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Dental dams?

NotAloneISee

NotAloneISee

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Sep 15, 2008
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I have never had one, and I have so far no need of having one But I have a question based on another post.

I always assumed that they completely covered the mouth like a piece of rubber wrap. This would mean no breathing through the mouth, no talking and no closing of the mouth or any swallowing.

What is the actual reality regarding these things? They cannot be too bad, or they would not get used.
 
Zzzdentist

Zzzdentist

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Having a little bit of Gorgonzola with crackers!
Take an inflated balloon, draw a sexy smiley face on it, and give it a bit of a wide mouthed kiss, and that is pretty much like what it's like wearing a rubber dam. It's not air tight, and yes you can breath through your mouth underneath it if you wish. You can close somewhat, but don't close all the way as there usually is a little rubber dam clamp holding onto your tooth to keep the rubber dam from popping out. If you bite on it, it will pop out and as the dam is elastic, it will likely go zigging out of your mouth much to the dentist's dismay.
 
A

anya

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Nov 24, 2008
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Best thing ever invented! I had one for the first time today. I could breathe just fine through my mouth and it went that my tongue was kept out of the way and I could swallow easily so no need for that horrid little suction thingy which has caused me so much grief and gagging in the past. I wish my previous dentists had used them. I don't think they are the most attractive things and you won't win any beauty prizes while wearing ones, but I think they are great.:)
 
R

Robyn

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Nov 24, 2008
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Years ago, I had a dentist who said he didn't recommend other dentists unless they used a rubber dam. He then turned around and recommended the one I went to for over 20 years, who was totally surprised by the recommendation because he NEVER used a dam.

The dam worked for me, even though I was/am a mouth breather.
 
NotAloneISee

NotAloneISee

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Has anyone who feels the need to close their mouth occasionally disliked the dam?
 
A

anya

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I have to say it didn't bother me in the slightest. But then I have real issues with the suction thing they use - it quite often makes me gag - and the dental dam meant they didn't use that so I saw it as a real blessing. It feels a bit weird but not painful, not even uncomfortable in my case. I was just aware that I must have looked like a total freak with this bright green piece of rubber strung across my mouth!
 
F

fionaa

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Jan 3, 2009
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These sound like funny things, but can you talk whilst you have one on?
As some people would like to talk to tell the dentist they are in pain (I no I would) but they sound not that nice either being made out of rubber I wouldn't like one to be used on me :)
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Yes, you can talk while you have one on.

There's a smutty ZZZDentist-style joke in there about rubber in your mouth, but I won't stoop that low! :)
 
Zzzdentist

Zzzdentist

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:innocent: I seem to have developed a wee bit of a reputation for some reason. :rolleyes: Is it so wrong to practice safe dentistry? :whistle:

You can talk with a rubber dam on, but what you say might not be entirely understood. Usually we rely on pre-arranged hand gestures to communicate while the rubber dam is on, and it's not too difficult most of the time to tell if the patient is experiencing discomfort or not. Sometimes in a pinch the dentist can remove the rubber dam clamp and just hold the dam in the corner of your mouth to allow you to talk more clearly.
 
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