gauge.

Natural rubber latex dental dams

If latex content is not a concern, natural rubber latex provides strong barrier protection to isolate the worksite and helps prevent cross-contamination by controlling moisture.

Medicom offers two 100% natural rubber latex dental dams that provide superior strength, flexibility, tear-resistance and elasticity: Hedy® natural rubber latex dental dams and Medicom® SafeTouch® latex dental dams:

  • Save time
  • Minimize waste
  • Ensure ease of use, even in hard to reach areas
  • Available in 5-inch or 6-inch squares
  • Available in thin, medium or heavy gauge
  • Available in green or blue

Hedy® Rubber Dam Punch

Medicom also offers the Hedy dental dam punch with easy-grip handle. Made of the highest quality stainless steel, it consistently delivers precise cuts, makes holes of various sizes and works with all high-quality latex and non-latex dental dams.

For more information about Medicom dental dams and other products, please visit medicom.com

References

  • American Dental Association
  • Gilbert GH, Litaker MS, Pihlstrom DJ, Amundson CW, Gordan VV, DPBRN Collaborative Group. Rubber dam use during routine operative dentistry procedures: findings from the Dental PBRN. Oper Dent. 2010;35:491–499.
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