The advent of global pandemic has resulted in a major impact on the delivery of top-notch dental care. The ‘new normal’ with respect to both primary as well as secondary dental care is applying specific measures to minimize the potential impact of AGE or Aerosol Generating Exposure. It would involve the use of the right personal protective equipment as well as fallow time after the AGE procedures.
The use of dental or rubber dams in dentistry is crucial to minimize the degree of AGE while also potentially reducing fallow time. Let us understand the concept of rubber dams or dental dams in dentistry in detail.
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An Overview of Dental or Rubber Dams
Did you know that the ADA or American Dental Association now recognizes “utilizing a rubber dam when necessary to minimize potential exposure to infectious agents” as an integral move that dental professionals can undertake to prevent the transmission of diseases like COVID-19 in their offices?
It is a good reason to make use of rubber dams or dental dams in your office. The first-ever reference of the use of dental dams was made over a century ago. Now, it is accepted as a form of standard care in the field of operative dentistry. At the same time, it has become an important option for vital pulp therapy and endodontic treatment.
What are the Benefits of Using a Rubber Dam in Dentistry?
You might want to consider the following benefits of using rubber dams on your patients:
1. Effective Risk Management
One of the most obvious reasons for using rubber dams is protecting the airway of the patient from accidental respiration or swallowing of debris, irrigants, and equipment. The condition of a patient that might ingest or inhale dental instruments or debris can be prevented with the use of a rubber dam.
In the field of dentistry, some of the most common dental instruments that have been swallowed by patients are filling materials, endodontic burs or files, prosthesis (implant, veneer, or crown), scaler tips, and implant screwdriver. Experts recommend reducing the potential risk of such events by the use of a rubber dam along with good equipment maintenance.
2. Aseptic Working Area
Rubber or dental dams also deliver the assurance of aseptic isolation of the tooth undergoing dental treatment. It is especially useful in the field of endodontics. It is because the prognosis of the treatment depends on getting rid of endodontic infection while preventing unplanned nosocomial re-infection out of oral cavity.
3. Satisfaction of Patients
Patients nowadays easily accept the use of dental dams during the treatment. Before placing them, you can provide information about the details of the dental dam. Once placed, they will be able to breathe normally through their nose while also swallowing easily.
4. Better Workflow
The use of dental dams will lead to the retraction of surrounding soft tissues. In turn, it offers easier access to the tooth that is undergoing treatment. Moreover, saliva also does not contaminate the treatment site or fog the mirror. Therefore, it becomes easier to carry out four-handed dentistry. Treatment becomes more efficient and less stressful with the help of rubber dams.
5. Minimizing Aerosol Contamination
It is a fact that the air turbine, with or without coolant spray, will eventually atomise blood, saliva, and crevicular fluid. In turn, it might lead to AGE or Aerosol Generating Exposure. The use of rubber dam has been observed to minimize the bacterial contamination from AGE by around 70-90 percent. It is especially relevant with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Understanding the Rubber Dam Kit
The rubber or dental dam consists of the following equipment:
1. Dental Dam Sheet
It is available a Nitrile or latex sheet of around 150mm squares of varying thickness: light, heavy, extra heavy, and medium. A medium thickness is regarded as a good choice. Light dam might be prone to tearing. At the same time, heavy dams are difficult to floss through different contact points. The dental dam sheet should be stored in a cool and dry environment. It is recommended to make use of top-quality latex dental dam sheet as it can be applied on all types of patients.
2. Dental Dam Punch
You will come across two variants: a single-hole punch of a single size or a 5-hole punch capable of creating holes of different sizes. It is recommended to make use of the largest hole for molars. The second-smallest hole can be used for all other teeth that are clamped. The second-largest hole can be used for all other teeth that are not clamped.
It is important to ensure that the punch is honed and properly aligned to deliver a clean hole.
These are typically made of stainless steel. Moreover, you can get them either winged or wingless. The wingless variant of clamps is used on the tooth first. The winged clamp is put into the dental dam’s hole first while being positioned on the tooth effectively.
There are different sizes and shapes of clamps available out there.
In addition to these basic components of the rubber dam, some more to take note of are clamp forceps, dental dam frame, and others.
Dental Avenue AVUEDam Sheets for Isolation: Your Reliable Tool
The Avue Avuedam Rubber Dam Sheets, available on Dental Avenue, are a specialized dental product designed for isolating one or more teeth from the oral environment. These sheets are crafted from natural rubber and are free from powder, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for patients.
The AvueDam is particularly recommended for use during the excavation of deep carious lesions where there is a risk of pulpal exposure. By using these rubber dam sheets, dental professionals can effectively prevent contamination due to oral fluids. The dam also serves to eliminate saliva from the site of treatment and aids in retracting soft tissues.
The global pandemic has reinforced the need for maintaining the strictest cross-infection standards to protect the dental team and the patients. The use of rubber or dental dam plays a vital role in minimizing aerosol contamination while also improving the success of the treatment workflow.