US 3435868 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1, 1969 R. H. sTEMER -ENVELOPE ARRANGEMENT Filed Sept. 21. 1966 INVENTOR, fluooz /y 6. 57524451? A TTORA/EY United States Patent 01 :"fice 3,435,868 Patented Apr. 1, 1969 3,435,868 ENVELOPE ARRANGEMENT Rudolph H. Stermer, 5112 Laurel Canyon Drive, North Hollywood, Calif. 91607 Filed Sept. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 584,941 Int. Cl. A45c 11/24; B6511 27/04 US. Cl. 150-39 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to the envelope art and more particularly to an improved arrangement for holding a dental record card and corresponding X-ray pictures for a particular patient.
In the practice of dentistry it is usually necessary to have approximately 16 to 20 separate X-ray pictures of the various portions of the dental structure of a patient. In such dental practice then, it often becomes necessary to examine the X-ray pictures and correspondingly to look at the patients individual dental record card. For convenience, also, it is often desirable to have a surface upon which various notes of treatment and successive dental operations may be noted with one hand, while examining both the X-ray pictures and the dental record card which are held in the other hand. Thus, it is often desired to be able to erasably write the particular course of treatment and successive dental operations necessary for an individual patient and it is preferred to have such an erasable listing together with the dental record card and the X-ray pictures.
Further, it is often necessary to store a comparatively large number of X-ray photographs and corresponding dental record cards and treatment outlines in file cabinets. Therefore, it is desirable that the entire combination be comparatively thin in order that the maximum number of records for patients may be contained in as small a volume as possible. Additionally, it is desirable to have the X-ray pictures sealed within a transparent enclosure in order that inadvertent loss of the pictures during handling or in the file cabinet cannot occur.
In the past the units for holding dental X-ray pictures have often been made of comparatively thick cardboard in which the pictures were detachably inserted. Such pictures often fell from the cards and, in general, difiiculty was then often encountered in correlating particular pictures with particular patients. Further, such comparatively thick cardboard X-ray picture holders were separate units from the envelope arrangement holding the dental record card and as such it was often diffiult to simultaneously examine the X-ray pictures and the dental X-ray cards. Also, no provision for allowing the written course of treatment that would be observable during the examination of the dental record card and the X-ray pictures was provided.
Applicants invention herein overcomes the above disadvantages of prior art arrangements and achieves the above-mentioned desiderata by providing, in one embodiment of applicants invention, a transparent flexible plastic body means that is provided with a plurality of X-ray picture receiving cavities. When utilized in dental ofiice applications, it will be appreciated that the X-ray picture receiving cavities in the transparent body means are sized to provide cavity sizes for the more or less standardized size of dental X-ray pictures. In other applications, of course, the X-ray picture receiving cavity size is made appropriate to the desired application.
In this embodiment of applicants invention the transparent body means is fabricated from a flexible transparent plastic, preferably heat-sealable, such as polyvinylchloride or polystyrene, and is further comprised of a first surface and a second surface. The first surface and the second surface are heat-sealed together in predetermined patterns to provide the X-ray picture receiving cavities that are sealed along three edges thereof with a fourth edge open so that the X-ray picture may be inserted into the X-ray picture receiving cavity. The fourth edge may, if desired, be heat-sealed after the insertion of the X-ray picture for substantially permanent enclosure therein.
An envelope means is coupled to a lower edge margin of the transparent body means and the envelope means is adapted to receive a dental record card therein. Thus, the dental record card may be withdrawn in whole or in part while examining the X-ray pictures in the transparent body means and the two may be simultaneously scanned by the dentist.
In the preferred embodiment of applicants invention at least one exterior surface of the envelope means may be erasably written upon in order that a sequence or course of treatment as selected by the dentist may be marked thereon during the scanning of the X-ray pictures and the dental record chart. It is preferably erasable in order that, as extensive treatments and courses of operation are concluded, they may be erased and thus the patients progress and entire dental history is readily available to the dentist at a glance.
In this embodiment of applicants invention there is a bending axis parallel to an upper edge margin of the envelope means so that the transparent body means may be repetitively folded and unfolded from a substantially co-planar position with the envelope means to a position adjacent to the envelope means.
The above and other embodiments of applicants invention are more fully described in the following detailed description taken together with the accompanying drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar elements throughout and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of applicants invention;
FIGURES 2 and 3 are sectional views along the lines, respectively, 22 and 3-3 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of another embodiment of applicants invention.
It will be appreciated that while applicant herein has described his invention as embodied in a particular utilization appropriate for dentists, the invention is equally applicable to other professions and other areas of utilization and applicants invention is not to be limited by the particular detailed description of the embodiments of applicants invention presented below as utilized in the dental profession.
Referring now to FIGURE 1, there is shown a perspective view of one embodiment of applicants invention, generally designated 10 comprised of an envelope means 12 and a transparent body means 14.
The envelope means 12 is comprised of a front face 16 and a rear face 18 coupled to the front face 16 along three edges 20a, 20b and 20c thereof to define a dental record card receiving cavity 22 therebetween. The fourth edge 24, comprising an upper edge margin of the front face 16, is left open to provide access to the dental record card receiving cavity 22.
