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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction
Dental dam



Dental dams or rubber dams are essentially square sheets of latex used in dentistry, specifically endodontic treatment (root canals). They are also used during sexual activities as a safer sex technique.

Image:ZahnarztAlen5690_Kofferdam.JPG|thumb|250px|Dental dam in patient's mouth.
A dental dam, also known as in Europe as a "Kofferdam" (from German language|German), is used mainly in endodontic treatment and when putting fillings into teeth. It is made from thin latex rubber. Because of possible latex allergy, it is 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 individually holes made by hole pliers, and permits a clean and dry treatment — without admission of blood and saliva — of the appropriate tooth.

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

When held over the vagina or anus, a dental dam protects both the person performing oral sex (http://www.blowfish.com/catalog/supplies/images/s-gly-1021.jpg image) on those body parts and the person receiving it from potential harm from sexually transmitted diseases. A make-shift dental dam can also be created by slicing open a condom horizontally and spreading open the latex, but commercially available dental dams usually have a larger surface area (thus giving better protection).

  • http://www.barnard.edu/health/dentaldams.htm How to use a Dental Dam for sex

  • http://www.xessentials.co.uk xessentials.co.uk (commercial) website provides "pick 'n mix" condoms & dams in the UK. Also has guides to choosing and using condoms and dams.

Category:Dental equipment
Category:Sexual health

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dental dam".

Last Modified:   2005-12-19

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