US 3098128 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 16, 1963 A. L. AUDlN 3,098,128
HEAD RESTS FOR DENTAL CHAIRS AND THE LIKE Filed July 14, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. I
ANTHONY L. AUDIN July 16, 1963 A. L. AUDIN 3,098,128
HEAD RES'IS FOR DENTAL CHAIRS AND THE LIKE Filed July 14, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2
28 INVENTOR. M ANTHONY L. AUDIN A BY E F 6 Atflo rut] United States Patent 3,098,128 HEAD RESTS FOR DENTAL CHAIRS AND THE LIKE Anthony L. Audin, 50 Stanford Drive, Rochester, N.Y. Filed July 14, 1961, Ser. No. 125,041 7 Claims. (Cl. 179-146) This invention relates to head rests for dental chairs and the like, and, in one aspect thereof, to a dental chair head rest which is adapted to have ear phones adjustably and removably positioned in opposite ends thereof for use by a patient during treatment.
The conventional dental chair head rest is of the type comprising two cup-shaped pads or rests mounted independently of one another in spaced relation upon a head rest holder secured to the back of the chair. These cup-shaped head rests have been mounted for horizontal and vertical pivotal motions to permit the rests to conform to and comfortably support the back of a patients head. However, since the vertical axes, about which the individual head rests were free to pivot, were fixed in spaced relation to one another, these conventional head nests cannot conform to all sizes :and shapes of heads, and, in some cases are not very comfortable.
A further disadvantage of prior head rests has been the tendency of the rests to drop downwardly out of an adjusted position upon temporary movement by the patient of his or her head away from the head rests. The patient had therefore to more or less adjust his or her head again to the head rests when reclining the head again against the head rests.
Another objection to prior art cup-shaped rests is that they have consisted of a relatively hard material which is capable of maintaining its shape as a cup even when engaged by the patients head. It has heretofore been impractical to employ resilient head rests because the respective pivots on which the cup-shaped rests are mounted would then bear uncomfortably against the back of the patients head.
More and more, dentists are using music to distract and lull the patient while drilling or otherwise operating on the patients teeth. To this end, some dentists have tried mounting earphones on their dental chairs so that the patient may listen to music while being operated upon but without the music distracting the dentist or other patients. Prior head rests have the disadvantage that no simple and economic means is provided for readily accommodating and adjusting the ear phones to suit the patient while not interfering with the movements of the dentist as he performs his Work.
One object of the present invention is to provide an improved head rest for a dental chair or the like which will readily and automatically cradle the patients head regardless of size or shape of the head.
Another object of the invention is to provide a head rest for dental chairs and the like which will provide a more comfortable, easy rest for the head than the hard supports heretofore provided.
Another object of the invention is to provide a head rest, which will always be there, ready to receive and cradle the patients head, each time the patient reclines in the chair, no matter how often the patient may lift his or her head off the head rest to rinse his or her mouth, expectorate, etc.
A further object of this invention is to provide a dental chair head rest in which ear phones can be adjustably mounted in position to dispose themselves automatically against the ears of the patient when the patient reclines his or her head on the rest.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a dental chair head rest on which ear phones can be mounted "ice so that they can readily be removed if a patient does not want to use them.
Other objects of the invention will be apparent hereinafter from the specification and from the recital of the appended claims, particularly when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a rear elevation partly broken away, illustrating a resilient, one-piece head rest made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention and mounted upon a conventional dental chair head rest holder;
FIG. 2 is a view on a reduced scale taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, and showing the back of the head rest with the cover therefor cut away in part;
FIG. 3 is a schematic view on a still smaller scale looking from the back of a dental chair and illustrating the manner in which the novel head rest is mounted on the chair and serves in use to cradle the patients head;
FIG. 4 is a View similar to but somewhat smaller than the view of FIG. 1, illustrating the manner in which head phones can be mounted on the head rest;
FIG. 5 is a schematic view, similar to FIG. 3, showing the manner in which the head phones are adapted to be positioned against the patients ears when his or her head is reclining against the head rest;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along the line 66 in FIG. 2 and looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 4 and looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawings by numerals of reference, l1 designates generally a head rest made in accordance with one embodiment of this invention. Head rest 11 is adapted to be mounted upon any conventional head rest holder for dental chairs. In the drawings, the holder shown is denoted at 12. It comprises a yoke-shaped bracket member 13 having spaced arms 14, and a generally Ushaped cradle member 15, which is pivotally mounted by means of studs 16 between the arms 14 of this bracket member. A cup-shaped spring 21 is mounted on each pivot pin 16 to retain cradle 15 in adjusted position so that the head rest 11 will be at the desired angle for the head H of a patient, Bracket member 13 is formed with an integral shank portion 17 terminating in an integral trunnion 18 by means of which the holder is pivotally mounted on the conventional socket member '19 which is secured to the back of chair 20.
