Why do dentists use a dental dam? I really don’t like the way it feels in my mouth. It seems like whenever I need a dental treatment, it is used.
- McKenzie in Mississippi
Dental dams or what are sometimes referred to as rubber dams are comprised of latex. They are typically used when you need a root canal treatment and sometimes a dentist may use them to fill a cavity. The main benefit of using a dental dam is to keep the tooth and the work area dry. If the tooth that is being worked on remains dry than there will be less bacteria. This is because there is bacteria in saliva. This is especially important during a root canal treatment since the procedure is being done to remove the infection. Bacteria in the tooth area may cause a reoccurring of the infection.
Another thing that is helpful to a dentist using a dental dam is that it keeps the tongue out of the way of the area where the dentist is working. It also helps to keep water, any tooth particles, as well as dental materials from being swallowed. If you are a patient that gags a lot, it can help because it can help avoid triggering the gag reflex. Today it is very common for dentists to use white fillings instead of silver amalgam filling. With white composite it is essential that the tooth stays dry so the bonding technology can work properly. If bacteria interferes with this process the chances for future tooth decay are higher.
If you are especially nervous or anxious about the use of the dental dam, talk to your dentist about it. There are many techniques or sedation dentistry treatments that can help you relax.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.