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Product Review:
Ultradent's Umbrella™ 

A New Device Makes
Retraction Easy, Effective

Ultradent Products’ Umbrella tongue, lip, and cheek retractor provides great results for clinicians and patients and earns Catapult Education™ recognition.
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Adequate retraction/isolation remains one of our most common clinical challenges. Adding to this is the increased use of clinical photography, both intraoral and extraoral, which requires that these soft tissue structures be well isolated.

Over the years, dentists and dental manufacturers have experimented
with clinical tools to help create space between the teeth (our working
field) and the tongue, cheeks, and lips. These tools have included the

  • Patient-held or assistant-held curved cheek retractors
  • Operator thumbs and forefingers 
  • Cotton rolls and Dri-Angles (Dental Health Products)
  • Isolite (Zyris) or DryShield Isolation System (Solmetex) 
  • OptraGate (Ivoclar)
  • Mirrors and/or air/ water syringe tips
  • Rubber Dam

All these have limitations, including expense, difficulty of use, inefficiency, patient discomfort, and ineffectiveness. Nearly all dentists desire a means of consistently retracting the tissues of the oral cavity that meets these standards:

Easy to Use

Is easy to use for assistant and dentist

Stays in Place

Stays in place, with clinician’s hands free,
during the procedure


Retracts cheeks, lips, and tongue simultaneously


Is comfortable for the patient


A reasonable price point


Can easily be disposed

Ultradent Products Inc, recently introduced its own retraction device: the Ultradent Umbrella. I and several
other Catapult product review board members had the opportunity to try the Umbrella in our offices for several
weeks, and found it particularly convenient and effective.

The Umbrella is made of a flexible, disposable material with a spring-like feature, allowing clinicians to press the placement tabs together for comfortable placement, then “springing” into the desired position when the tabs are released. An innovative tongue retraction feature keeps the tongue back and away from the working area. The labial component has bumpers that, when properly placed, provide ample separation within the vestibules. The device is designed so that the patient can remain still while the bite is checked.

The Umbrella was tremendously easy to use. Almost all clinical personnel in our offices had a chance to use the product and were surprised at how simple it was to slide into the patient’s mouth, often using 1 hand, and to achieve the desired retraction upon releasing the product and let- ting it pop into position. After the pop, no effort is required to main- tain position, making the Umbrella one of the easiest, most convenient products among those listed above.

In contrast to several retraction/ isolation alternatives, the Umbrella is very comfortable for the patient. Bumpers near the labial vestibule have been designed so that little discomfort was reported, even when clinicians put excessive pressure on those areas as a fulcrum. Although there is a tongue retraction feature, which could gag the patient, very few Catapult product review clini- cians said gagging prevented them from using the Umbrella.

Apart from second molars, our clinicians reported highly adequate retraction of the tongue, cheeks, and lips during use. A variety of clinical uses were exhibited by the various Catapult evaluators, including the following:


Anterior Restorations


In-Office Whitening


Crown Preparation




Digital Scanning & Diagnostic Photography


Crown Cementation


Ortho Bracket Bonding



This was accomplished by the high level of retraction, but also because the tongue retraction ele- ment gave us the ability to let saliva “pool” in the vestibule, away from the teeth.

All clinicians reported that limitations arose the farther back in the mouth the procedure was.

In contrast to other retraction devices, the Umbrella is inexpensive and disposable, eliminating issues regarding infection control and blood/airborne pathogens.

Finally, our clinicians were particularly pleased with the Umbrella’s ability to allow occlusion to be checked even with the device fully in place. This has been a limitation for most of our re-traction alternatives in the past, requiring us to remove the device, check occlusion, and then reapply. The design of the Umbrella to allow for full occlusal intercuspation while in place was tremendously convenient. This, along with ease of use, is the most valuable and unique charac-teristic of the Umbrella.
It has only been 3 months since we were introduced to the Ultradent Umbrella, and it has already become indispensable for our hygiene team and our dentists. Although we still find ap-plications for alternative retraction mechanisms, this device is used most often for everyday procedures.

Every Catapult product review clinician was asked whether they would recommend the Ultradent Umbrella to a friend or colleague, and 100% said yes. Nearly 9 in 10 indicated they will continue to use this product in their office.

100% of Catapult Evaluators would recommend Ultradent Umbrella to a colleague.

Catapult evaluators give the Catapult Vote of Confidence™ to 
Ultradent's Umbrella™ Tongue, Lip, and Cheek Retractor.

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