Dental dam

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Dental dams or rubber dams are essentially rectangular sheets of latex used in dentistry, specifically endodontic therapy. They are also used during sexual activities as a safer sex technique.

In dentistry

Dental dam in patient's mouth.

A dental dam, also known as in Europe as a "Kofferdamm" (from German), is used mainly in endodontic treatment and when putting fillings into teeth. They are often made from thin latex rubber, and because of possible latex allergy, they are also available in silicone.

The main function is to isolate the tooth being treated from its environment, in particular from the bacteria in the oral cavity. The rubber dam is held over individual teeth or groups of teeth by appropriate clips or threads (ligatures) along the edge of the gum. The tooth crown stands out from the rubber dam through individual holes made by hole pliers, and permits a clean and dry treatment of the appropriate tooth without admission of blood and saliva.

Routine use of dental dams is not always appropriate because of some difficulties: communication with the patient is strongly reduced and the patient may feel restricted.

For oral sex

When held over the vulva or anus, an unpierced, intact dental dam protects both the person performing oral sex on those body parts and the person receiving it from potential harm from sexually transmitted diseases.

External links

de:Kofferdam (Zahnmedizin) de:Lecktuch nl:Rubberdam

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