Demand the Dam

Demand the Dam

Better visualization of the operative field increases the operator’s efficiency & vice – versa. Today, the isolation of the operative field Rubber Dam represents an indispensable Gold Standard of Care in restorative & endodontic practice.

It consists of a thin flat latex/non-latex square sheet with a hole through which the teeth to be treated protrude, separating it from the rest of the mouth. The clamps hold it over the anchored tooth.

The idea that this thin sheet can be used for isolating the teeth was demonstrated by Sanford Christie Barnum, an American dentist from New York, in 1864. Dr Delous Palmer and S.S.White, in 1882, further introduced a set of 32 clamps and a Rubber Dam punch to keep the dam in place surrounding the tooth, thus making it easier to use.

But still today, in the 21st century, many dentists do not prefer using it. It takes more time trying to convince the dentist rather than to put it on most of the time.

Advantages of Using Rubber Dam:

  1. It provides a clean and dry operative field:
  2. Enhances accessibility and visibility of the operative field.
  3. Improves bonding of dental materials to enamel and dentin by keeping tooth substrate free of any oral fluids.
  4. Protects the patient and the operator from possible exposure to infectious diseases during procedures
  5. Increases efficiency of operating

These advantages certainly justify that using a rubber dam is obligatory in endodontics.

Its use is contraindicated in the following situations

  • Asthmatic patients
  • Presence of some fixed orthodontic appliances
  • Insufficiently erupted teeth unable to support retainer
  • Third molars (in some cases)
  • Extremely malpositioned teeth
  • Allergy to latex (however, latex-free rubber dam sheets are also available now)
  • Mouth breathers
  • Psychological reasons

However, these situations are the exception, and it has been reported that most patients and operators well accepted the use of the rubber dam.

Also ReadNova Eureka – The Answer to Dental Care in the Age of Novel Coronavirus

Components of Rubber Dam:


  • Rubber dam sheet
  • Rubber dam frame
  • Forceps
  • Clamp
  • Punch
  • Rubber dam template


  • Lubricants
  • Dental floss
  • Rubber dam napkins

Rubber Dam Clamp: Over the years, many recent advances have been seen in rubber dam clamps which include

  1. Clamp With Long Guard Extension
  2. Tiger Clamp
  3. S-G (Silker-Glickman)
  4. Super Clamp (Dent Corp Research And Development, NY, USA
  5. Gold Colored Clamps



  • These are soft cashew shaped grooved on the inner surface of the rubber dam clamp.
  • It prevents slipping of the clamps by providing additional grip.
  • It increases patient comfort.

Read AlsoOral Health Screening and Treatment

Recent advances in types of Rubber Dam

  • Hat- Dam
  • Liquid Dam
  • Opal dam

The Faculty of Dental Sciences, SGT University, Gurugram, started as SGT Dental College Hospital & Research Institute in 2002 and is now among the best dental colleges in Delhi NCR. The faculty has nine departments, which have highly experienced and energetic faculty members with ethical and scientific mindsets to carry forward the science of Dentistry, laying focus on research & innovation in Dentistry and Applied Sciences.

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