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Going to the dentist for anything other than a simple cleaning often includes placing major hardware and vinyl contraptions in your mouth. One of the most annoying of these is the dental dam (link).
I propose that a dentist who feels the need to require a dental dam simply give the patient a big
wad of chewing gum (this would be sugarless unless the dentist is really trying to drum up more business).
The patient would simply blow a large bubble until it popped, effectively accomplishing the same thing but infinitely more comfortable. Any chemicals, drill minutia, cotton fibers, pipe whenches, etc. would simply stick to the gum for later disposal.
Last point: gum is biodegradable (granted, this process takes thousands of years).
Dental Dam, Old Version
[Grogster, Sep 23 2011]
||... or choke to death on it!
||Remind me to never go to the dentist.
||I imagine several flavors, in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated choices. You could also combine several other options in there, such as Prozac, acne medication, Thorazine, all with a pleasant fruity aftertaste.