US 3412469 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 26, 1968 R. L. NEWMAN DENTAL INSTRUMENT Original Filed Nov. 12. 1963 INVENTOR.
ROY L. NEWMAN Q/ZILQM v ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,412,469 DENTAL INSTRUMENT Roy L. Newman, 1102 Broadway, Rockford, Ill. 61104 Continuation of application Ser. No. 322,774, Nov. 12, 1963. This application Oct. 27, 1966, Ser. No. 590,094
"' i 12 Claims. (Cl. 3250) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A handpiece carries a tip for application to the teeth and which tip is initially vibrated in a line pattern of vibrations. A spring is carried by the handpiece and a threaded piece adjustably engages the spring against the tip to modify the vibrations and produce random vibrations in the tip.
This is a continuation of my prior copending application, Ser. No. 322,774, filed Nov. 12, 1963, and now abandoned.
This invention relates generally to apparatus for applying vibrations to the surface of teeth for the removal of calculus and stains and particularly to a novel apparatus for'applying mechanically or electrically excited vibrations to the surface of teeth.
While the vibrations may be generated in a tool tip by vibration excited in any suitable manner, preferably the vibrations are mechanically originated as disclosed in the copending application of Helmut A. Zander, Ser. No. 218,675, now abandoned, filed Aug. 22, 19627 Reference is also made to United States Patent No. 2,960,314.
The above mentioned application of Zander shows and describes a method and apparatus for applying sonic vibrations of a mechanically excited character to the surface of teeth. The tool tip of that application is sharpened and vibrated in a plane in a cutting stroke to remove calculus by a cutting action. While such a cutting action is effective to remove calculus, difficulty has been encountered in finding suitable materials for the tool tip which will assist dulling and will remain effective for removing calculus for a reasonable period of time. Of considerably greater importance is the fact that I have found that a cutting tip moving in a cutting stroke in a plane essentially parallel to the plane of the tooth is not as eflfective for the removal of calculus as a battering or hammering action on the tartar. Such hammering action can be produced when the normal oscillations or reciprocations .of the tool tip in a plane are modified. The tool tip may be dull and applied to the tooth so a to chip the tartar off the tooth by a hammering or battering action as distinguished from a cutting action.
Anobject of my invention is to provide a tool tip for the removal of calculus from the teeth by a battering or hammering action on the calculus.
Another object of my invention is to provide a dental instrument including a tool tip excited by sonic vibrations wherein means is provided for modifying the normal planar vibrations of the tool tip to produce what may be termed a fuzzy pattern of vibrations of the tool tip to remove calculus from the teeth by a chattering or batteringv action on the calculus as distinguished from a cutting action.
My invention further contemplates a dental instrument, such as described in the above mentioned application for removal of calculus, wherein a novel means is provided for modifying the normal pattern of vibrations of the tool tip, such means comprising a spring mounted on the handpiece in such manner that the vibrations of the tip against the resiliency of the spring modifies the normal pattern of tip vibrations so as to produce a chipice ping action on the calculus as distinguished from a cutting action.
Other objects and advantages of my invention will be particularly set forth in the claims and will be apparent from the following description, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view showing the end of a handpiece (dotted lines) incorporating a vibration generator, a tool tip (solid lines) and means (dotted lines) for coupling the tool tip to the handpiece, and the means of this application for distorting or modifying the normal vibrations of the tool tip to produce what may be termed a random vibration of the tool tip;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken substantially on the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially on the line 33 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a view of the path of vibrations of the tool tip to illustrate diagrammatically What may be termed the fuzzy character of the vibrations of the tip.
