Inside Dentistry
January 2008
Volume 4, Issue 1

The Super Clamp—An Innovative Isolation Barrier

One of the key factors for a consistent, predictable, and successful restoration is proper isolation of the tooth being restored. Contamination with fluids such as saliva and blood practically ensures restoration failure. It is imperative, therefore, that a rubber dam be used for isolation, because it helps to achieve an aseptic environment. Isolation of the tooth also allows for a better field of view and enhanced access while it helps to prevent the patient from inadvertently swallowing foreign matters.

For years, clinicians have used cotton rolls to isolate a tooth being restored. In many instances, however, the use of cotton rolls is insufficient to prevent contamination, even on the upper quadrants where the influence of tongue movement is usually minimal.

The use of a 6 x 6 rubber dam mounted on a special frame is another time-honored procedure for its proven isolation capabilities. However, good as it is, the rubber dam also has certain shortcomings. More than a few clinicians complain that it is too time-consuming to install; that could be true for those who do not use it routinely in their practices. As in any procedure, the less something is used, the more difficult it is to handle. In addition, many patients do not like the “suffocating feel” of having a rubber dam seemingly blocking their whole mouth and nose.

A new isolation barrier protection was recently introduced to the market. This new product, called the Super Clamp (Dent Corp Research and Development, White Plains, NY), facilitates the isolation of an individual tooth without covering the whole mouth and nose. It pro-tects the tongue and cheeks while helping the patient and the dentist feel more comfortable. The tongue does not need to be protected with the mirror; it gives total security for all treatment with the rotary instrument. The device consists of a specially designed clamp with an added “wing extension” to retract the cheeks and the tongue (Figure 1). This system comes with pre-cut rubber dam materials designed to fit the clamp.

The Super Clamp is very simple to use. It takes no more than 30 seconds to seat it in place, and, in most instances, patients feel no unusual discomfort when it is in place. In addition, the Super Clamp does not cover the whole mouth and nose, so patients are more likely to readily accept its use (Figure 2). The Super Clamp allows for easy evacuation of oral fluids with a saliva ejector or a high-volume evacuator. It can also be used without the rubber dam to protect only the tongue and soft tissues.

The clamp itself is made out of thin, flexible stainless steel. It can be sterilized by steam under pressure (autoclave), chemical vapor under pressure (chemi-clave), dry heat, or even boiling. The cost is reasonable, and because most dental offices already have a rubber dam punch and a rubber dam clamp holder, the only item that needs replacement is the rubber dam material itself. Just about the only disadvantage of the system is that it cannot be used for anterior teeth, but it is an excellent system to use when doing direct composite restorations, root canal procedures, indirect posterior restorations such as porcelain and composite inlays and onlays, as well as amalgam restorations.

This article was written by Ed de la Vega, DDS.

For more information, contact:
Dent Corp Research and Development
Phone: 1-800-454-9244
Web: www.dentcorp.com


The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry. The preceding is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval for the aforementioned products or services or their effectiveness, quality, or safety on the part of Inside Dentistry or AEGIS Communications. The publisher disclaims responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas or products referred to in the preceding material.

Figure 1 The Super Clamp consists of a specially designed clamp with an added "wing extension" to retract the cheeks and the tongue.   Figure 2 The Super Clamp does not cover the whole mouth and nose, so patients are more likely to readily accept its use.

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