US 2075534 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Mmh 30, 1937. c. v. MCCQ'QMACK 2,075,534
MOUTH PROP Filed Oct. 1;)1933 Patented Mar. 30, 1937 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 6 Claims.
This invention relates generally to dental and surgical appliances, and more. particularly to a device of the type known as a mouth prop.
Such devices are employed for the purpose of holding open the mouth of a patient while operations are performed within. Generally speaking, they comprise a pair of finger tongs carrying at their inner extremities a pair of plates adapted to press against the upper and lo lower sets of teeth. Manipulation of the tongs causes the plates to move towards or away from one another. Devices of this type are common and well-known but they are subject to an out standing objection. There being no special provision for the protection of the lips of the patient, it not infrequently occurs that those members are torn or badly bruised during the use of the prop.
Indeed, upon occasion, the lips may be bitten completely through, owing to the fact that they are inadvertently clamped between the teeth and the plates. Furthermore, since the application of the mouth prop makes it almost impossible for the patient to speak, the danger of injury is greatly enhanced.
With the foregoing considerations in view, an outstanding object of the present invention consists in the introduction into an appliance of this type of means for preventing injury to the lips of the patient. A feature of the invention which lends itself to the accomplishment of the recited object, consists in forming the plates in sections divided by a suitable partition. In operation, one
of the sections is adapted to engage the teeth, the
other section the lips, and the partition wall lying between the two prevents such accidental injuries as have heretofore been caused by the lip occupying the same section that is occupied by the teeth. Likewise, the partition or guard will tend to reduce to a minimum, accidents to the lips caused by instruments employed by the dentist or surgeon in performing the operations.
Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from a reading of the following specification in the light of the accompanying drawing, in which Figure 1 is a top plan View of a mouth prop embodying the present invention.
Figure 2 is a view in front elevation of the device shown in Figure 1, and
Figure 3 is a view in side elevation taken from the left end of the device shown in Figure 1. In Figure 3 the lips and teeth are shown in dotted position.
As shown in the drawing, the mouth prop com- 55 prises, generally speaking, a pair of plates l2 and l4 affixed to the inner extremities of a pair of tongs l6 and [8 that are pivoted or fulcrumed at 26. The respective arms I6 and [8 continue past the pivot point and terminate at openings 22 and 24, adapted to be engaged by the fingers of the person wielding the appliance. In operation, the plates 12 and I4 are placed in a horizontal position as closely adjacent to one another as possible, and next they are placed between the teeth of a patient. When this is done, the surgeon, dentist or other person employing the device, engages the finger openings and moves them toward one another causing separation to take place between plates l2 and I4. This separation continues until the mouth of the patient is opened to the proper degree. To the end of temporarily fixing or holding in their separated position, the prop is provided with a lever 26 having a series of serrations 28 formed on the inner side thereof. The serrations are arranged to engage in series, a detent or edge, formed within the shank of the lever I8, through which shank the lever 26 extends. Arranged to cooperate with the lever 26 and to hold the serrations thereof in locked engagement with the detent, is a tension spring 30 extending from the end of the toothed lever to a point located adjacent to the point of the pivot 20. As already pointed out in the use of the devices of the prior art, the teeth and lips of the user are apt to come in harsh contact with one another causing tearing or cutting of the latter. To the end of remedying this objection, the present invention contemplates the employment of a guard for protecting the lips during the application and use of the prop. Accordingly, as clearly depicted in Figure 3, the plates l2 and M are, adjacent to their outer ends, provided with guard members 32 and 34, which are disposed substantially at right angles to the plates l2 and 14. In use, the device is applied to the teeth and lips of the patient as clearly illustrated in Figure 3. As there shown, the lips lie behind the guards 32 and 34 and the teeth are disposed in contact with the plates l2 and M in such a way that they cannot possibly cause injury to the lips.
In use, the prop may be applied to the side of the mouth where it will be out of the way of the surgeon or dentist performing the operation. Or, on the other hand, it may, if desired, be applied directly in front. It will be found that the invention performs with equal adroitness regardless of the point of application of the prop.
Although the invention has been illustrated and described herein in connection with a mouth prop of a particular type, it is to be appreciated that it may be employed in connection with any and all types of mouth props; likewise, that although the guards are illustrated as constructed in a certain manner, they may be constructed in various ways without departing from the true scope of the invention. For example, if desired, by the employment of an ordinary slot and bolt arrangement the guards may be made adjustable along the plates to vary the width of the lip opening. Other arrangements and methods of constructing the guards will occur to those skilled in the art.
Having thus described the invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A mouth prop comprising an engaging member having a tooth engaging surface and a lip engaging surface lying substantially in a common plane, and a lip protecting device associated therewith comprising a separating member arranged between the lip engaging surface and the tooth engaging surface of said member.
2. A mouth instrument of the character described comprising an engaging member having a tooth engaging surface and a lip engaging surface, and a lip protecting device comprising a separating member extending approximately perpendicularly from the engaging member and arranged between the lip engaging surface and the tooth engaging surface thereof whereby to insure separation of a users lip in engagement with the lip engaging surface from a users tooth F in engagement with the tooth engaging surface.
3. A mouth instrument of the character described comprising an engaging member having a tooth engaging surface and a lip engaging surface, and a lip protecting device comprising a relatively fiat separating plate extending approximately perpendicularly from the engaging member and arranged between the lip engaging surface and the tooth engaging surface thereof whereby to insure separation of a users lip in engagement with the lip engaging surface from a users tooth in engagement with the tooth engaging surface.
4. A mouth prop comprising in combination a pair of tongs, a tooth engaging plate formed at the outer extremity of each tong, means for separating said tongs to separate said tooth engaging plates, and a U-shaped lip receiving member arranged immediately adjacent each of said plates, the bottom of each receiving member and its associated tooth plate lying in a common plane.
5. A mouth instrument of the character described comprising an elongated member having a tooth engaging surface and a lip engaging surface lying in a substantially common plane, and a lip protecting device associated therewith comprising an upstanding plate arranged between the lip engaging surface and the tooth engaging surface of said member.
6. A mouth prop of the character described comprising a pair of tongs, means for separating said tongs, a U-shaped lip receiving member formed at the end of each tong, and a tooth engaging projection secured to each U-shaped member, one upstanding leg of the U-shaped member lying immediately adjacent the tooth engaging projection and forming a lip barrier between the lip member and the tooth engaging projection.
CHARLES V. MCCORMAC'K.