The mechanism of my invention for the purpose of carrying out the method described herein is applied to a handpiece generally indicated by the numeral 11, and shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1. The handpiece includes a tool tip indicated by the numeral 12 and a housing indicated by the numeral 13. The tool tip 12 is secured to the housing 13 by a coupling device, generally indicated by the numeral 14 whereby the tool tip is rigidly connected to a generator within the housing 13. The construction and operation of the assembly thus provided, except for the coupling between the tool tip and the handpiece is described in detail in the above mentioned copending application. In use, the dental instrument is grasped by the fingers of the user in the general area of the numeral 16 manually to guide the tool tip 12 into engagement with the teeth for the purpose of removing calculus.
In the preferred form of the invention the tool tip end 17 is unsharpened. In this respect the instrument and method of this invention has a very distinct advantage over the dental instrument shown and described in the above mentioned application. Difficulty has been encountered in finding materials which will withstand cutting hard calculus without becoming dull so rapidly that the dentist is confronted with the necessity of sharpening the tool tip at very frequent intervals. Various alloys have been experimented with including stainless steel and tungsten carbide and no complete solution of the problem has been found. When the calculus is removed with a dull tool tip by a chattering or chipping action the tool requires little attention, and for the most part, the major reason for removing the tool tip is to replace it with a tip of different configuration for reaching tooth surfaces not accessible by the tip shown. Actually in practice the tip end 17 may be used between teeth but for the most part the tool is applied to the teeth at a point removed from the tool tip end 17, that is, at any point along the tool 12, from the tip end 17 substantially to the node of vibration.
Mounted on and carried by the handpiece is a leaf spring 18 which is preferably bent as shown, and comprises a straight part 19, an angularly extending part 21 and a straight part 22 which is adapted to engage the tool tip 12. While I have shown a particular shape of spring, this is of no particular importance. The spring should not be too lax or too stiff. It should have a resiliency such that the vibrations of the tip will induce a bouncing of the spring on the tip.
Secured to the spring as by rivet 23 is a counterweight 24 located preferably at the outboard end of the spring 18. The purpose of the counterweight is to increase the amplitude of movement of leaf spring 18 as the tip vibrates against it. However, the counterweight is not entirely necessary or, if desired, the spring itself may be heavier at its outboard end.
A plate 26, bent as shown, is superimposed over the spring 18 and has a threaded end 27. As compared to the spring 18, the plate 26 is relatively stiff, but still should preferably have some resiliency. A thumb piece 2 8 having a knurled head 29 for actuation by the thumb and fingers of the user is threaded, as shown at 31, into the threads 27 of the plate 26.
In the position of the parts shown in FIG. 1, the spring at the point 32 is out of engagement with the tool tip at the point 33. As shown in FIG. 1, the end 34 of the finger piece 28 engages the spring 18 at 36. Men the finger piece 28 is threaded downward, it pushes the spring 18 into engagement with the tool tip so that the point 32 of the spring engages the tool tip at the point 33.
The pressure engagement of the spring 18 with the tool tip 12 is a variable amount and may be varied to suit the user of the handpiece. In general, a heavy pressure of the spring on the tool tip will tend to dampen down the vibrations of the tool tip, while a decrease in pressure of the spring on the tool tip will allow for increased vibration of the tool tip. Each user of the instrument may select the pressure at which he desires to operate and in normal use he will desire to vary this pressure as need may arise.
The spring 18 is riveted to the plate 26 at 41 and is secured to the end of the handpiece by a fixture generally indicated by the numeral 42. The fixture comprises a somewhat elliptical band 43 having a threaded opening 44 into which a threaded finger piece 46 is inserted.
A collar 47 lies interiorly of the band 43 and is preferably somewhat resilient. The collar 47 has a gap 48 through which the end of the finger piece projects to engage the end of the housing 13 as shown at 49. A second rivet 41 extends through the plate 26 and the spring 18 or the parts are spotwelded at this point. By the means shown, the spring 18 and plate 26 assembly may be rigidly connected to the outer end of the handpiece and upon releasing the finger piece 46, the entire unit may be slipped off the end of the handpiece. The collar 47 has a pair of ears or struck up elements 50 (FIG. 2) on each side thereof which slidably embrace the spring 18. Upon loosening the finger piece 46, the spring and plate assembly 18 and 26 may be shifted in the fixture longitudinally of the handpiece.