Head rest 11 comprises an elongate rectangular flexible thin metal plate 25 and a sponge rubber pad 26 or the like, adhered to the plate and having an area coextensive with that of the plate. The pad may be covered with a removable fabric cover 27 or paper sheet, if desired, for sanitary reasons. The flexible plate 25 normally tends to assume a flat position as illustrated in FIG. 1, but is capable of being flexed by the weight of the patients head when the head rests against the head rest as shown in FIGS. 3 or 5.
Adjacent its ends plate 25 is secured by means of screws 28 (FIGS. 1, 2 and 6) to spacer plates 29 and blocks 30. Screws 28 pass through plate 25 and spacer plates 29 and thread into blocks 30. A relatively thin spring plate 31 is intenposed between the confronting faces of each plate 29 and the associated block 30. The spring plates 31 have spaced apertures therein through which pass the screws 28. At its center each spring plate 31 has a raised portion 32 which acts as a spring 'detent 32 (FIGS. 1 and 6) and which bows slightly outwardly away from the back face of plate 29 into a rectangularly shaped slot 33 which is provided in the front face of each block 30 and which extends across the full width of each block. Communicating with the slot 33 in each block 30 is a recess or pocket 34 which has a portion at its front of greater width than the remainder of the recess. Mounted in each recess 34 is a generally U-shaped retainer plate 35 which is seated in the recess 34 with its marginal flange portions 36 seating in the enlarged front portion of the recess. Each spring plate 31 bears against the flanges 36 of the associated retainer plate 35 to hold the latter in associated recess 34 of associated block 30. Each block 30 has a groove 38 therein which communicates with its pocket 34; and each block 30 has an elongate slot 39 therein which communicates with its groove 38 and extends part way through the rear face of the block.
Slidably mounted in each groove 38' and slot 39 is a T-shaped link member 41. The head of each member 41 engages in the associated grooves 38; and the shank 42 of each member 41 projects outwardly through the associated slot 39.
From FIG. 6 it will be noted that a retainer plate 35 is slightly spaced from the associated link member 41 to allow the latter to slide back and forth in the associated block 30.
At its end remote from block 30, the shank 42 of each link member 41 is formed with a perforated car which has an aperture 43 therein by means of which the link member is pivotally mounted on one arm 50 of cradle member 15. The arms 50 are bifurcated at their outer ends; and studs 51 pass through the furcations 52 and apertures 4-3, thereby permitting pivotal movement of the link members 41 relative to cradle 15.
When a patient rests his or her head H against the head rest 11 the flexible plate 25 and the soft rubber cushion 26 will yield and bow as shown in FIG. 3. Blocks 30 will pivot about the studs 51 and the heads of the link members 4-1 will slide inwardly toward one another in the slots 38 so that the head rest 11 will automatically adjust itself to accommodate and conform to the shape of the patients head, so that the patients head will rest comfortably thereon. Because bearing blocks 30 are designed to move relative to their respective link supports 41, the effective length of flexible plate 25 between the shanks of link members 41 is automatically varied in accordance with the flexing of plate 25. Without such relative movement between a respective bearing block 30 and its link member 41, opposite ends of head rest 11 would be subjected to countertorques which would increase with and oppose the deflection of the flexible plate 25; thus limiting the amount of deflection which could occur in the head rest. With the construction shown, however, the head rest will comfortably receive and cradle the patients head regardless of its size or shape.
FIGS. 4, and 7 illustrate how ear phone assemblies 60 can be removably mounted on the head rest 11 so that as a patients head is cradled by my new head rest he can listen to soft music to distract his attention from the treatment he is undergoing. Each ear phone assembly comprises an elongate, rigid, flat mounting strap 72 which is of a width and thickness to fit snugly in a slot 33 in a bearing block 30 so that one end of it may be frictionally held therein in any adjusted position therethrough by the associated spring plate 31 and particularly by its protruding portion 32. Each strap 72 has an elongate slot 73 adjacent its other end; and each strap is bent intermediate its ends as at 74. A cylindrical bearing block 76, having a diametral slot 77 part way therethrough, is mounted on the slotted end of each strap 72. Mounted on each bearing block 76 adjacent one end thereof, by means of a conventional ball and socket joint (not shown) is a stud 79, on the outer end of which 'a conventional earphone 80 is mounted. Each bearing block 76 is mounted on the associated strap 72, for adjustment longitudinally of the forward bent portion of the strap, by pins 78 which are secured at opposite ends in the associated bearing block 76 and pass through the slot 73 of the bearing block. By adjusting each bearing block 76 on its supporting strap 72, and each strap 72 in its block 30; and by tilting each stud 79 on its bearing block 76, the adjustable ear phones 80 can be adjusted into required positions. The sliding adjustment of the straps 72 in blocks 3!) permits adjusting the ear phones laterally at the desired distance from the head of the patient. The sliding adjustment of blocks 76 on straps 72 permit of adjusting the ear phones forwardly or backwardly in accordance with the distance of the patients cars from the back of his or her head; and the ball joint adjustment of each stud '79 on its block 76 permits each ear phone to tilt to fit flat against the patients head when the patients head is resting on the rest 11 :as shown in FIG. 5.