The rear face 18 has a coupling portion 26 extending past the upper edge margin 24 of the front face 16 and the coupling portion 26 is coupled to the transparent body means 14.
The transparent body means 14 has a plurality of X-ray picture receiving cavities 28 thereon that, in general, are sealed along three edges thereof with a fourth edge margin left open to allow the insertion of the X-ray picture. Thus, for example, the particular X-ray picture receiving cavity 28' is sealed along the edges 30a, 30b and 30c, but the fourth edge 32 is open to allow insertion of the X-ray picture in the X-ray receiving cavity 28.
FIGURE 2 illustrates a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 showing in detail the particular preferred construction of the X-ray picture receiving cavity 28'. It will be appreciated, of course, that the other X-ray picture receiving cavities 28 are fabricated in a similar manner.
In the preferred embodiment of applicants invention the transparent body means is made of a flexible heat scalable plastic such as polyvinylchloride, polystyrene, or the like. Thus, the transparent body means may be comprised of a first surface 34 and a second surface 36. The first surface 34 is heat sealed to the second surface 36 in a predetermined array to provide the X-ray picture receiving cavities 28. Thus, for example, the first surface 34 is heat sealed to the second surface 36 along the exterior edge margins 38a, 38b and 380 of the transparent body means 14, as well as along the interior seams such as 30a, 30b and 30c of the individual X-ray picture receiving cavities 28.
In the preferred embodiment of applicants invention the fourth edge margin 32 of, for example, X-ray picture receiving cavity 28', may be heat sealed to the second surface 36 after insertion of the X-ray picture in the X-ray picture receiving cavity 28 in order that the picture may be substantially, permanently retained therein.
If desired, the size of the transparent body means 14 may be made slightly smaller than the dental record card receiving cavity 18 of the envelope means 12 in order that the transparent body means 14 may be inserted therein for retention. Thus, the dental record card receiving cavity 18 may hold not only a dental record card, shown in broken lines on FIGURE 1 and indicated by the numeral 40, but also the transparent body means, when comprised of a flexible material, may also be inserted therein.
It will be appreciated that since the thickness of each of the front and rear surfaces 16 and 18 of the envelope means 12 and the first and second surfaces 34 and 36 of the transparent body means 14 is comparatively thin, for example of the order of a few thousandths of an inch thick, the overall thickness of applicants improved envelope arrangement, even when the transparent body means is inserted in or adjacent to the card receiving cavity 18, is considerably thinner than the prior art arrangement wherein the cardboard X-ray holding device was often an eighth of an inch thick or thicker alone. Thus, for a given amount of space, many times the number of patients record files may be maintained by utilizing applicants improved envelope arrangement.
The embodiment of applicants invention designated on FIGURE 1 may be provided with a bend axis 42 substantially parallel to the upper edge margin 24 of the front face 16 of the envelope arrangement 12 and adjacent to the coupling portion 26 of the rear face 18 of the envelope means 12. In this embodiment of applicants invention the bend axis 14 is on the second surface 36 of the transparent body means 14 in a portion 44 thereof extending below the lower edge 48 of the first surface 34 thereof. The bend axis 42 may easily be provided, for example, when the second surface 36 is fabricated from a flexible heat scalable plastic material, by providing a heat compression line along the bend axis 42 whereby the transparent body means 14 is bendable along the bend axis 42 from the substantially co-planar arrangement of the transparent body means 14 with the envelope means 12 to an adjacent position, as illustrated and described more fully in connection with FIGURE 4 below.
As noted above, the transparent body means 14 is coupled to the envelope means 12 and, in a preferred embodiment of applicants invention, as illustrated on FIGURE 1, the coupling is a detachable coupling as provided, for example, by a plastic detachable coupling means 50. This arrangement is illustrated in greater detail on FIGURE 3.
There is shown on FIGURE 3 one type of commercially available detachable plastic coupling means 50 comprised of a female portion 52 and a male portion 54. The plastic coupling means 50 is preferably fabricated from a heat-scalable plastic and thus the female portion 52 may, for example, be heat-sealed to the second surface 36 of the transparent body mean 14 and the male portion 54 may be heat-sealed to the rear face 18 of the envelope means 12 along the coupling portion 26 thereof.
The detachable plastic coupling means 50 illustrated in FIGURE 3 is of the type manufactured, for example, by Polytab Corporation, Glendale, Calif, under license from Flexgrip Corporation, Highway 303, Orangeburg, N.Y. It will be appreciated, of course, that other types of detachable coupling means may be utilized in the practice of applicants invention as desired; the illustration of the particular detachable coupling means 50 in FIG- URES 1 and 3 is presented for illustrative purposes only.
