US 3241550 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 22, 1966 1.. GELARIE 3,241,550
MOUTH RETRACTOR Filed Nov. 5, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
100/5 GZZ/LZ/E March 22, 1966 L. GELARIE 3,241,550
MOUTH RETRAC'I'OR Filed Nov. 5, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,241,550 MOUTH RETRACTOR Louis Gelarie, 152 W. 42nd St., New York, N.Y. Filed Nov. 5, 1963, Ser. No. 321,480 1 Claim. (Cl. 128-12) This invention relates to a mouth retractor and relates more particularly to a device for withdrawing the lips from their normal position wherein they cover or close the mouth cavity to facilitate either visual or physical access to the teeth and other body portions such as the throat or the like therewithin.
A primary object of the instant invention is the provision of a device of the character described which is sturdy and durable in construction, reliable and etficient in use, and relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture, utilize, and maintain.
Another object of this invention is to provide a mouth retractor which engages the upper and lower lips and draws them apart in a firm, but gentle, manner.
Yet another object of this invention is the provision of a mouth retractor which is comfortable to the user.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide such a device which may be formed from a single piece of bent wire.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a mouth retractor wherein the device itself is maintained in such a position that it does not hinder visual or physical access to the mouth cavity.
An additional object of the instant invention is to provide a mouth retractor which withdraws the lips from the mouth cavity thereby facilitating access to the teeth by a dentist or the like, or by the individual using the retractor such as to increase the ease and efficiency with which he may brush his teeth, particularly when utilizing an electric toothbrush, such as is currently on the market.
Still another object of this invention is to provide means for retracting the lips from the mouth cavity to assist a doctor or the like in viewing or treating the throat.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide a mouth retractor including means for supporting a conventional saliva withdrawing device as utilized by dentists to maintain the mouth cavity substantially dry during treatment.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a mouth retractor having adjustable tensioning means to vary the pressure against the lips in use.
Other and further objects reside in the combination of elements, arrangement of parts, and features of construction.
Still other objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out as the description of the invention proceeds and as shown in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of a preferred embodiment of a mouth retractor in accordance with the instant inventive concept, showing the same operatively engaged in the mouth of a user;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view taken from above the device of FIGURE 1 as if the same were being inserted into the mouth. showing a portion of the users cheeks and the inoperative position of the upper lip engaging means in dotted lines;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view showing one of the arm members of the mouth retractor of FIG- URES 1 and 2, taken substantially on line 3-3 of FIG- URE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a front elevational view of a modified form of mouth retractor in accordance with the instant inventive concept showing a saliva withdrawing device supported thereby in dotted lines;
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the embodiment of FIG- URE 4 similar to FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially on line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially on line 7-7 of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a top plan view of a modified form of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 to 3 having an upper lip support member integrally formed therewith;
FIGURE 9 is a front plan view of the embodiment of FIGURES 4 to 7 having a similar upper lip support member;
FIGURE 10 is a top plan view to an enlarged scale of a further modification of the mouth retractor of the instant invention including adjusting means for varying the tension in the lips;
FIGURE 11 is a front plan view of the embodiment of FIGURE 10; and
FIGURE 12 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially on line 12-12 of FIGURE 11. showing in detail the construction of the adjusting means.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.
