The first time I used a "liquid dam" in dentistry was when I started doing in-office whitening. A liquid dam is a flowable, light cured material that is often used to isolate teeth and tissue.

You simply place it like flowable resin directly where you need it and cure it. Best of all, it stays soft and flexible and is easily removed after you are done.

Here are some common uses I have found outside of bleaching or whitening:


  • During rubber dam placement, a liquid dam is very helpful in sealing off any areas that may have any seepage.

  • If you need to use air abrasion or a microetcher to clean off you preparations, a liquid dam is a great tool to protect the gingival tissue while you are doing this. You simply place it, cure it, microetch your preparation, rinse and remove the liquid dam and you are ready to go.

  • You can use it in areas such as undercuts or large embrasures, around periodontially involved teeth and around implant bar and attachments—anywhere you don't want impression material to flow or lock into.

  • During placement of restorative material, it can help you stabilize a matrix band, or your restorative material where you want it to be.

  • Porcelain repairs will require some preparation of the fractured porcelain, including using porcelain etch. Using a liquid dam can be helpful in isolating the area you are working in.

Jeff Lineberry, DDS, Spear Visiting Faculty [ ]


Commenter's Profile Image Dr. Joiner
April 29th, 2014
Will any flowable do?
Commenter's Profile Image Jeff Lineberry
April 30th, 2014
Dr. Joiner Yes, you could use flowable resin, but I have found a few down sides to using it vs. Liquid Dam products: 1. It can be more difficult to remove as it will get very hard vs. the Liquid Dam is designed to stay flexible and easy to remove. 2. Cost; Flowable resin is a lot more expensive to use vs. Liquid Dam products. Thanks for the question and hope this helps!