US 3285409 A
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W. LORAN Nov. 15, 1966 INSTRUMENT TRAY I 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 8, 1964 M/VI/VTOI A?! //0 1 j 3/ M44 MM MBA Arrow/2 Nov. 15, 1966 w. LORAN INSTRUMENT TRAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 8, 1964 m Vi/vroe MAL/AM 0244 9; [La/em irrazva United States Patent 3,285,409 INSTRUMENT TRAY William Loran, 112 Janes St., Mill Valley, Calif. Filed July 8, 1964, Ser. No. 381,062 Claims. (Cl. 20663.5)
This invention relates to an instrument tray and, more particularly, to a set-up tray for dental instruments and the like and to a method of sterilizing and storing the same.
Although set-up dentistry is taught as a part of all dental school curricula, for a variety of reasons the order of instruments when stored by the dental student is only incidentally related to the order in which he uses his instruments. Consequently, the dentist carries to private practice the habit of storing instruments in an order not completely organized for operating procedures, thereby causing substantial waste in the time required for gathering instruments from and replacing them in storage areas. In addition to such waste and the accompanying confusion, it is difiicult to avoid instrument contamination since the repeated openings of the storage areas inherent in such lack of orderly organization cause the areas to have questionable cleanliness.
In view of the foregoing, an object of the present invention is to provide a system of storage, transport, sterilization and use in which implements such as dental instruments are arranged in a predetermined order and are maintained therein during such enumerated functions.
Another object of the invention is that of providing an instrument tray adapted to receive and support a plurality of dental instruments and the-like in an array convenient for usesuch tray being employed during sterilization, storage and use of the instruments.
Still another object is in the provision of a system for storage and use of dental instruments in which the instruments are received and supported by such instrument tray, and in which the tray with the instruments thereon is wrapped in a cover and the resultant package sterilized, after which it may be stored in a suitable storage area; and the package subsequently unwrapped to expose the tray and instruments for use, at which time the wrapper may serve as a sterilized support area for the tray and instruments.
A further object is to provide a set-up tray for dental instruments and the like, and in which such tray is comprised of two parts or sections, one thereof being adapted to be removably supported by the other and substantially constrained thereon against lateral displacements, but being movable longitudinally with respect thereto so as to permit such movable part to be centered or otherwise oriented relative to the support section in accordance with the length requirements of instruments supported on the movable section.
Additional objects and advantages of the inventionwill become apparent as the specification develops.
An embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the instrument tray shown in association with the plurality of dental instruments;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the tray enclosed in a wrapper;
FIGURE 3 is a transverse sectional View taken along the plane 33 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the instrumentequipped tray showing the separable sections thereof in spaced apart relation.
The illustrative embodiment of the instrument tray shown in the drawings is a dental set-up tray and is designated in its entirety with the numeral 10. The tray Patented Nov. 15, 1966 comprises a first tray section 11 and a second tray section 12. The tray section 11 shown is generally rectangular and is provided with a bottom wall 13 having a plurality of longitudinally spaced and upwardly oil-set ribs 14 therealong respectively defining recesses 15 along the under surface of such bottom wall. v
Extending upwardly from such bottom wall 13 is a perimetric wall or lip 16 that increases significantly in vertical dimension along the longitudinal side walls of the tray, as shown at 17 and 18. Such upwardly enlarged wall portions 17 and 18 are essentially parallel and are adapted to receive and support the .second tray section 12 thereon, as shown in FIGURES l and 3. The tray section 11 is intended to receive and support a plurality of work implements such as the dental instruments illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 4.
The longitudinally spaced ribs 14 comprise a portion of the means utilized in such receipt and support of the instruments, and are particularly useful in supporting elongate work implements such as scissors, as shown best in FIGURE 4, at spaced apart locations which enables ready grasping of each such instrument when removing it from the tray. Examples of other instruments that might be supported along the spaced apart ribs 14 are a saliva ejector and a rubber dam clamp forceps. The spaced ribs 14 also restrict longitudinal drifting of articles located therebetween.
