The trifecta: ease of use, excellent isolation, and tear resistant
I simply can’t believe how much the material stretches and resists breakage.” That’s what Dr. Joshua Howard of Dover, NH, said about HEDY Canada’s Isodam nonlatex dental dam when he evaluated it for Dental Product Shopper. And he wasn’t alone among the evaluators. Flexibility and tear resistance were two of the most highly rated features of this product. Fourteen dentists participated in this DPS evaluation of Isodam. In addition to flexibility and tear resistance, the evaluators also rated the product on quality of isolation and ease of use, including ease of punching holes and placement.
Flexibility/Stretchability and Tear Resistance
Manufacturer Description:The non-latex, polyisoprene dental dams come in medium and heavy gauges, and have superior elasticity and tear resistance.
Evaluator Feedback:“The unit has tremendous ability to stretch and seal without tearing,” said a Vancouver dentist who rated both flexibility/stretchability and tear resistance as excellent. The other evaluators agreed and shared comments such as “very strong and tear resistant” and it “does not tear even under signicant stretch.” Dr. Frantz Backer from Jackson Heights, NY, said, “I don’t have to worry that it will rip as I stretch it [when] passing a clamp through.” He added, “It is stable. It is worry-free.”
Quality of Isolation
Manufacturer Description:The light blue Isodam dental dam comes in two sizes—5” x 5” and 6” x 6”—and provides the clinician with a dry operatory field.
Evaluator Feedback:Dr. Bruce Weitz from Loraine, OH, rated Isodam’s quality of isolation as excellent and said, “It created a good seal around the teeth I isolated.” He went on to say, “For the past few weeks, I really enjoyed placing and using this product—unusual for a dentist to say after 37 years.” A Canadian general dentist remarked, "Typical non-latex materials do not perform like this dam does in terms of its ability to prevent moisture contamination and to seal the tooth when doing endo." Dr. Mark I. Taira agreed, commenting, "Product works well in isolating teeth for RCTs as well as isolating teeth for restorative procedures."
Ease of Use
ManufacturerDescription:Isodam, which comes in standard packaging (5 x 5: 20 dental dams per box, 6 x 6: 15 dental dams per box) or economy package (5 x 5: 100 dental dams per box, 6 x 6: 75 dental dams per box), is easy to place for isolation during restorative and endodontic procedures.
Evaluator Feedback: All of the evaluators agreed that the Isodam is easy to place, sharing comments that the texture was “easy to work with,” “handled as well as the leading brand,” and was “easy to handle.” Dr. Howard, who rated ease of use as excellent, commented, “Maybe [it could be] a little easier to punch through the material.” Dr. Grace Chu, an endodontist from Dallas, TX, said she liked the “ease of use [when] either directly placing with clamp at the same time or applying the dam after the clamp is placed on the tooth.” Dr. Chu also noted that the material “doesn’t disintegrate with the use of strong chemicals like NaOCl, EDTA, chlorhexidine, and chloroform.”
All of the evaluators said they would recommend Isodam to their colleagues and purchase it in the future. Ten evaluators rated their overall satisfaction with the dental dam as excellent, and 4 rated it as very good. When asked what they would like to see improved, most evaluators said no improvements were needed, with comments like, “I felt it was a good product,” and, “Little to improve really—a great improvement over other dams used in the past.” Dr. Nathaniel Behrents, an endodontist from Fayetteville, AR, gave Isodam an overall satisfaction rating of excellent, but said he would like to see a “darker color for better contrast when taking intraoral photos through the microscope.” When Dr. Backer was asked what he would like to see improved about Isodam, he said, “After 15 years of practice and frankly thousands of procedures under my belt, I can simply say it is the very best [dental dam] out there.”