Nodes and anti-nodes of vibration are produced in the tool tip and its associated oscillating bar as fully described in the above mentioned copending application and issued patent. Since at a node of the tool tip there is no vibration, the point 33 at which the spring engages the tool tip should be spaced from the node. This spacing of the point of application of the spring may be any desired amount, although it will be understood that the amplitude of vibration of the tool tip existing at various points along the tool tip will be a variable. Since the spring at the point 32 engages the tool tip at the point 33, and the point 33 not being a node of vibration, the spring, when in engagement with the tip, will modify the vibrations of the tool tip.
As described in the above mentioned application, the tip 17 of the tool vibrates normal to the plane of the paper. The point 17 may vibrate in a straight line, or may describe an ellipse or any other pattern of vibration. However, it is a line vibration constantly repeating itself. Likewise at the point 33, as indicated by the dotted circle and the center point thereof, the tool tip vibrates normal to the plane of the paper. This vibration likewise is in a straight line, ellipse or other configuration. However, it is a line vibration which is constantly repeated. If, for example, point 33 is vibrating laterally in a straight line motion normal to the plane of the paper, and the spring 18 at the point 32 is parallel to this plane, no distortion of the normal plane of vibration of the point 33 of the tool will occur. The point 33 of the tool will merely move or slide over the surface of the spring and will not modify the action of the tool tip in the manner desired. Consequently the plane of the spring must extend at an angle to the plane of vibrations of the tool tip.
The above may be accomplished in a number of different ways. For example, the spring plate assembly may be clamped to the handpiece body at an angle to the plane of vibrations of the tool tip. This method of obtaining angularity between the planes may require a somewhat different bend configuration of the spring than that shown. Preferably the plane of the spring with respect to the plane of vibration of the tool tip is fixed positively so that no matter how the plate assembly is clamped to the end of the body of the handpiece, these planes with which we are concerned will be at an angle to each other.
The above construction is illustrated in FIG. 3 which is a sectional view taken substantially on the line 33 of FIG. 1 in the direction indicated by the arrows. This view shows the spring 18 and its straight part 19. It shows the nut 51 by which the tool tip is coupled to the handpiece. This view also shows the adjusting screw 29 for placing a variable tension on the spring 18 and the plate 26.
As shown in this view, the inboard end of the tool tip 12 has a fiat surface 52 which mates with a fiat surface 53 formed on the end of the oscillating bar 54 fully described in the above mentioned copending application. It will be appreciated that when these two surfaces are mated together and the nut 51 threaded tightly, surfaces 52 and 53 will be rigidly clamped together. In FIG. 3 I have indicated by the double arrowed line A the plane of vibrations of the tool tip. The surfaces 52 and 53 define a plane which is at an angle, in this case of approximately 45 to the plane of vibrations of the tip as indicated by the arrows A. If desired, the surfaces 52 and 53 may be corrugated or otherwise configurated as long as the general plane thereof is out of the plane of vibrations indicated by the doubled ended arrows A.
Without the spring being in engagement with the tool tip, free vibration of the tip will trace the same path each cycle (a straight line, ellipse or whatever the pattern of vibrations the vibration generator is designed for. However, the vibrations will be in a straight line, the line vibrations being indicated in FIG. 4 by the straight black line. With the spring engaging the tool tip at a point off the node thereof and with the angular relation of the plane 52-53 with respect to the plane of vibration of the tool tip, the tip will trace essentially the same path as before, except that it is not precisely a line path. The resulting path is an area trajectory rather than a line trajectory. With the spring in engagement with the tool tip, the vibrations become somewhat fuzzy and are indicated by the cross section lines in FIG. 4. The effect of the spring may be observed by eye, by looking at the tip under a microscope or by feeling the tip and noting a fuzziness to the wiggle of the tip. The virbations may be characterized as a random wiggle or oscillation of the tool tip. It may be observed by instrument by noting the oscilliscope pattern of the tip motion which becomes a fatter trace as indicated by the cross sectional area of FIG. 4.
