US 2504557 A
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April 1s, 195o Filed Nov. 5, 1947 OO OO Patented pr. 18, 195i) UNITED STATES PATENT i N oFFlcE sALrvA EJEcToR Barrett Lumian, Brookline, Mass. Application November 5, 1947, serial No. 784,099 Y (ci. sz-as) 1 Claim.
1 This invention relates to saliva ejectors of the type used in removing excess moisture from the patients mouth during dental work, and pertains more particularly to improvements in the mouthA piece of the conventional saliva ejector.
The mouth pieces of saliva ejectors heretofore generally used by dentists have consisted of rigid, crook-shaped tubes, usually of metal but sometimes made of glass or plastic material. The regular rigid mouth pieces, which are removably attached to flexible tubes leading to the dental cuspidor or drain, have been made in one or two standard sizes, and no attempt has been made to produce a mouth piece which is capable of fitting all mouth sizes, or even a set oi' graduated sizes which would imperfectly fulll thatI purpose.
For proper efiiciency of operation and comfort to the patient, the saliva ejector should rest upon the lower front teeth of the patient with its perforated tip approximately le above the level of the soft tissues constituting the floor of the mouth. If the tip rests upon the oor of the mouth, the weight of the mouth piece and the connecting conduit presses the tip into the soft tissues and these tissues are drawn into the perforated tip by the suction of the saliva ejector, clogging the inlet and casing considerable discomfort to the patient. The dentists eiliciency is thus impaired because the mouth is not suiiiciently dry and because the patients discomfort induces movement of the tongue and mouth, and, if the mouth is very shallow, the crooked end of the mouth piece is elevated above the lower teeth and obstructs free access to the mouth. Moreover, removal of a clogged mouth piece frequently causes laceration of the soft tissues and consequent bleeding which is distressing to the patient, and interferes with further dental work.
When, on the other hand, the standard mouth piece is used in a relatively deep mouth, its crooked portion is supported by the lower teeth and the apertured tip does not reach sufficiently close to the floor of the mouth to permit saliva to be completely suctioned olf. Dental efliciency is again impaired because the mouth is not dry enough for proper preparation of cavities, insertion of filling material and the like.
When it is appreciated that the depth of an adult mouth may vary from one-half inch in a very shallow mouth to more than two inches in a very deep mouth, and that the mouths of young children are even more shallow, the problem of efficient and comfortable fitting of the piece which will correctly and comfortably fit a patients mouth regardless of its depth or conformation, and which will reach to any desired area in the mouth, anterior or posterior, without sacrice of eiliciency.
To this end, the improved mouth piece com-A prises a rigid, crooked tube and a sleeve of rub-- ber or other relatively soft and iiexible materialwhich is adjustably slidable along the end portion ofv the rigid tube and is provided with an apertured tip which may be properly located at the desired position in the patients mouth, according to the effective length of the adjusted sleeve. The sleeve frictionally engages the rigid tube so that its adjusted position will be maintained while in use, but may be readily removed for sterilization and reapplied and readjusted for another patient.
The adjustable sleeve is of sufficient length to cover the crook of the rigid tube when used for a deep mouth, so that the soft sleeve rather than the hard metal or other rigid material of the tube rests upon the lower front teeth of the patient, thereby protecting the teeth, adding to the patients comfort, and avoiding any damage to the teeth or tube by biting which frequently occurs with young patients.
A recommended embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, but it will be understood that the structural details of the devices herein shown and described may be varied without departing from the essence of the invention as defined in the appended claim. In the drawings,
Fig. 1 is a side view of the improved saliva ejector as applied to a shallow mouth;
Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the improved mouth piece, partly in section, showing the sleeve adjusted for a deep mouth; and
Fig. 3 is a similar view showing the sleeve adjusted for an average mouth, and also illustrating an optional form of tip at the end of the mouth piece.
The saliva ejector vcomprises a tube I I of metal or other rigid material, having a relatively short curved or crooked portion I2 terminating in a serrated tip I3, and a collar I4 at its opposite end which is fitted into the flexible hose o1' conduit I 5 leading to the conventional dental cuspidor which is equipped with a suction pump for atoms? I9 for withdrawingsaliva fromthebottomxof thev mouth. The sleeve has-vents 20 rearwardlyof the stem I1 to allow passage of air through the ejector in case the head openings should becomevx accidentally clogged. The sleeve I 6 ts closely,y around the tube Il so that it will maintain the 6 adjusted position xed by the dentist,buttisrv readily applied and removedrby hand.KV For .easy application, the sleeve should be dippediinwater before it is pushed onto the rigid tube.
In the optional form shown in Fig. 3, the separate, headed .tip f member..l is. omitted,v and thetip end of the rubber sleeve-2l isolosedland-proa-Y vided with openings 221m its; Wall...
In either form, the sleeve applicator` maya-be,A moved along `the tube Il 'until-thereffectivezlength. of the mouthpiece isadjusted to the sizeof-fthe.Y patients mouth andtmeets therequirementsof'l the dental Work-tobe performed, Figs.- 1,.2
and 3 indicate approxmatepositionsof the-s1eeve-.
for shallow, deep and javerage mouths respective- 1y., when thetipof vtheapplicatoris tobe located in the anterior portion ofthe-mouth.
Thev improved.. mouth piece... avoids thei objeca tionable aspects of the..y standard., saliva ejectors now on 1 the. market., and. satisfies the require?v ments of a. universal.mouthpiece-which may bef, adjustedfor use with alldental.- patients. and.. aiiord. maximum4 comfort-w to the patient and, maximum eflciency b ytheadentistV orltechnician. Correct adjustment ofthe.` sleeve may;- bev-deterrmined by inspection or experiment; but, if the mouth piece is incorrectly adjusted and reaches the oor of the mouth, the flexibility of the rubber sleeve allows its tip to rise and fall with movement of the mouth, thus avoiding uncomfortable pressure on the soft tissues.
A saliva ejector having a mouth piece comprising a crooked, rigid tube, and a relatively soft* and flexible sleeve ttingclosely over the outer end portion'iof the tubefand slidable` thereon, whereby the effective length of the mouth piece may be varied by manually adjusting the position of the sleeve with respect to the tube, the crooked portion of the mouth piece being adapted?.y tofrest upon the lower teeth of the patient and the sleeve having sufficient length 'to cover the'crook olf the tube and protect the teethirom contact with the rigid tube when the sleeve is in any adjusted'position, the outer end portion of.. theflexible .sleeve extending. beyond theiouterend of thefrigdtube andlhavingan aper-tured tip insertable f in the mouth ofv the user.
.REFERENCES CITED The 'following references are.l oi record rin the--r fle oi this patenti UNITED STATES PATENTS f- OTHER\ REFERENCES Dental ,Digest, August1943, page Y350, `article byfC. J. Hemschel.