Universal Endo Rubber-Dam Clamp

Woodridge, IL...July 18, 1994

In 1974, I needed to put a rubber dam on an upper canine which had broken off well below the free gingival margin.

Since I could not get a conventional clamp on the tooth, I bent the lingual jaw on an Ivory #9 down to match the buccal and found that it held really well.

I also noticed that since this particular tooth was pretty large, I had to spread the clamp quite a bit, and it took the bending and sprung right back when I took it off.

I began to experiment, finding that there were other advantages to this clamp when used on other anteriors and premolars.

Eventually I found that it could be used on any tooth in the mouth.

Several times I approached Ivory, asking if they were interested in manufacturing this clamp already bent.

They weren't.

So when the Automated Endo courses began in 1976, I taught the use of the specially bent clamp as part of the technique.

Ivory noticed the increase in the sales of #9 clamps so that the next time that I asked, they were interested.

That clamp is now known as the Ivory #9J and is sold by Special Products.

The difference is that both jaws point apically at about a 45 degree angle.

They are small enough that they will fit into the sulcus on molars.

Since the points on each jaw are so close together, you can almost always find enough tooth structure to seat both of them.

A few technique tips.

  1. Use 6 inch by 6 inch medium rubber dam.

    A secret I learned from Dr.

    William R.

    Scott of Vancouver, BC, Canada in the 60s is that you have to have enough dam to reach the molars without stretching it, because if you have to stretch the dam, it will tug on the clamp and pull it off.

  2. Use an Ostby rubber dam frame.

    These have multiple points for attachment of the dam.

    Have the assistant prepunch one hole in the center of the dam.

    Attach the four outer corners of the dam to the four outer corners of the frame as part of the pre-operative set up.

    It is important in endo to have the rubber dam on the OUTSIDE of the frame.

    This will become apparent when you take your xrays.

  3. Stretch the hole over the tooth first, then put on the clamp, using the assistant to stretch one side while you place the clamp.

  4. After the clamp is on, you can adjust the position of the dam on the frame to make it neater.

  5. When taking the xray, simply pop one side of the rubber dam loose, leaving the top-middle and bottom-middle points attached.

    You can then simply open the door, so to speak, to take you xray and the frame will stay in place.

  6. When finished with the xray, rehook the other side of the dam.

E-mail your comments to drjack@BetterEndo.com

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