Article: Volume 47 Number 7 Page 548 - July/August 2020

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  Dent Update 2020; 47: 548-558

Restorative dentistry:  Splendid Isolation: a Practical Guide to the Use of Rubber Dam Part 1

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Abstract: Rubber dam isolation is generally considered to be the optimal method of moisture control in dentistry and is taught at the majority of dental schools worldwide. Unfortunately, undergraduate training does not always translate into use in dental practice, with the majority of clinicians never using a rubber dam, even for endodontic procedures, where its use is regarded as best practice in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in the use of rubber dam as a highly effective infection control barrier. As professional and patient experience of rubber dam isolation is extremely limited, these two papers are designed to support the practical training of clinical teams in the confident, skilful use of rubber dam, to outline its advantages and to help overcome barriers to its routine use. Part one provides an update of the latest equipment and materials for rubber dam isolation and part two provides a practical guide to rubber dam isolation techniques for endodontic and operative/restorative procedures.

Clinical relevance: Mastering rubber dam isolation will enhance patient care and be professionally rewarding for clinical teams.

Author notes: Louis Mackenzie, BDS, FDS RCPS(Glasg), General Dental Practitioner (GDP), Birmingham, Clinical Lecturer, University of Birmingham; School of Dentistry and Head Dental Officer, Denplan, Winchester, Mike Waplington, BDS, MDentSc, GDP, Specialist in Endodontics; Past President, British Endodontic Society and Steve Bonsor, BDS(Hons), MSc, FHEA FDS RCPS(Glasg), MDTFEd, GDP, The Dental Practice, Aberdeen; Hon Senior Clinical Lecturer, Institute of Dentistry, University of Aberdeen; Online Tutor/Clinical Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Objective: To provide an update of the latest equipment and materials for rubber dam.

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