Referring now to the drawings in general and more particularly to FIGURES 1 to 3, a preferred embodiment of the mouth retractor of the instant invention is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 and is comprised basically of a pair of arm members 12, 14, including upper portions defining oppositely disposed upper lip engaging means 16, 18 adapted to engage opposite portions of the upper lip 20 of an individual 22 using the retractor, lower portions defining oppositely disposed lower lip engaging means 24, 26 adapted to engage opposite portions of the lower lip 28 of the user 22, and intermediate portions defining vertical spacing means 30, 32 connecting the upper and lower lip engaging means of each arm member, respectively, and horizontal spreading means 34 normally urging the oppositely disposed upper and lower lip engaging means apart to spread the lips both vertically and horizontally as seen in FIGURE 1 giving visual and physical access to the teeth 36, tongue 38, or throat 40 of the user 22. The vertical spacing means 30, 32 include arcuate members angularly disposed with respect to a plane between the upper and lower lip engaging means and engaging against the inner portions of the cheeks 42, 44 shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 2. In the embodiment of FIGURES 1 to 3 the spreading means includes an outwardly biased, substantially W-shaped, bight element formed of an inherently resilient material such as spring steel or the like and integrally connecting the lower portions of the arm members 12, 14 below the lower lip engaging means 24, 26, respectively. The entire retractor It) is prefer-ably formed of a single piece of spring steel wire bent to the shape shown in FIGURES 1 to 3 for simplicity in manufacture.
The embodiment of FIGURES 4 to 7 is substantially the same as the previously described mouth retractor and similar parts are designated by the same reference numeral followed by a sufiix a. The spreading means 34a in this embodiment includes an outwardly biased compression spring 42 having oppositely disposed ends 44, 46 secured to the arm members 12a, 14a, below the lower lip engaging means 24a, 26a, with the lower portions of the arm members being integrally secured to each other at 48 below the spring element 42. The spring element 42 serves to bias the arm members 12a, 14a apart and has intermediate portions defining a plurality of helical coils which are adapted to frictionally and removably engage a conventional saliva withdrawing device shown in dotted lines at 50 to support the same with the end portion 52 in operative position within the users mouth to allow suction from a remote source (not shown) to remove saliva as is necessary in many dental operations. Thus, the spring element 42 serves a dual function, acting as a biasing means for spreading the upper and lower lip engaging means apart in horizontally spaced relationship and as a support means for the saliva withdrawing device. This embodiment is shown as having a single wire element 54 bent to form the entire device except for the spring element 42 and covered by a plastic or rubber coating 56 to render the same more comfortable in use. Note particularly FIGURE 7.
In FIGURE 8 a modification of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 to 3 is shown with like parts designated by the same reference numeral followed by the suffix c. This embodiment includes an upper lip supporting member 58 extending from the upper lip engaging means on one of the arm members toward the upper lip engaging means on the other of the arm members and adapted to maintain the central portion of the upper lip 20 as shown in FIGURE 1 above the teeth 36 to facilitate access to the gums or the like.
Similarly, in FIGURE 9 a modification of the embodiment of FIGURES 4 to 7 is shown carrying similar reference numerals with the suffix d and having an upper lip supporting member 58d similar to the embodiment of FIGURE 8.
FIGURES 10 to 12 :show a further modification in which like parts are designated by the same reference numeral followed by the suffix e. In this embodiment the spreading means 34c are adjustable and allow freedom of movement of the arm members 122, 14c away from each other while permitting only selective movement of the arm members toward each other. The lower lip engaging means 24e and 26e are provided with depending relatively straight extension or arm members 24) and 26 respectively. Extension 26 terminates in a head 26g. This spreading means 346 comprises a rod member 66 secured to head 26g of the arm member 266 below the lower lip engaging means and extending toward the lower portion of the other arm member 24 the rod member 60 including means defining a plurality of longitudinally spaced peripheral grooves such as conventional screw threads designated generally by the reference numeral 62. A collar 24h engaging a sleeve member 64 is secured to the lower portion of the other arm member below the lower lip engaging means of the same and is slidingly received over the rod member 60. A tongue member 66 formed of a spring steel material or the like is also secured to the lower end portion of the other arm member adjacent the sleeve member 60 and has an end portion 68 selectively engageable in one of the grooves 62'. The tongue member 66 has an intermediate convex portion 70 which overlies a pivot means 72 defined on the sleeve member 64 whereby pressure on the convex portion 70 against the pivot means 72 pivots the end portion 68 from engagement with the groove 62 allowing sliding movement of the sleeve member 64 with respect to the rod member 60 to decrease the horizontal spacing of the arm members, and release of the pressure on the convex portion 74 engages the end portion 68 with another of the grooves 62. Thus, it will be seen that increase of the horizontal spacing between the arm members can be readily accomplished by merely moving them apart, the resiliency of the tongue member 66 allowing the end portion 68 to automatically slip out of one groove and into the next, while decrease of the horizontal spacing can only be accomplished by pressure on the convex portion 7% of the tongue member 66.
