by Dr Carl Pan, Experteeth Dental Group, NSW
A contraster is a malleable device that allows you to take photos of the teeth with a completely black background. The photos are clear and presentable for patients, publications and online.
What’s good about it
This is a great product that helps with patient communication when you want to show them how their teeth look. It works very well with anterior cases and I use it when taking photos for whitening. The shade of the teeth is much more accurately represented when the contraster is in place. The photos look professionally shot and can be used in a number of different ways, including marketing.
The contraster is shaped to fit the mouth but you need to use two retractors to retract the cheeks. The contraster is then placed right behind the teeth. It requires a bit of technique and you have to find the right retractors to use. It also takes a bit of teamwork between the dentist and the nurses.
After use, it’s sterilised in the autoclave. The results are fantastic and the photos really look great, especially when they are added to your website.
What’s not so good
You can’t use a contraster with some patients. It depends on what you’re photographing but sometimes the contraster has to be angled quite deeply into the mouth. Patients with a sensitive gag reflex usually can’t bear to have it positioned in such a way.