Welcome to our blog. Today, at Hartwell Dentistry, we will be discussing the reasons for the use of what is commonly called rubber dam.

What is Rubber Dam

A rubber dam is a small, stretchable sheet of rubber that is used to isolate the teeth being treated, keep them dry and to prevent contamination.  The rubber dam also keeps debris and water from reaching into the back of your throat.   It also allows for the safe removal of old mercury amalgam fillings, other metals and ceramic crowns.

This provides the safest environment for treatment that is possible.

Rubber dam was first used over 80 years ago in America and has been taught at Universities all over the world as a protocol ensuring the highest standard of care.

It has been  taught and advocated for use at Universities in Australia for the last 30 plus years.


They are thin squares of latex rubber, however silicone versions are available for those with latex allergies.

To use a rubber dam, we first put holes in it that match the teeth we are working on. We place a metal ring over a tooth to help secure the rubber dam. We stretch the rubber dam over a frame that holds it tight and keeps it out of the way, still allowing enough room for you to be able to breathe comfortably.


Usually your teeth are covered in saliva, which is very good for them.  However, when working on the teeth, it is better for you if they are kept dry as the tooth coloured materials and adhesives we use require a uncontaminated environment to bond onto.   It also allows the team here at Hartwell Dentistry to complete your treatment at a more efficient and effective rate thus enabling a result of a higher standard. We use rubber dam for most procedures including tooth coloured restorations, veneers, crowns and root canal therapy.

The rubber dam also helps us with keeping your mouth open and your tongue , cheek and lips out of harms way during the procedure.  As soon as the treatment on the teeth is complete, the rubber dam is able to come off.

If you require the removal of an amalgam filling from your teeth, the rubber dam will provide a safe environment and prevent any exposure when removing it. This is the only recommended safe method for removing mercury containing metal fillings.


–         Isolates the teeth and keeps them dry preventing contamination

–         Improved access and visibility of the teeth enabling a quicker procedure of a higher standard

–         Creates a safe working environment for you and the dentist


–         A psychological disadvantage associated with rubber dam use is the reaction of a claustrophobic patient, but here at Hartwell Dentistry we find that with care and awareness of our patients’ needs that 99.5% of people cope very well with the rubber dam.

So if you are looking for caring, safe, modern dentistry, following the latest techniques to ensure the best result for your health please contact Hartwell Dentistry and give us a chance to look after your dental needs to the standard you deserve.