Is Your dentist using rubber dam islolation?
So what is a rubber dam? A rubber dam is kind of like a rubber napkin that isolates your tooth from the rest of your mouth. Is this important? Yes it is very important. It helps your dentist to see better so it is probably safer.
The main reason I use a rubber dam is the blocking of my patients swallowing mercury.
In school they taught us that the kind of mercury in metal ( amalgam) fillings was inert and not harmful. However the chiropractic community is pushing very hard for patients to have them removed. I dont know if its safe or not, but in my mouth a rubber dam will be used! I can also say that they will not let us store amalgam fillings in the ground, but we can put them in peoples mouths? Makes little since to me. They make solid restorations but the time of silver fillings in my opinion is over. Just my opinion, but like I said in my mouth a rubber dam will always be used.
Another reason for using the rubber dam for dental procedures is that studies have shown it makes the white ( composite resins) fillings bond to the tooth better. Meaning they should last longer.
Saliva in your mouth also contains bacteria that we do not want getting under your fillings. So keeping the tooth clean when we work on it is important. Also the chemical reaction that makes the filling go from putty to hard does not occur if any liquid is present. The main question I ask is why do they make filling material out of something that cant get wet, when we are working in the mouth where everything is wet. Reguardless the rubber dam keeps everything clean and dry.
The reason almost all dentists do not use rubber dams is that they cannot place them very quickly. It can be tricky and time consuming. We use a method that usually allows us to place them in the mouth in about 30 seconds.
My suggestion is to ask your dentist to use one, especially if you are getting a filling in the back of your mouth. Again just my opinion.
Written by Dr. Scott Harbin