Dental Tribune Asia Pacific

Meta-analysis shows need for further evidence about rubber dam isolation

By Dental Tribune International
July 09, 2021

CHENGDU, China: For restorative dental treatments to be successful, proper dental isolation and moisture control are essential. One of the more widely applied traditional isolation methods involves the use of a rubber dam. A team of researchers from Sichuan University in Chengdu conducted a meta-analysis of studies regarding the rubber dam method and found that, although there is some evidence correlating its use to lower restoration failure rates, more research on the topic is needed.

The team of researchers had previously published a review study on the same topic in 2015, which included the results of four studies measuring the efficacy of rubber dam isolation against isolation conducted with cotton rolls. For this update, they conducted a new search for relevant studies and included an additional two, though their conclusions remained the same.

“Low- and very low-certainty evidence suggests that compared to traditional cotton rolls isolation method, the use of rubber dam in dental direct restorative treatments may lead to a higher survival rate of dental restorations,” the authors noted. They cautioned, however, that there was “a high risk of bias in the analysed studies” owing in part to their “being conducted in ways that may have introduced errors into their results”.

“The fact that we are unable to make a robust conclusion on the effects of using rubber dam isolation during restorative treatments in dental patients demonstrates that more well-designed randomised controlled trials with longer follow-up periods are needed,” the authors added. They recommended that future studies of the rubber dam isolation method’s effectiveness should consider indirect as well as direct restorations and should also include factors such as the direct cost of the treatment and patient acceptance and satisfaction rates.

The study, titled “Rubber dam isolation for restorative treatment in dental patients”, was published online in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on 17 May 2021.

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