What is cofferdam and why dentists use it?

What is cofferdam and why dentists use it?

The work of a modern clinic is impossible to imagine without cofferdam. When patients first see it they are either joking or scared.

What is it and why is it necessary to use it?

Cofferdam (Kofferdam, dental dam, rubber dam) is a thin 15 sm square sheet from latex or nitrile, used in dentistry to isolate the operative site (one or more teeth) from the rest of mouth. It is used in endodontics (on root canal therapy), fixed prosthodontic (veneers, crowns), teeth restorations.

The main function of cofferdam is isolation (that is to prevent saliva or blood interfering with the dental work). Interfering of these biological fluids can cause contamination of oral microorganisms for the root canals, or affect the quality of restoration. Also, use of cofferdam prevent the risk of inhaling of solutions and materials used during dentist’s work.

Cofferdam is fixed above the separate tooth or group of teeth using specific clamps. This keeps the tooth dry and protected against microorganisms.

What is cofferdam

Advantages of using cofferdam

Clean and dry operating field. Dental procedures often use special adhesives (fluid used to adhere material to the tooth surface) and cements. If salvia gets on the tooth surface, it threatens the success or longevity of tooth restoration due to poor adhesion.

Decreased level of contamination by oral microorganisms in salvia during dental treatment.

Improved visibility of operative area (turns away lips and cheeks, reduces mirror fogging, increases visual contrast). These factors play a significant role in the quality of work.

Reduced risk of accidental ingestion or inhaling of restorative materials, tooth fragments or solutions used during operation.

Prevention endodontic irrigants (active, disinfectants) from entering the oral cavity, which can damage the mucous membrane.

A comfort. Some patients find dental intervention more comfortable with a rubber dam because they feel safer. There is a feeling that the treatment is as if outside the mouth. Cofferdam also significantly reduces the noise level from drilling in the patient’s perception.

Reduces the patient`s vomiting reflex.

There is no need for constant spitting and rinsing of the mouth. The patient can swallow salvia freely during dental procedures.

Cofferdam significantly reduces the patient`s ability to speak, this is especially relevant during children`s reception))))) This can also be considered a disadvantage, or an advantage, in the case of extremely talkative young patients, to facilitate faster treatment).

Cofferdam is a reliable assistant in the work of a dentist. Thanks to use of a rubber dam not only comfort of the patient during treatment, but also the maximum quality of the performed work is provided.

Author: Svitlana Kovalenko, Dentist