Rubber dam usage for endodontic treatment: a review

Int Endod J. 2009 Nov;42(11):963-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2591.2009.01623.x.


Rubber dam has been available to the dental profession for over 140 years. During this time, the use of rubber dam has been perfected, universally taught and recommended by professional organizations. Unfortunately, its consistent use has been rejected by many in the profession. The literature suggests that rubber dam is not used routinely by dental practitioners for root canal treatment. Many unfounded reasons have been cited for its lack of use, including concerns over patient acceptance, time required for application, cost of equipment and materials, insufficient training, difficulty in use and low treatment fees. Failure to use rubber dam has been shown to influence the choice of root canal irrigant, has a negative impact on treatment outcome and places the patient at risk of swallowing or aspirating materials and instruments. Methods to popularize rubber dam amongst general practitioners are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Foreign Bodies / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists'*
  • Root Canal Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Rubber Dams / statistics & numerical data*