Surgical Field Isolation Through Rubber Dam to Prevent COVID-19 Exposure During Tooth Extraction: Case Report

The Open Dentistry Journal 12 Feb 2021 CASE REPORT DOI: 10.2174/1874210602115010001



At the beginning of 2020, a new pathogen named SARS-CoV-2 spread from China to the globe, becoming responsible for a potentially lethal acute respiratory syndrome: COVID-19. Direct contact and airborne contamination are the most frequent infection ways of SARS-CoV-2. During routine dental practice, SARS-CoV-2 transmission can occur through direct contact with mucous membranes, oral fluids, and contaminated instruments or inhalation of aerosol from infected patients.


Tooth extraction often involves exposure to blood and oral fluids, and the use of a rubber dam could be indicated to minimize direct contact and to decrease the amount of potentially infected droplets around the operatory field. The aim of this clinical case is to show how the use of a rubber dam could help in preventing or minimizing COVID-19 exposure during dental extraction.

Materials and Methods:

A 32-year-old patient reported severe pain and discomfort to an upper first molar due to a deep carious lesion and vertical tooth fracture. Under local anaesthesia, a rubber dam was placed, isolating the whole upper right sextant, and an atraumatic extraction was performed.


All three roots were intact, the bone septum was stable, and no oro-antral communication was present. A gauze swab was placed onto the socket and compressed slightly. After 5 minutes, the socket stopped bleeding, and both clamp and rubber dam, were removed.


Within the limits of this single case report, the use rubber dam prior to tooth extraction could be a useful device to decrease aerosol spread and exposure to blood.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Crossed infections, Tooth extraction, Rubber dam, Case Report.
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