Hi everybody, Dr. Sonia Chopra here, and I want to talk to you a little bit more about the rubber dam. After my blog on the importance of using a rubber dam (Read “Rubber Dams: The Truth About Tooth Isolation in Endodontics) I got a lot of feedback that people were still reluctant to use the thing. So I’ve created a rubber dam template for you to use to make placement easy. Watch my video tips here, or you can read below. Click the link below the video to get your template download.
Transcript of video:
I wanted to create another download for you to make everything really simple for you when you’re using a rubber dam. So this is one of those rubber dam templates that you can use in your office. It will print out really nicely on an 8.5 x 11″ sheet. You can then laminate it and then keep one in each opertory so that your team can use it and implement it for you.
So what you’ll do is you’ll take the rubber dam and you’ll simply place it right over that square on the template, and you’ll want to look through it and see where those dots shine through. And based on the tooth number that you’re doing you’ll just use a sharpie and mark it right on your rubber dam. Now the Opaldam rubber dam that I use may be a little bit thick for you, so you may want to invest in some ultrathin rubber dams to begin with. The ultrathin rubber dam will help you look through and see exactly where to make your mark on that with a sharpie, and it can also help you when you’re taking x-rays when you’re doing your root canal. Your sensor will shine through underneath that rubber dam, so that you know exactly where to put your X-ray sensor.
When you’re using the rubber dam template you can use it for either a single tooth or you can use it for multiple teeth. When you’re doing a single tooth it’s really simple — you just use one hole punch and that will be held down nicely by your rubber dam clamp. When you’re doing multiple teeth you may have to make a few adjustments. When I do multiple teeth — let’s say I’m doing teeth 3 and 4 at the same time — I actually want to make a hole punch for teeth 3, 4 and 5. I want to go one tooth beyond the teeth that I’m actually working on so that the rubber dam will sit all the way down around the necks of the teeth. And then sometimes if I feel that it’s coming up then I’m going to use something like a Wedgets, which is a rubber band-like material that I can put in between the teeth like a piece of floss. You take the Wedgets and put it between teeth 5 and 6 and it will hold the rubber dam in place, but a piece of floss will function just as well.
Now if your rubber dam is on there and you feel pretty confident with it but you’re seeing some moisture and saliva come through, you want to make sure you reinforce your rubber dam with something like Opaldam — this is like a liquid dam material that you will light cure in place. It doesn’t stick well in moisture so make sure you suction and dry the area really well before you place it and then light cure it. But if you use the tools your rubber dam should be really easy for you. And if you have this already set for your team they can punch the hole in the right place. The idea is to make sure that your rubber dam hole isn’t punched right in the center of the rubber. Instead you want to put it in the quadrant. So the template will help you get it in just the right spot, and your team can help you use it!