When the patient lifts his or her head off the rest, the flexible plate 25 and cushion 26 snap back to the position shown in FIG. 4, and the earphones 80 are carried away from the patients head so that the patient can rinse his or her mouth, expectorate, get out of the chair, etc. without interference by the head phones.
Conventional jacks and wire leads (not illustrated) may be used to connect the ear phones with a phonograph or the like.
If a patient does not wish to use the ear phones, they may be easily removed from head rest 11 merely by withdrawing the straps 72 from the slots 31.
While the invention has been described in connection with a specific embodiment thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:
1. A head rest for a dental chair and the like comprising a support member, a single, thin flexible plate having a length sufficient to extend across the back of a patients head, spaced mounting members secured rigidly to the back of said plate adjacent opposite longitudinal ends thereof, respectively, and a pair of spaced links, one of said links connecting one of said mounting members to one end of said support member, and the other of said links connecting the other of said mounting members to the other end of said support member, the connections of said links with said mounting members and with said support member comprising, for corresponding ends at one end of said links, a pivotal connection about an axis transverse to the longitudinal direction of said plate, and comprising for the corresponding opposite ends of said links a slidable connection longitudinally of said plate, whereby said plate may flex between said members under weight of a patients head when the latter is pressed against the plate, and so that said plate will cradle the patients head between said members.
2. A head rest as claimed in claim 1, wherein said mounting members comprise a pair of blocks secured in spaced relation to the rear side of said plate, and wherein for each slidable connection each block has a slot therein that extends longitudinally of said plate, and a portion of each of said links at said opposite end thereof is slidable in the slot of one of said blocks, and means is provided for mounting each of said links at said one end thereof on said support member to pivot about said transverse axis.
3. A 'head rest for a dental chair or the like comprising a support, a single thin flexible plate having a length suflicient to extend across the back of :a patients head, two spaced mounting members secured to the back of said plate adjacent opposite longitudinal ends thereof, respectively, means connecting said members to said support for pivotal movement about spaced, parallel axes extending transverse to the longitudinal direction of said plate, whereby said plate may flex into an arcuate shape between said members under weight of a patients head so that said plate will cradle the patients head between said members, each of said members having a slot therethrough extending in the longitudinal direction of said plate, a rigid strap slidably mounted at one end in each of said slots, and means for supporting earphones on the opposite ends of said straps in position to seat against the ears of the patient when the patients head is cradled on said plate.
4. A head rest as claimed in claim 3, wherein said connecting means comprises a pair of links each of which connects one of said members to said suppoit, each of said links being mounted for sliding movement longitudinally relative to said plate and for pivotal movement on said support about one of said parallel axes.
5. A head rest as claimed in claim 3 including a spring detent on each of said members and extending part Way into said slot in each member intermediate the end-s thereof, each of said rigid straps being removably slidable in said slot in a respective member in engagement with a cor-responding detent and having said opposite end thereof extending out of the respective slot beyond the adjacent end of said plate, and the last-named means being operative to mount an earphone on each of said opposite strap ends for movement relative to both said strap and said plate to permit adjustment thereof relative to a persons head.
6. A head rest as claimed in claim 3, wherein said one end of each of said straps is adjustable longitudinally in said slot and is bent intermediate its ends so that its opposite end projects laterally and forwardly, and wherein said supporting means comprises a block slidably mounted 6 on said opposite end of each of said straps to move forwardly and backwardly thereon, means for tiltably mounting an earphone on the last-named block, and means extending into each slot for frictionally holding each strap in any adjusted position in its slot.
7. A head rest for a dental chair and the like comprising a support, an elongate, resilient plate having a length :sufiicient to extend across the back of a patients head, a cushion secured to the front of said plate and substantially coextensive therewith, means for mounting said plate on said support comprising tWo horizontally spaced blocks secured to the hack of said plate adjacent opposite ends thereof, respectively, each of said blocks having a slot extending therethrough parallel to the length of said plate, a spring detent on each of said blocks extending part way into the respective slot, a strap for mounting an earphone on the head rest, said strap at one end thereof being removably and slidably positioned in each slot in engagement with said detent, each of said blocks having an elongate chamber therein extending parallel to said slot, and a T-shaped lever connecting each block to said support, the head portion of each lever being slidingly engaged in the chamber of a respective block, and the leg portion of each lever extending out of said chamber and means pivotally connecting the leg of each lever to said support for movement about an axis transverse to the longitudinal direction of said plate.
References Cited in the file of this patent