In light of today’s heightened need to reduce aerosol viruses, weighing the benefit of using a rubber dam may outweigh the challenges of using one. But I have found a barrier solution that is easy to use, highly efficient for isolation and reduction of aerosols, and more patient-friendly. It is actually a rubber dam replacement called OptraDam® Plus from Ivoclar Vivadent.
For some time now it has been part of my restorative toolkit, because the isolation improves restorative outcomes and, once again…it is efficient, easy to use, and patient-friendly. I call it “the friendlier version of a rubber dam.”
OptraDam® Plus comes prepacked in two sizes, regular and small. It has a figure 8 OptraGate for holding the lips out of the way and has a solid rubber dam back that is pre-marked for where to punch the holes. It is easy to insert and more comfortable in place. Because it does not require a lot of retention, I can use it without a clamp. This means I do not have to deliver palatal anesthesia on the maxillary or long buccal anesthesia on the mandibular. This is much kinder and gentler for the patient. It does not come in a Latex-free version, but it is a barrier solution you may want to consider.