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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2007 Jan;17(1):50-6.

An assessment of rubber dam usage amongst specialists in paediatric dentistry practising within the UK.

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Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Dundee Dental Hospital, Dundee, UK.



Rubber dam is recommended by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) for various restorative and endodontic procedures. To date, there has been no report of actual usage of rubber dam within the speciality of paediatric dentistry. The aim of this study was to assess the usage of rubber dam amongst paediatric dentistry specialists within the UK.


A postal questionnaire was distributed to all practitioners registered on the UK General Dental Council's 2004 specialist list in paediatric dentistry.


Data were available for 162 questionnaires (a 75% response rate), and of these, 85% of respondents worked in the National Health Service (NHS), 4% were private practitioners and the remainder had a mixed NHS/private practice. Regarding the benefits of rubber dam, 65% and 52% of respondents quoted patient safety and moisture control, respectively. Perceived difficulties of dam usage were lack of patient cooperation and the non-necessity for a particular treatment, as quoted in 64% and 36% of the completed questionnaires, respectively. The most common modes of isolation for anterior and posterior teeth were Dry Dam(R) (58%), and clamp and dam (80%), respectively.


Current BSPD guidelines recommend rubber dam usage for many restorative procedures; however, it would appear that there is wide variability in the application, as well as under-use, of rubber dam.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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