Working with Cofferdam
Cofferdam is a small elastic sheet of latex (material similar to surgical gloves), used for isolating the teeth from saliva and moisture during work. This sheet (cofferdam) is used to protect from filings and dust in the throat.
How is it placed?
In order to use the cofferdam we drill holes into it that correspond to the size and location of teeth on which we would be working. We put one or two metal clamps (rings) around this teeth and we put the sheet on through the holes. After it is placed down, we stretch the sheet on a small frame to keep it stretched and protect it from displacement.
Why do we use the frame when we work on your teeth?
It is normal for the teeth to have contact with the saliva, which is good for them. But when we work on them, it would be better for them to be completely isolated from the saliva and be dry. This lets us prepare and restore the teeth with greater precision. Besides, the latest techniques – restorations – require completely dry working field. This means that the tooth that will be worked on and the neighbouring teeth have to be completely dry. Thus the cofferdam aids us to get the best results. It also helps keep the mouth open and the tongue far from the working field, where sharp instruments are used and there may be wounding. And not least, the cofferdam does not allow the filings, dust particles and medicines to go down the throat. For example, during a modern endodontic treatment the medicines used for disinfection of the tooth are very toxic and should not come into contact with the mucosa of the mouth or gum. The only way for this to happen is isolating the tooth from the mouth through cofferdam. After we finish working, the sheet is taken out of the mouth quickly and easily.