While I have shown and described the preferred form of mechanism of my invention and the method thereof, it will be apparent that various modifications and changes may be made therein, particularly in the form and relation of parts, without departing from the spirit of my invention as set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A dental instrument comprising, in combination: a handpiece having a portion adapted to be grasped by the fingers of the user; a tip for application to the teeth and having an inner end connected to the handpiece and an unsharpened outer end; vibrating means for imparting vibrations to the tip in a line pattern of vibrations; a spring carried by the handpiece; and means for selectively adjusting the tension of the spring for modifying said vibrations to produce random vibrations in the tip.
2. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 1 wherein: the spring is engaged with the tip at a point intermediate its outer end and the handpiece.
3. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 1 wherein: the tip is removably connected to the handpiece; the vibrating means is located in the handpiece and operative for imparting sonic vibrations to the tip in said line pattern of vibrations; and the spring is external of the handpiece and engages the tip as it vibrates.
4. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 1 wherein: the tip includes a shank and a longitudinal extent defining a longitudinal plane with the shank; and including a surface on the handpiece; a surface on the shank at the inner end of the tip for engaging the handpiece surface; said surfaces being complementary and being at an angle to said longitudinal plane.
5. A dental instrument for removing calculus from teeth and comprising: a handpiece adapted to be grasped by the user; a tip carried by the handpiece; the tip and handpiece arranged so that the tip may be guided into engagement with calculus on the teeth; vibrating means for imparting vibrations to the tip; and means mounted on the handpiece and engaged with the tip for modifying said vibrations to provide random vibrations in the tip to produce a bouncing of said tip against the calculus to remove calculus from the teeth by a chipping action on the calculus as distinguished from a cutting action.
6. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 5 wherein: the tip includes a shank extending from the inner end; said vibrating means is disposed in the handpiece and arranged to vibrate the tip in a plane; and the last-mentioned means includes a spring having an effective point of contact with said tip at a point between its outer end and the shank for modifying the imparted vibrations; the axis of said shank and the effective point of contact defining a plane at an angle to said plane of vibrations of the tip.
7. A dental instrument for removing calculus from the teeth comprising, in combination: a tip; means for mounting said tip so that it may be guided into engagement with the calculus to be removed; means for imparting sonic vibrations to said tip in a line pattern of vibrations; and means comprising a spring adjustably bearing against said tip for modifying said line pattern of vibrations to produce a bouncing of said tip against said calculus to remove calculus from the teeth by a chipping action as distinguished from a cutting of the calculus.
8. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 7 wherein: said means for imparting sonic vibrations to said tip produces a node of said pattern of vibrations; and said spring adjustably bears against said tip at a point other than said node.
9. A dental instrument comprising, in combination:
(a) a handpiece having a portion thereof adapted to be grasped by the fingers of the user;
(b) a tip carried by said handpiece adapted to be guided into engagement with the teeth by the fingers;
(c) means in the handpiece for imparting vibrations to the tip in a pattern of vibrations, said tip having a node of vibrations;
(d) a spring carried by said handpiece and extending along the tip adjacent thereto; and
(e) selectively adjustable means for applying pressure on the spring to adjustably engage the spring with the tip at a point out of registry with said node with a yielding force which modifies said pattern of vibrations to produce random vibrations in the tip.
10. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 9 including: a counterweight adjacent the outer end of the spring.
11. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 9 wherein: said tip has a plane of vibrations; and the plane of said spring being at an angle to the plane of said vibrations.
12. A dental instrument as set forth in claim 11 including: a counterweight adjacent the outboard end of said spring.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,058,218 10/1962 Kleesattel.
LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.
ROBERT PESHOCK, Assistant Examiner.