If you’ve had a root canal treatment, then you would know what I’m talking about here. A rubber dam is a thin, rectangular sheet, usually latex rubber, used isolate the operative site (one or more teeth) from the rest of the mouth. There are several reasons why it is necessary during a root canal treatment. Firstly, during root canal treatment, small intricate instruments are used to remove the infection from a tooth. A rubber dam can prevent these little instruments falling into the back of your mouth. This way, your throat is well protected. Secondly, the medication that is used during root canal treatment should always stay in the confinement of the tooth that’s being treated. It stings if it gets in contact with cheeks or gums. Rubber dam protects the rest of mouth from being exposed to various medicament. The thing is, a rubber dam is important in other dental procedures too. At TLC Dentistry, we use a rubber dam when we place fillings. A lot of the times when we place new fillings, we need to remove old silver-colored, aka amalgam fillings. As we all know, amalgam contains mercury and it is best not to ingest any. So having a rubber dam means that all of the old amalgam gets pulled up into the suction lines and away from your body, along with any vapor that could be created during the procedure. So this is during removal of old fillings, what happens when we place new fillings then? Nowadays, we frequently place white fillings. White fillings glue to teeth by ways of chemical bonding. The glue that holds a white filling to a tooth will only work if the tooth is dry. A lot of things can contaminate the working area, like saliva, blood, even the moisture from your breath. When the tooth is not completely dry, the glue won’t work and the tooth would be sensitive to temperature and biting after the filling is placed, and the filling can fail prematurely. At TLC Dentistry, we place a rubber dam on your teeth when placing new fillings, so that we can make sure that the fillings that you have paid for and lied in the chair for are going to look good, feel good and stay in your mouth for many years to come.