The male portion 54 is resiliently retained in the female portion 52 and may be pulled apart and re-inserted repetitively, as desired, to separate and rejoin the envelope means 12 with the transparent body means 14. Thus, for example, a complete set of X-ray pictures may be inserted in the X-ray picture receiving cavities 28 of the transparent body means 14 and sealed therein. Appropriate dental work may be performed upon the patient, at the conclusions of which the transparent body means 14 may be detached from the envelope means 12 and inserted in the card receiving cavity 18 thereof for retention. At a subsequent time, if additional dental work becomes required and additional X-rays are taken, a second transparent body means 14 may be coupled to the envelope means 12 and work may continue and the dentist has available to examine, as required, both the original X-ray pictures and the new X-ray pictures as well as the complete dental record card.
In the embodiment of applicants invention shown on FIGURE 1, it may be preferred to provide at least one of the exterior surfaces of the front face or rear face of the envelope means 12 with an erasably writable surface. Thus, in a preferred embodiment of applicants invention, the envelope means 12 is opaque and the exterior surface of at least one of the front and rear face 16 and 18, respectively, may be written upon erasably as desired by the dentist to outline a particular course of treatment or dental operations required for the particular patient. Such a record may then be conveniently marked during the simultaneous scanning of the X-ray pictures and the dental record cards by the dentist.
In the above embodiment of applicant invention the bend axis 42 was shown provided on the portion 44 of the rear surface 36 of the transparent body means 14. It will be appreciated that the bend axis could also be provided on the coupling portion 26, for example in region designated 52 on FIGURE 3, of the rear face 18 of the envelope means 12.
FIGURE 4 illustrates another embodiment of applicants invention, generally designated 60, in which the envelope portion 62 thereof is coupled, but not detachably coupled, to the transparent body means 64. Thus, the transparent body means 64 of FIGURE 4 is similar to the transparent body means 14 of FIGURE 1, and the envelope means 62 of FIGURE 4 is similar to the envelope means 12 of FIGURE 1 except that the coupling therebetween is not detachable. Further, FIGURE 4 illustrates applicants invention when the transparent body means 64 is bent along a bend axis 66 thereof, from a position illustrated in FIGURE 1 to an adjacent position as shown on FIGURE 4. A dental record card 68 is shown inserted in the dental record card receiving cavity 70 of the envelope means 62 and X-ray pictures 72 are shown inserted in the X-ray receiving cavities 74. As described above, it may be desired in some applications of applicants invention to heat-seal the X-ray pictures in the X-ray picture receiving cavities after insertion therein. X-ray picture 72' is shown thus sealed within the particular X-ray picture receiving cavity 74' along all edges thereof. The other X-ray pictures 72 are shown merely retained in the X-ray picture receiving cavities 74.
This concludes the description of applicants invention. From the above it is seen that applicant has provided an improved envelope arrangement in which a plurality of, for example, dental X-ray pictures may be simultaneously viewed while the dental record cards of a particular patient are scanned and notes of particular required dental treatments are made. This improved arrangement of applicants invention is conveniently fabricated from thin materials in order that a large number of such arrangements may be stored in a comparatively small place.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A combined dental record card and X-ray picture holder comprising, in combination:
an envelope means having a front face and a rear face coupled to said front face along three sides thereof to define a card receiving cavity therebetween and having an opening along a fourth edge thereof, and said rear face having a coupling portion extending beyond the fourth edge margin of said front face; and
a transparent body means detachably coupled to said coupling portion of said rear face of said envelope means, and said rtansparent body means having a plurality of X-ray picture receiving cavities arranged in a predetermined array thereon.
2. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein said envelope means and said transparent body means are flexible, bendable, plastic.
3. The arrangement defined in claim 2 wherein one of said envelope means and said transparent body means is repetitively bendable along a bend axis parallel to said fourth edge margin of said card receiving cavity and adjacent said coupling portion of said rear face of said envelope means.
4. The arrangement defined in claim 3 wherein said transparent body means is detachably coupled to said envelope means and said envelope means in an opaque plastic and said transparent body means is a transparent plastic.
5. The arrangement defined in claim 4 wherein at least one of said front face and said rear face of said envelope means has an exterior surface portion adapted to be erasably written upon.
6. The arrangement defined in claim 5 wherein said transparent body means is further comprised of a first heat-sealable transparent plastic surface and a second heatsealable transparent plastic surface substantially coextensive with said first heat-sealable transparent plastic surface and said first transparent plastic surface heat-sealed to said second transparent plastic surface in a predetermined pattern to define said X-ray picture receiving cavities therebetween and each of said X-ray picture receiving cavities being heat-sealed along three edges thereof and said fourth edge heat-sealable after insertion of the X-ray pictures to retain said X-ray pictures in said X-ray picture receiving cavity.
7. The arrangement defined in claim 6 wherein said second surface of said transparent body member is detachably coupled to said coupling portion of said rear face of said envelope means and said bend axis is on said second surface of said transparent body member and spaced a preselected distance from said detachable coupling and said transparent body means has dimensions smaller than said card receiving cavity and said transparent body means is positionable within said card receiving cavity.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,732,875 1/1956 Martin 150139 2,754,867 7/ 1956 Langer l- 1 2,869,604 1/1959 Fitzsimmons 39 3,227,471 1/ 1966 Coniker 15039 FOREIGN PATENTS 119,324 12/ 1944 Australia.
WILLIAM T. DIXON, JR., Primary Examiner.