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Publication numberUS3467083 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1969
Filing dateSep 8, 1966
Priority dateSep 8, 1966
Also published asDE1566188A1
Publication numberUS 3467083 A, US 3467083A, US-A-3467083, US3467083 A, US3467083A
InventorsMattingly John W
Original AssigneeAqua Tec Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oral hygiene apparatus of the water jet type
US 3467083 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 16, 1969 J. w. MATTINGLY ORAL HYGIENE APPARATUS OF THE WATER JET TYPE Filed Sept. 8. 1966 3 Sheets-:Sheet 1 FIG. I

FIG. 6'

INVENTOR. JOHN W. MAT'HNGLY ATTORNEYS Sept. 16, 1969 J. w. MATTINGLY ORAL HYGIENE APPARATUS OF THE WATER JET TYPE Filed Sept. 8, 1966 Q 3 Sheets$heet 2 I a: so 6 r :2: J

E h l' 40 n I35 IHI HI i 63 a 37 42 4 I 5' v I INVENTOR.

JOHN W. MATTINGLY A r TORWE rs Sept} 16, 1969 J. w. MATTINGLY ORAL HYGIENE APPARATUS OF THE WATER JET TYPE Filed Sept. 8. 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 8 7 5 6 w 6 47 3 0 w m 1 8 2 2 i. 0 II 7 m w 4 W a "kiwi"? i .A 6 ll 3 II :I 4 2 Jan 7 5 M I 5 .lNVENTOR.

JOHN W. MfigqNGLY ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,467,083 ORAL HYGIENE APlARATUS OF THE WATER JET TYPE John W. Mattingly, Fort Collins, Colo., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Aqua Tec Corporation, Denver, Colo., a corporation of California Filed Sept. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 578,053 Int. Cl. A61h 9/00 US. Cl. 12866 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An oral hygiene appliance of the type producing a pulsed liquid stream or jet comprises a reciprocating liquid pump and a control for adjusting the intensity of the discharge stream; a single operating member adjusts the control and also operates the switch of an electric motor driving the pump. The pump drive includes a reciprocated driving member and a floating joint connection between the driving member and the pump piston to minimize the effects of lateral relative movement or misalignment thereof.

This invention relates to oral hygiene apparatus for cleaning the teeth and massaging the gum tissue and particularly to an improved apparatus for producing a water jet of the intermittent pulse type.

The use of a water jet of small cross section and comprising intermittent pulses has been found effective for dislodging particles from between the teeth and for massaging the gum tissue and has been found particularly effective for dislodging foreign matter from the subgingival margins. The apparatus of the present invention is an improvement on the apparatus disclosed and claimed in US. Patent No. 3,227,158, granted to J. W. Mattingly on Jan. 4, 1966, and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention and is useful in the practice of the method disclosed and claimed in that patent.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved oral hygiene apparatus of the intermittent liquid pulse type.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved oral hygiene apparatus which is of simple and rugged construction and may be easily and accurately assembled.

It is another object of this invention to provide an oral hygiene appliance of the intermittent pulse type including an improved arrangement for minimizing wear and vibration during operation.

It is another object of this invention to provide an oral hygiene appliance of the intermittent liquid pulse type including an improved liquid connection between a pump and a removable reservoir.

It is another object of this invention to provide an oral hygiene appliance of the intermittent liquid pulse type including an improved arrangement for isolating the motor and electrically energized parts from. the liquid system.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an oral hygiene appliance of the intermittent liquid pulse type including an improved arrangement for minimizing the effects of axial misalignment and of lateral drive forces of reciprocating parts.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an oral hygiene appliance of this intermittent liquid pulse type including an improved arrangement for controlling the appliance and for adjusting the kinetic energy of the pulses of the water stream produced thereby.