The tray section 11 is equipped adjacent each end thereof with support structures 19 and 20 which, in the form shown, are helical springs each of which has hook shaped end portions respectively passing through eyes 21 formed in the bottom wall 13. The eyes may be provided in any conventional manner as in a stamping operation, at which time the ribs 14 also may be formed as well as the perimetric wall 16. Thus, the springs 19 and 20 adjacent their opposite ends are anchored to the bottom wall 13 and are adapted to receive and support a variety of instruments such as the dental drills or burs shown in FIGURES l and 4. A variety of instruments or work implements may be supported along the bottom wall 13 such as, for example, the cotton rolls and cotton pellets and the amalgam condenser or dental contraangle handpiece, shown in FIGURE 4, For purposes of identification, the scissors is denoted with the numeral 22, the' dental burs with the numeral 23, the cotton rolls with the numeral 24, the cotton pellets are designated 25 and the amalgam condenser is denoted 26. In certain instances, one or both of the springs may be used to clamp a heavy instrument such as the scissors 22 in fixed position along the bottom wall 13.
The tray section 12 is also of generally rectangular configuration and has an essentially planar bottom wall 27 equipped along each of the transverse edges thereof with a plurality of channels or recesses separated from each other by intervening ribs. For purposes of identification, the recesses along one transverse edge of the wall 27 are designated with the numeral 28a and those along the opposite edge with the numeral 28b; and in a similar manner, the respectively intervening ribs are denoted 29a and 29b. The recesses 28a and 28b are oriented in aligned pairs for the purpose of receiving and supporting therein the elongated dental instruments 30 which, in the illustrative form shown, comprise two plungers, one burnisher, and one carver.
The tray section 12 is turned upwardly and is then folded downwardly along each longitudinal edge thereof so as to define a pair of downwardly opening channels 31 and 32 which slidably receive therein the upper edges of the walls 17 and 18 of the support section 11. In that the channel 31 is bordered on each side thereof by generally vertical wall portions 33 and 34, and in a similar manner the channel 32 is bordered by wall portions 35 and '36, the tray section 12 isconstrained on the tray section 11 against lateral displacements with respect thereto but is substantially free to slide longitudinally therealong. As a result of such arrangement, the tray section 12 can be appropriately located so that the elongated dental instruments 30 will not project beyond either end of the lower tray section 11. This channel arrangement also permits the tray section 12 to be readily removed from the tray section 11, as shown in FIGURE 4, to permit all of the dental instruments to be available for convenient pick-up by the dentist; and the wall portions 34 and 36 are made shorter than the walls 17 and 18 associated therewith to permit the fingers to get under such shorter wall portions to lift the tray section 12.
All of the dental instruments must be sterilized before use, and necessarily then the instrument tray must also be sterilized to prevent contamination of the instruments supported thereon. The subject instrument tray is particularly suited for the three separate operations of sterilizing the instruments, thereafter storing the same, and then presenting the instruments in a predetermined order for use by the dentist. In this connection, the tray and instruments are washed after each use, the instruments are then placed within the tray as shown in FIGURE 1, and the instrument-equipped tray is then enclosed in a Wrapper 37 as illustrated in FIGURE 2.. The wrapper 37 may be toweling made of muslin or paper, or it may be formed of any other suitable material. After being wrapped about the tray 10, the wrapper 37 may be maintained in the closed position thereof illustrated in any convenient manner, such as by'pins or the tape strip 38 illustrated.
After the package has been formed, the entire unit can be sterilized in the usual manner as, for example, in a dry heat sterilizer or in an autoclave. Following sterilization, the package is placed bodily in a suitable storage area and may be labeled either before or after sterilization so that the precise contents of the package are known. FIGURE 2 is indicative of both the steps of sterilizing and storing as well as of the package per se. When it is desired to use the instruments, the entire package is removed from storage and placed on a work table, the Wrapper 37 then opened, and the tray section 12 removed from the section 11, all as shown in FIGURE 4. Since the wrapper 37 has been sterilized, it provides a sterile surface for supporting the tray sections and instruments and also provides a sterile area on which the instruments may be wiped.
