How Dental Dams Keep You Safe At The Dentist’s Office
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I hope you and your family are safe and healthy as we continue to quarantine. 

When we reopened May 1, our team was prepared to take all the necessary precautions to keep patients safe – we even shared those strategies with you.  

One of the protocols we’re using on nearly 100% of our restorative patients is the Dental Dam. This tool helps prevent the spread of infection. We’ve had a few questions about how they work and how they protect both patients and staff. We’re here today to answer those questions!

What exactly is a Dental Dam?

A dental dam is a non-latex sheet with a hole punched in the material. It is placed around the tooth during procedures, and they are also single-use, so we dispose of them after each appointment.

Dental Dams are commonly used during root canals to isolate the tooth that needs to be repaired while keeping the others safe from infection – but today, they are used in almost all restorative procedures.

How does a Dental Dam protect all persons involved in the procedure?

In regards to the current state we’re in, navigating through COVID-19, dental dams are a critical tool. Studies show that when used with gloves, mask, and protective eyewear, the rubber dam is an excellent barrier, helping prevent spread of infectious disease in the dental office.” And, according to the National Library of Medicine, “The dentists and dental assistants are protected against infections, which can be transmitted by the patient’s saliva.” 

Midlothian Dental Center uses a high speed vacuum in combination with a dental dam to eliminate aerosols before they spread. This means that even if someone coughs during a procedure, the room is protected. Bacteria from the throat and mouth are separated from any aerosol created during the procedure.

A few of the main advantages to using Dental Dams include: preventing the spread of oral bacteria from entering the exposed root chamber and preventing you from swallowing any debris or fluid from the treatment. 

Are Dental Dams uncomfortable for the patient?

The Dental Dam is placed around the dental clamp and then a u-shaped device is hooked around the dental clamp. It may feel unusual because it’s not quite like the dental appointment you’re accustomed to, but it is the safest way to get the dental care you need. 

This isolates the teeth where dental treatment will be conducted. 

Hopefully you now have a better understanding as to why this device is now being used for all restorative appointments here at Midlothian Dental Center.  

We look forward to seeing you again soon, and in the meantime, we hope you’re staying safe and healthy. 

If you have any questions about our current protocol, please refer to our previous blog post or give us a call at (804) 794-4588. We are confident about our ability to treat patients while still doing what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and American Dental Association.

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