Tools of the trade: Optragate

Optragate lip and cheek retractor

by Dr Stephen Tangney, Avenue Dental, Caloundra, QLD

Optragate is made of a soft, flexible material and gently retracts the lips and cheeks. I’ve been using it for about 12 months and have found it to be a real time saver, particularly in situations where I am working on multiple teeth.

What’s good about it?

It’s great to use when cementing brackets or undertaking multiple units of restorative work—be it fillings, composite veneers or ceramics. It frees up hands that were previously holding cheeks and gums out of the way.

Most patients tolerate it very well. While it can feel a little strange at first, if they relax into it, they tend to find it is quite comfortable. I make a point of letting my patients know I can work much faster when they are wearing the Optragate. This information always goes down well and they are usually excited about the prospect of less time in the chair.

It is simple to use, and comes in three sizes—regular, small and junior. It gives such great retraction anteriorly, I find I can work much faster and with a clearer field of view. The Optragate is also very easy to place in the patient’s mouth.

What’s not so good?

They are single use, and must be discarded after each patient. Generally, most people find them very comfortable but I have had one patient who disliked it stretching her mouth.

Where did you get it?

Henry Schein Halas.

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