The tray 10 may be formed of any suitable material and the two sections 11 and 12 may or may not comprise the same material. A metal such as stainless steel or aluminum has been found especially suitable in that it is a good heat conductor and facilitates the transmission of heat uniformly to the various instruments and'work implements in heat-sterilizing the same. The precise configurations of the tray sections can be provided by any suitable and well known fabrication process and, for example, if the tray sections are formed of metal, the illustrated configurations may be provided in a simple stamping operation.
Various types of instrument arrangements may be placed Within the tray sections and the choice of instruments and the number thereof will depend upon the particular use intended for the instrument set-up. For example, a typical arrangement would be a rubber dam set-up in which event the helical springs 19 and 20 might be extended lengthwise of the tray section 11, instead of transversely as shown in FIGURES 1 and 4, and the clamps for such set-up would then be hooked under the springs. The rest of the set-up could include a rubber da'm scissor, saliva ejector, rubber dam clamp forceps, punch, beaver tail burnisher, Young frame, etc.
Another typical arrangement'would be the amalgam silicateset-up, and'in this event, the included instru- N could be burs supported between the coils of the .19 20 as shown in the drawings, wedges, con- .4 densing points, cotton rolls, cotton pellets, amalpack, vacuum tip, matrix device, etc. Other set-ups which might be used are gingivectomy, alveolectomy, suture, etc. Quite evidently, it is not'necessary that all instruments needed in an operation be included in each set up. For example, it might be desirable to omit the mirror, cotton pliers and explorer from each set-up tray and to provide such implements in a separate packet.
The hand instrument tray section 12 illustrated in the drawing is adapted to receive and support thereon a predetermined number of instruments 30 usually sufiicient in quantity to satisfy the set-up requirements for treating one patient. However, should a greater number of instruments be required or desired, a second tray section 12 is simply supported upon the first tray section 12 as indicated in phantom in FIGURE 3. It may be noted that the depending legs or wall portions 34 and 36 of the tray section 12 (see FIGURE 3) diverge outwardly and downwardly so that the openings or channels 31 and 32 are slightly larger along the lower open extremities thereof than along their inner closed extremities. Therefore, one tray section 12 may be readily disposed upon another tray section 12. The extra length of the wall portions 34 and 36 augment the inherent stability of one tray section 12 upon another.
The instrument tray 10 may be used also as a set-up tray for general medical ophthalmic and veterinary purposes following the arrangement heretofore described. In such instances, the spring structures 19 and 20 could be used to support and retain relatively small instruments such as needles and scalpels.
In use of the tray, a plurality of instruments which comprise those most frequently used in the examination and/or treatment of a patient or certain class of patients are positioned in the tray sections 11 and 12 after such instruments have been washed. The instruments are arraged in a predetermined order such as the progression of use thereof because this serves as an added convenience for the user of the tray. The tray 10 comprising the section 11 and one or more sections 12 is then enclosed in a wrapper 37 and the entire package placed within a conventional sterilizer for the time period required to effect complete sterilization thereof. The wrapper may first be secured in closed position, if this is desired, as heretofore described.
After the package is removed from the sterilizer, it may be bodily placed within a suitable storage space such as a drawer or canister and remains in such space until used. For use, the package is removed from the storage space and placed upon the usual Work table, and the wrapper 37 is then unfolded to expose the tray 10. The wrapper 37 continues to isolate the tray and instruments from any contamination of such support surface and also affords a sterile material on which the instruments may be wiped. After a patient has been treated, the instruments are again washed and located in their appropriate positions on the tray, the instrument-equipped tray is enclosed in a wrapper 37, and the entire package is then sterilized prior to storage.
The tray arrangement described provides a uniform or standardized instrument set-up instantaneously available for each type of operation to be performed. As a result, the dentist-or his assistant need no longer search in different rooms or cabinets for required instruments; and it will no longer be necessary to stop work to reach for forgotten instruments. Neither will it be necessary to find an unoccupied storage location for each instrument after use and sterilization thereof and then transfer each instrument thereto with awkward tongs which, along with the storage area, may or may not be sterile. In having all of the instruments sterile and readily available, the operator is able to work at his highest efficiency and the patient gains in having quick, calm attention under as nearly asspetic conditions as possible.
