Learn how to use the Umbrella™ retractor – a simple, straightforward, and extremely easy to place tongue, lip, and cheek tongue retractor that is incredibly comfortable for the patient.

While we all do our best to maintain good dental hygiene, a long dental procedure is nearly inevitable. The cheek retractors needed for lengthy chair time—and the resulting anxiety, muscle fatigue, and pinching—are just not up to the task. There are a lot of patients who can finally opt for a better experience.

When I was handed the Umbrella™ soft tissue retractor I cringed to prepare myself. I’d gone through years of orthodontic adjustments, as well as tooth extractions, so I thought I knew exactly what was coming. But the relief I felt—it has to be experienced. It felt like it was fitted just for me.

“Some retractors ask too much from the muscles, the ligaments, and at the end of the procedure you get this fatigue,” says Dr. Rafael Beolchi, DDS, MSc, of São Paulo, Brazil. “There is no muscle fatigue with Umbrella.”

After repressing the mild resentment of going without this product until now, I look forward to my dentist stocking it. I’ll shove it in his Christmas stocking if I have to.

A Clinical Viewpoint

Dr. Beolchi has encountered countless cheek retractors during his more than 20 years of experience in esthetic and cosmetic dentistry. “When we’re relaxed our teeth are not in contact. Our relaxed position in the mouth is when the mandible is open maybe 2–3 mm. Periodontal ligaments are not being stimulated which is good, and all the muscles are relaxed.” The innovative design of Umbrella immediately won him over because it mimics that relaxed posture for the patient.

“[. . .] I usually take baby steps when I test a new product. But I had a big case (etching, bonding, composite, etc.) including Umbrella and this case was huge—six upper anteriors, six lower anteriors—full veneers in one single day. The patient went from eight in the morning until noon, took a lunch break, then from maybe 2:00–7:00 p.m. So, the patient was with Umbrella for a total of nine hours…It was very, very comfortable for the patient and very, very stable.”

Dr. Beolchi goes on to explain, “In the first years of dental school, in clinical teaching, the first thing I learned was that the mouth is the most tactile region we have. It is natural for the patient to keep on pushing with the tongue, to feel and react. Umbrella is one of the few retractors that a patient doesn’t fight. [. . .] It is not an unconscious threat and I haven’t seen gagging in my patients.”

Clinical Technique

Umbrella cheek retractor clinical technique: step 1
Umbrella cheek retractor clinical technique: step 2 shows a patient with a mouth opened
Umbrella cheek retractor clinical technique: step 3 - fold the cheeck retractor and place it in the patient's mouth
Umbrella cheek retractor clinical technique: step 4 - a patient closes their mouth and sucks the cheeck retracion in
Umbrella cheek retractor clinical technique: step 5 - the cheeck retractor sits comfortably in the mouth, no gag reflex

Years of Development

Being able to alleviate gagging is a huge win for any doctor. Patients have that instinctual reaction and it calls for an instinctive solution.

The balance of easy placement with carefree stability—so the patient has a serene, relaxing experience—is no meager task. It took years of work by Ultradent’s R&D team to replicate an architecture that adapts to different anatomies. That’s what gives the instant custom feel when placed.

Plus, an Umbrella retractor opens the space between the teeth, lips, and cheeks in a way that encourages saliva to accumulate away from dentition—thus improving access for HVE and decreasing concern of contamination.

“There is room for everything you need; it is open, it is wide, so it’s easy to do suction,” Beolchi says, noting the additional benefits of Umbrella retractor’s built-in tongue guard. “And another thing the awesome, awesome tongue retractor it comes with—we didn’t even notice it at first, it was that comfortable for the patient.” The tongue segment on the Umbrella retractor was of particular importance when the R&D team was approaching design.

Patients often comment that they know where to place their tongue, and clinicians end up fighting the tongue out of the way during the procedure—the Umbrella retractor’s tongue guard guides the patient’s tongue into place, eliminating any confusion.

Ease of Placement, Easy on the Patient

The Umbrella soft tissue retractor offers stable access, easy placement, and extreme comfort. A perfect balance.

“Most practicing dentists will take care. It is only good for me if it is good for the patient. The procedure flows—it becomes a joyful procedure. It becomes a pleasure in doing if it is calm,” Beolchi says. “All of the retractors on the market are disrespectful for the mouth. This one isn’t. Umbrella asks nicely and, better than that, it’s like a spa session. Because at the end there’s no problem. It was nothing.”

Patients no longer have to feel the anxiety of opening wide—there’s a cheek retractor that feels like it’s fitted just for them.

Learn how to use the Umbrella™ retractor – a simple, straightforward, and extremely easy to place tongue, lip, and cheek tongue retractor that is incredibly comfortable for the patient.

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Contributed by Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent is an international manufacturer and leading developer of high-tech dental materials, devices and instruments, operating in South Jordan, Utah since 1979. Currently Ultradent researches, designs, manufactures and distributes more than 500 products used by dentists around the world. Ultradent strives continuously to “Improve Oral Health Globally.” Clinical Research Dental is the exclusive Ultradent distribution partner for Canada. 

This article was originally posted on The Arch | An Ultradent Blog by Tanna Bowen on October 13, 2020.