The use of rubber dam during endodontic treatment has been deemed a necessity. But is there scientific evidence to back this up?

By Dr. Barry H. Korzen

There are multiple reasons for using a rubber dam while performing endodontic treatment, including increased visualization, improved infection control and safety for the patient.

In a paper published in the November 2014 issue of The Journal of Endodontics (The Effect of Rubber Dam Usage on the Survival Rate of Teeth Receiving Initial Root Canal Treatment: A Nationwide Population -based Study) Lin et al followed “517,234 teeth that received initial RCT between 2005 and 2011 and that met the inclusion criteria.¬†After adjusting for age, sex, tooth type, hospital level, tooth scaling frequency per year after RCT, and systemic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension, the tooth extraction hazard ratio for the RCT with rubber dams was significantly lower than that observed for RCT without rubber dams.”

The authors then concluded that “The use of a rubber dam during RCT could provide a significantly higher survival rate after initial RCT. This result supports that rubber dam usage improves the outcomes of endodontic treatments.

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