When dental devices work in the patient’s oral cavity, a large amount of aerosol and droplets mixed with the patient’s saliva will be generated. The use of a rubber dam can help the spread of aerosol particles.
The airborne spread of SARS-Cov (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is well-reported in literature. Documentation shows many procedures in dentistry produce aerosols and 1 droplets that are contaminated with the virus. Dental practices have many concerns for droplets and aerosol transmission of 2019-nCoV, as the particles from droplets or aerosols are small enough to stay airborne for an extended period before they settle on environmental surfaces or enter the respiratory tract. 2. Now more than ever, the utilization of a dental rubber dam is necessary for handpieces with rotating turbines at a high-speed. 2019-nCoV has the potential to spread through droplets and aerosols from infected individuals in dental clinics and hospitals 3. When dental devices work in the patient’s oral cavity, a large amount of aerosol and droplets mixed with the patient’s saliva—or even blood—will be generated. A survey last year noted the percentage of practices utilizing a dental rubber dam was under ten percent. The number one reason for this at the time was lack of proper training and time. 4 Documentation proves the placement of a rubber dam significantly reduces airborne particles in a three-foot diameter of the operational field by 70 percent during a dental procedure. Before beginning the rubber dam application, it’s best to explain to the patient what to expect and why you are using it. Many patients have not been exposed to the dam and may not understand or fear its use. There is much to learn about the rubber dam and its benefits in operative dentistry. Below is a comprehensive list of dental dam materials and equipment, plus their proper uses. COURTESY: Dental Products Report.
COURTESY: Dental Products Report