Tools of the trade: Optragate


Optragateby Dr Brett Taylor, Leading Edge Dental, Penshurst, NSW


This oral retraction system consists of two rings of plastic with a rubber sheath between them. One ring is slipped just inside the lips and the other just outside so it works like a flexible retractor.

What’s good about it

It’s very comfortable and works well for procedures where you can’t—or don’t want to—use a rubber dam. For example, when doing restorations around the gum line in the front teeth, it’s possible to fit a rubber dam but it’s not simple, easy or helpful. And of course, some patients are claustrophobic and won’t tolerate a rubber dam.

When taking an impression, particularly when you want a dry full arch for a crown and bridge impression, it produces a fantastic result.

It’s also perfect for anterior restorations and fissure sealants. There is a superior level of retraction yet it doesn’t get in the way at all. It comes in small and regular sizes and is tolerated very well by patients.

Don’t get me wrong. I love rubber dams and use them wherever possible. Optragate, however, acts like a second pair of hands, retracting and isolating well enough to make lots of tasks seem just that little bit easier. Now that I’ve got it, I wouldn’t want to live without it.

What’s not so good

It occasionally flicks out of the mouths of people with excessively moist lips.

Where did you get it

Ivoclar Vivadent.


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