Attitude and Use of Rubber Dam During Endodontic Procedures in the United Arab Emirates
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Introduction: Rubber dam is an essential adjunct in endodontic treatment that was introduced as early as 1864. It prevents swallowing of medicament, instruments and irrigating solutions, debris and retracts soft tissue. Although it makes a significant difference to endodontic treatment success, surprisingly it is not used routinely by many General Dental Practitioners. Aim: To evaluate the attitude and the use of rubber dam during endodontic procedures by final year undergraduate dental students and General Dental Practitioners, in the United Arab Emirates. Materials and Methods A questionnaire, consisting of 16 questions, was designed and distributed among the target population of 100 final year undergraduate dental students of Ajman University. The same questionnaire was also disseminated among 90 General Dental Practitioners. As well as the use of rubber dam, the survey also focused on other related factors such as latex allergy. The data gleaned from the questionnaires were analysed and presented in tables or bar charts. Statistical tests were also applied to check for significant differences (p< 0.05). Results: The completed returned questionnaires 90 (90%) by undergraduate dental students and 89(99%) by General Dental Practitioners were tabulated and analysed to establish trends. It was found that rubber dam was used routinely by 91.1 % of the undergraduate dental students. This figure, however, dropped dramatically to 46% with General Dental Practitioners. One of the main reasons cited by General Dental Practitioners for not using rubber dam was that of patients’ preference. For endodontic treatment of posterior teeth, 95.5% of the undergraduate dental students used rubber dam compared with only 24.7% of the General Dental Practitioners and this was statistically significant (P < 0.05) . The study also revealed that only 70% of dental students intended to use rubber dam for endodontic procedures in practice after graduation. Conclusions: The use of rubber dam on posterior teeth was 95.5% among the undergraduate dental students compared with 24.7% with General Dental Practitioners. The corresponding figures for anterior teeth was 50% and 20.2% for undergraduate dental students and General Dental Practitioners, respectively. For General Dental Practitioners, it was found that the use of rubber dam decreased with increasing postgraduate experience.