I like to keep patients safe. I like to work on clean, isolated teeth. My endless (ask Mykala) reading of primary literature makes me love what is called a “dry field” to work in (no saliva, no tongue). So, I’m in favor of rubber dams. Very much in favor. Here is one of my favorite photos, ever:
That is a Coltène/Whaledent Flexi Dam Non Latex. It has a little waffle-y expansion matrix in the material (like a Glad ForceFlex garbage bag) that allows it to strrrrrrretch out. After breaking three dams in a row on three patients in a row, I started to suspect it wasn’t me but the material. This stretchy dam looked like a good alternative. For what it’s worth, that is a Fiesta brand color-coded rubber dam retainer also pictured on that tooth above, which is amazing as well.
How do I know? After researching the best dam system for a few months, I put in an order request and my kindly employer was nice enough to purchase the retainers and dams for me. It is hard to say how happy this makes me — I get to do the absolute best quality work possible for patients. Any compromises, no matter how small, say, maybe an increase in relative humidity during bonding or difficulty obtaining a broad contact, makes me really depressed (again, ask Mykala).
Luckily, the opposite is also true — getting to do the best (rubber dam, 4th or 5th gen bonding, V3 sectional matrix system, new burs) makes me so so happy.