While in the foregoing specification, an embodiment of the invention has been set forth in considerable detail for purposes of making an adequate disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A set-up tray for dental instruments and the like, comprising first and second dissimilar and separable tray sections each having a bottom wall provided with spaced apart support elements for receiving and supporting elongated dental implements and the like of various configuration and dimension and provided also with relatively unobstructed areas intermediate said support elements to facilitate dental implement retrieval, and support structure for removably supporting said second tray section and including an upwardly extending perimetric lip provided by said first tray section and enlarging upwardly along the longitudinal edges thereof to provide side walls of greater height than the end walls whereby dental implement retrieval over said end walls is facilitated, said support structure also including a pair of downwardly opening longitudinally extending channels provided by said second tray section and being respectively adapted to removably receive said side walls therein and being longitudinally movable therealong to atford adjustment of the relative longitudinal position of said tray sections, said side walls and channels being cooperatively interrelated to dispose the bottom Walls of said tray sections in spaced apart relation to provide a predetermined clearance therebetween for accommodating dental implements supported upon the bottom walls of said first tray section, said channels being defined at least in part by wall portions that extend upwardly from the bottom Wall of said second tray section to a location above the support elements associated therewith.
2. The set-up tray of claim 1 in which one of said tray sections is equipped with a helical spring extending transversely along the bottom wall thereof to receive implements between adjacent coils.
3. The set-up tray of claim 1 in which the support elements of one of said tray sections comprise two longitudinally separated groups of transversely spaced recesses arranged in longitudinally aligned pairs each of which is adapted to receive an elongated dental instrument therein.
4. The set-up tray of claim 1 in which the aforesaid wall portions extend downwardly from the bottom wall of said second tray section and diverge outwardly from the side walls of said first tray section to provide edges located a spaced distance above the lower extremities of said first tray section and spaced outwardly from the walls thereof to facilitate manual gripping of said second tray section to remove the same'from said first tray section without contact with dental implements supported by either of said tray sections.
5. A set-up tray for dental instruments and the like, comprising first and second dissimilar tray sections each having a bottom wall provided with support elements for receiving and supporting dental implements and the like of various configuration and dimension, and support structure for removably supporting said second tray section upon said first tray section and including a pair of longitudinally extending side walls provided by said first tray sections in spaced apart relation to provide a prewall thereof and including also a pair of downwardly opening longitudinally extending channels provided by said second tray section and being respectively adapted to removably receive said longitudinally extending side walls therein, said side walls and channels being cooperatively interrelated to dispose the bottom walls of said tray sections in spaced apart relation to provide a predetermined clearance therebetween for accommodating dental implements supported upon the bottom wall of said first tray section, said channels being defined at least in part by wall portions that extend downwardly from the bottom wall of said second tray section and diverge outwardly and downwardly from the side walls of said first tray section to provide edges located a spaced distance above the lower extremities of said first tray section and spaced outwardly from the walls thereof to facilitate manual gripping of said second tray section to remove the same from said first tray section without contact with dental implements supported by either of said tray sections.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 373,767 11/ 1887 Butler.
814,178 3/1906 Waters 21149 838,121 12/1906 Kollie et al 21l49 1,405,024 1/ 1922 Smith et a1. 1,576,420 3/1926 Folts 211-126 X 1,686,111 5/1926 Osborn 21l49 X 2,007,523 7/1935 Emery. 2,366,483 1/1945 Bona 211-89 X 2,682,950 7/ 1954 Mercer et al 20672 2,804,736 9/1957 Lichtblau 5321 2,908,122 10/ 1959 Allen 5321 FOREIGN PATENTS 856,615 12/ 1960 Great Britain.
THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.
I M. CASKIE, Assistant Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,285,409 November 15, 1966 William Loran ppears in the above numbered pat- It is hereby certified that error a aid Letters Patent should read as ent requiring correction and that the s corrected below.
Column 6, line 12, for "sections in spaced apart relation to provide a pre-" read section and extending upwardly from the bottom Signed and sealed this 12th day of September 1967.
( L) Attest:
ERNEST W. SWIDER Attesting Officer EDWARD J. BRENNER Commissioner of Patents