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For deep fillings do you prefer a dental dam or not?



Junior member
Oct 14, 2020
This is really embarrassing but unfortunately I just found out I need 6 cavities filled! They're all between my teeth and I admit I'm awful at flossing :( but I won't be anymore!! Lol! 3 of the cavities are very deep, the dentist said they'll probably need a pulp cap. Anyway, I hate the dentist and get so nervous. We're not doing all the fillings in one sitting, 2 each time, but I'm wondering if people prefer a dental dam or not? I can't handle cotton, and I feel like I'm choking if things get too far back in my mouth. I did have a dental dam once years ago and I remember thinking it was nice because it blocked everything else out from getting in my throat. But this is a much longer appointment, probably almost an hour and a half he said, so what if I can't handle the dental dam on for that long? But it might be nice to just try and relax without worrying anything will get in my throat. Any advice or opinions welcome!!
Hi Jgordon7623 :welcome:,

don‘t worry about the cavities. The important part is that you are getting it sorted and intend to start flossing.
Sounds like you had a good experience with the dental dam in the past, so I would just say go for it. I had the dam too in the past and liked it, for the same reasons you mentioned. The dam can be taken off within few seconds in case you can‘t tolerate it, so that shouldn‘t be a problem. Just discuss this with your dentist and make up a stop sign. Back then I had a sing for stopping as usual (raising my hand) and a separate one for „take off the dam NOW“ (pointing at the dam twice). Does that sound like something that would make things easier for you?

All the best wishes
I have only had a dam once which was when I had a root canal. I much preferred it to be quite honest for all of the reasons you describe. It wasn't uncomfortable for me at all.
sorry to hear about the 6 fillings, i floss and still get cavities between my teeth so sadly it doesn't always help that, and i have a fear of the dental dam as well but i've used it in the past-just takes afew mins. to adjust to it being on and i make sure to remind them i may need breaks if i feel i can't breathe.
I prefer having the dental dam if possible.

not is very individual. Most people like the dam, some don’t.
An hour and a half is quite long. I could suggest splitting the appointment into tow halves: first one when the drilling takes place, then the rubber dam is less crucial (as well as cotton roles and such) and the second half which is filling the cavity in which dry working field is important and the rubber dam is really needed. This way you will have a break in the middle (an hour and a half appointment is rather long and it can be tiring for the jaw stay open) and shorten the time with rubber dam.