Welcome to Julian Webber's blog where he muses on a range of topics including some of his most interesting cases,
stories from his travels, the latest from the clinic and news on our Saving Teeth Awareness Campaign.

No rubber dam, no root canal treatment

The widely reported trauma suffered by a young woman undergoing root canal treatment this month (November 2016) was 100% preventable. The incident in Bristol led to widespread commentary in the national media after the patient told her story publicly. She said that an endodontic file went down her throat and when she choked, the file was forced downwards, piercing her stomach lining.

It seems likely that the dentist had not used a rubber dam, a stretchy sheet which both isolates the tooth and protects the patient’s airway. A hole is made in the middle of the sheet so it can be placed around the neck of the tooth, rather like a barber’s gown, so that the tooth is isolated and nothing can fall into the mouth.

The rubber dam serves several functions:

1)   It prevents anything accidentally failing into the patient’s mouth

2)    It prevents the strong chemicals that are used to clean the root canal from accidentally spilling into and burning the patient’s mouth

3)   It isolates the tooth and keeps it dry, helping to achieve a good clinical outcome.

4)    It reduces the risk of bacteria penetrating the root canals during the procedure, also improving the likelihood of healing and a long-lasting result

This is an accident that was preventable and should not have happened. Interestingly, a patient’s forum provides a section on the rubber dam which suggests that there should be no difficulty in persuading patients that placement of a rubber dam is essential. The cultural norm should be: No rubber dam, no root canal treatment.

Further reading from professional bodies and publications:

http://www.britishendodonticsociety.org.uk/profession/quality-guidelines.pdf

http://www.aae.org/uploadedfiles/publications_and_research/guidelines_and_position_statements/dentaldamstatement.pdf

http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v209/n4/full/sj.bdj.2010.721.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to No rubber dam, no root canal treatment

  1. Thanks for sharing the best posts they very help us. You made a good site and giving us such a great information on this topic it’s very useful to us

  2. Well, You did a great job about this topic. You gave a great material that was amazing and very helps us. I am very impressed with your site it’s very interesting one. Thank you all for posting the information

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you for posting this information to us. We have read this information from your site’s blog only. You did a good work on it. Thanks for sharing the best information with us. I am very impressed with your suggestions and instructions. they amazing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>