US 2765785 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 9, 15956 A. PAGOTO 2,765,735
TONGUE DEPRESSOR Filed Aug. 6, 1954 IN VEN TOR.
Awruo/w nsro BY TONGUE DEPRESSOR Anthony Pagoto, St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Application August 6, 1954, Serial No. 448,303
2 Claims. (Cl. 128-15) This invention relates to a tongue depressor and is particularly adaptable for use on patients having dental work performed in and about their mouths.
The principal object of my invention is to provide a device that effectively engages and holds a dental patients tongue in a fully depressed and relaxed state during the time that the work is being performed in the patients mouth.
Another object of the invention is to provide a device that once clamped into position in the patients mouth it will of and by itself hold the patients tongue without any further assistance or attention from the dentist, thereby permitting the dentist to freely use both of his hands in the employment of other duties coincidental with the work to be performed on the patient.
Another object of the invention is to provide a device that will greatly facilitate and expedite the work being performed in a patients mouth, because it not only enables a dentist to have the free and unimpeded use of both of his hands but also eliminates the requirement of having to call upon an assistant for the purpose of manually holding a present day tongue depressor in place while the dentist is engaged in his work on the patient.
These objects will more fully appear when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation, partly in section, showing my device in assembled condition and in which figure dotted lines are employed to illustrate those portions of the human body with which said assembly is adapted to be employed.
Fig. 2 is a front elevation of my device,
Fig. 3 is a plan view of Fig. 1,
Fig. 4 is a section taken on the line 44 of Fig. 1, and
Fig. 5 is a plan view of one of the elements.
Heretofore in the performance of operations on the teeth of clients a great source of delay and annoyance to dentists has been in effectively controlling the movement of a patients tongue. An element having an area suitably large enough to cover a substantial portion of the tongue was placed upon it and manually held there, either by the dentist himself or by one of his assistants, whilst the dentist meanwhile awkwardly struggled with a drilling or other operation in the patients mouth, and it has been the said experience of some dentists to more or less cut or mangle the tongue of a patient because his tongue was not effectively controlled from movement. With my tongue depressor such unfortunate occurrences are eliminated, for once it is locked in place, as hereinafter mentioned, the tongue is so effectively held from movement that it cannot come in contact with a dentists tool.
Referring now more in detail to my invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawing in which the numeral (Fig. 1) generally indicates my device in assembled condition. It consists of relatively few parts, being composed of a convex substantially heart-shaped tongue engaging element 11 the underside 12 of which, as well as the two downwardly curved sides 13 and 14 'atent of which are respectively adapted to embracingly engage the top of a substantial portion of the tongue and both sides thereof. The element 11 in turn is adapted to be detachably secured to the adaptor arm 16 by means of rivets 15-15' carried by and extending upwardly from element 11. For securing the member 16 to the element 11, the former is provided with enlarged apertures 1717' through which the heads of rivets 15--15 are respectively initially inserted and then to assure the locking together of elements 11 and 16, slots 181S' are respectively laterally disposed from the apertures 17-17' into which, upon manually sliding the element 11 relative to the member 16, the shanks of the aforesaid rivets are slid for locking engagement therewith.
The arm 16 is also provided, intermediate its ends, with an arch or upwardly projecting curved portion 19 that is employed for the purpose of teeth and lip clearance in the proper fitting and adjustment of my device in a patients mouth. A downwardly projecting arm 20, in substantial right angled relationship to arm 16, depends from portion 19 and hangably mounted upon arm 20, for slidable vertical adjustment relative thereto, is a chin rest or clamping element 21 that is adapted to extend beneath the chin of a patient in substantial horizontally spaced relationship with tongue engaging element 11.
The aforesaid clamp 21 is provided, near its outer extremity with an aperture 22 the dimensions of which are slightly greater than the exterior dimensions of arm portion 20. This aperture is provided in the clamp to permit leg 20 to be inserted therethrough not only for supporting clamp 21 thereon but also to enable element 21 to be manually moved upwardly or downwardly; and, when the proper clamping contact is made with the chin to draw tongue element 11 down upon a patients tongue, clamp 21 will be tilted so as to simultaneously bring an upper and an opposed lower edge of aperture 22 into frictional engagement with the wall of leg 20, thereby holding clamp 21 in locked or non-movable engagement relative thereto. The inner portion 22 of clamp 21 is convex for the purpose of conforming to the contour of a patients chin; and, for the purpose of retaining said clamp 21 on leg 20 (when not in use) a flange 23 is projected laterally from the extremity thereof.
It is to be understood that the tongue engaging portion 11 of my device is made in different sizes to as to accommodate all sizes of tongues and in the employment of my device, a depressor, having a tongue engaging por tion 11 of the proper size is first chosen, the chin engaging portion is then suitably lowered on arm or leg 20 and the tongue portion 21 inserted into the patients mouth to engage and embrace the tongue, as aforesaid. Following this the clamp 21 is pushed upwardly on leg 20 to suitable contacting clamping engagement with the underside of the patients chin. With the aforesaid operations completed the assembly is securely positioned so that the patients tongue will be positively held against movement by the underside of element 11 and sides 13 and 14 thereof, and the assembly is prevented from dislodgment relative to the patients tongue and mouth and chin by means of the clamp 21, which frictionally engages the arm portion 20 as aforesaid.
For illustrative purposes only, I have shown by way of dotted lines (Fig. l) the tongue, teeth, lip and chin of a person in relation to my device 10 when positioned relative to said human elements, the numeral 24 indicating the tongue, 25 the teeth, 26 the lower lip and 27 the chin.
1. A tongue depressor comprising an arm having generally straight perpendicularly related legs, said legs being of unequal length and being connected by an arch portion that projects outwardly beyond the plane of the shorter leg, said arm being adapted to be positioned with the longer leg extending vertically adjacent the patients chin, the shorter leg extending horizontally into the patients mouth and with the arch portion extending around and over the patients lower lip and teeth, a convex tongue depressing element detachably connected along its central portion to the lower side of said shorter leg, said longer leg being non-circular in cross section and having a chin engaging element slidably arranged thereon, said chin engaging element extending generally transversely of said longer leg and having an opening spaced inwardly from one end thereof through which said longer leg projects, said opening being shaped similarly to the cross sectional shape of said longer leg but being sufficiently greater in size to permit the chin engaging element to assume a tilted, non-perpendicular position with reference to said longer leg wherein the opposed edges of the opening on opposite faces of said chin engaging element firmly engage opposite face portions of said longer leg whereby when the device is arranged as described with the tongue depressing elements overlying the patients tongue, said chin engaging element may he slid upwardly on said longer leg to a position engaging and underling the patients chin, said chin engaging element thereby assuming said tilted locked position from which it can be released by pressing said end thereof downwardly to pivot said chin engaging element towards a position perpendicular to said longer leg and thereby free said opposed edges from engagement with said opposite faces of said longer leg.
2. A tongue depressor as called for in claim 1 wherein said arm is fashioned from fiat strap material and is generally rectangular in cross section.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 374,122 Genese Nov. 29, 1887 853,031 Prentis May 7, 1907 1,598,608 Hammond Sept. 7, 1926 2,382,385 Condit Aug. 14, 1945