The use and operation of the device of the instant invention will now be apparent. As shown in FIGURE 1, the arcuate spacing means 30, 32 are inserted into the mouth of the user 22 with the upper lip engaging means 16, I8 and the lower lip engaging means 24, 26 vertically retracting the lips 20, 28 and the spreading means 34 horizontally retracting the same. The upper and lower lip engaging means are normally biased outwardly by the spreading means 34 to the dotted positions shown in FIGURES 2 and 5 and may be removed from the mouth of the user 22 by inward pressure to allow the F spacing means 30, 32 to be withdrawn from the cheeks 42, 44. With the embodiment of FIGURES 4 to 7 a saliva withdrawing device 50 may be readily supported in its operative position by the compression spring element 42. The upper lip support member 58 shown in FIGURES 8 to 11 maintain the central portion of the upper lip well above the teeth 36. Adjustment of the spreading means 34 may be readily accomplished with the embodiment of FIGURES 10 to 12.
While the adjustment means shown in FIGURES 10 to 12 has been specifically defined in terms of the instant mouth retractor, it is to be understood that similar means may be utilized in any instance where it is desired to allow free movement of two members away from each other while permitting only selective movement of the members towards each other.
It will now be seen that there is herein provided an improved mouth retractor which satisfies all of the objectives of the instant invention, and others, including many advantages of great practical utility and commercial importance.
Since many embodiments may be made of the instant inventive concept, and since many modifications may be made of the embodiments hereinbefore shown and described, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
A mouth retractor comprising, in combination, a pair of spaced arms formed of rubber coated wire, including upper arcuate arm members having oppositely disposed upper lip engaging outwardly concaved end members adapted to engage opposite portions of the upper lip of an individual using the same, and oppositely disposed lower lip engaging portions adapted to engage opposite sides of the lower lip of the individual, intermediate arcuate vertical spacing portions connecting said upper lip engaging end members and said lower lip engaging portions angularly disposed with respect to a plane between the upper lip engaging end members and the lower lip engaging portions and adapted to engage against the inside of the cheeks of the individual to disten-d the cheeks, an upper lip supporting member integral with and extending from one upper lip lifting end member inwardly beneath the upper lip and comprising a downwardly concaved portion and an upwardly extending end portion adapted to hook beneath and lift the upper lip, a depend ing relatively straight extension on the lower portion of each arm below the lower lip engaging portions, a head at the lower end of one of said extensions, a grooved rod extending transversely from said head, a collar having a smooth bore slidable over said grooved rod at the lower end of the other extension, a sleeve slidable over said grooved rod secured to said collar, a resilient tongue having an intermediate convex portion secured at one end to said collar and having an inwardly extending tip at its other end engaging the surface of said grooved rod, and a pivot bar carried by said sleeve engaged normally by said tongue permitting said tip to engage in a selected groove; whereby pressure on said convex portion moves said tip out of engagement with said grooved rod where- 5 6 by said sleeve, collar, and the associated end of said 1,862,725 6/1932 Thomas et a1. 128-345 other extension may be moved linearly relative to said 2,217,968 10/1940 Radclitf 128345 rod varying the spacing between said spaced arms. 2,697,432 12/1954 Scinta 128-42 References Cited by the Examiner 5 OTHER REFERENCES UNITED STATES PA Mueller CO. Catalogue, Chicago, 1938, pages 117119.
590,460 9/ 1897 Mehlig RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner. 768,697 8/1904 Schamberg 128-12 776,302 11/1904 Crockett 12s 20 DALTON L. TRULUCK, Examiner.