Patented Sept. 16, 1969 Briefly, in carrying out the objects of this invention in one embodiment thereof, an oral hygiene appliance is provided which comprises a motor pump unit for producing liquid pulses at the rate of about 1200 pulses per minute and with sufiicient kinetic energy of each pulse to depress the gum tissue and with sufficient spacing between individual pulses to allow rebound of the tissue. The pulses are formed by a nozzle having a cross sectional area of the order of 0.035 inch. The pump is driven by an electric motor and comprises a small cylinder having a piston therein reciprocated by a Scotch-yoke drive. A floating connection is provided between the piston and the drive for minimizing the effect of lateral and axial misalignment and of lateral drive forces and vibration and the unit is controlled by a single handle which is arranged to operate the motor switch to energize or deenergize the appliance, and further is arranged to control the pressure of the liquid discharged by the pump to provide a range of control of the kinetic energy of the individual pulses.

The features of novelty which characterize this invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof may best be understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an oral hygiene appliance embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the appliance of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged elevation view partly in section and partly broken away showing the pump and control of the appliance of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view partly in section and partly broken away of the mechanism of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is .an enlarged view of the control knob and assembly illustrated in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged perspective exploded View of a coupling employed in the pump.

Referring now to the drawings, the applicance illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a housing 10 on which is mounted a removable reservoir or receptacle 11 for supplying water to a pump in the housing 10, the pump being described below in connection with FIGS. 3 .and 4. The pulsed stream of water is produced by the pump and discharged through a nozzle 12 detachably mounted on the handle 13 mounted on an extendable member or slide 14 which is slidably mounted in the base of housing 10, indicated at 15. The nozzle 12 is connected to receive the pulsed stream of liquid produced by the pump within the housing 10 through a coiled plastic conduit or tubing 16. The motor for driving the pump and producing the pulses is controlled by a rotatable and axially movable handle or knob 17 which actuates the motor switch and also controls the intensity of the stream discharged by the pump. The tubing is coiled about a projecting housing portion 18 arranged within a recess or opening 19, the housing portion 18 also constituting the casing for a part of the motor for driving the pump.

In order to produce the jet or stream of intermittent liquid pulses a pump 21 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is provided for discharging the stream through its outlet indicated at 22 and to which the tubing 16 is connected. The pump 21 comprises a cylinder block 23 having a cylinder 24 therein and .a piston 25 mounted for reciprocation within the cylinder. Liquid from the reservoir 11 is supplied to the pump through a connection 26 between the reservoir 11 and the unit 10 and which admits water to a tubing 27 within the unit 10 which is connected to the inlet of the pump indicated at 28. The pump is provided with inlet and discharge ports 30 and 31, respectively, and an inlet valve 32 is provided to control the inlet port. The ports 30 and 31 are arranged in longitudinal alignment at the ends of a pump chamber 33 which is in open communication with the cylinder 24. It will now be seen that when the piston 25 is reciprocated it draws liquid in through the intake port 30 and on its return stroke forces liquid out through the discharge port 31. The operation of the pump is such that the inertia of the discharging liquid maintains the outward flow during the intake stroke of the piston and liquid is supplied through the intake port 30 without withdrawing liquid from the discharge port.

The piston 25 is driven by operation of a motor 35 of the two-pole, shaded pole type having a rotor 36 connected to drive a pinion gear 37 which is meshed with a driving gear 38 having a cylindrical extension 40 extending through a circular opening in a partition wall or motor plate 41 mounted within the housing 10. The rotor 36 is rotatably mounted on a fixed shaft 42 on bearings 43 and 44. The lower bearing 44 is rigidly connected to the rotor and to the pinion gear 37. The fixed shaft 42 extends from a bracket, indicated at 45, to the partition wall 41 by which it is supported at its other end. The piston is driven by reciprocation of a driving member 46 through a Scotch-yoke connection comprising a guide-way 47 on the member 46, and a slide 48 and a pin 49 mounted eccentrically on the disc 40 and journalled in the slide 48. The mechanism of the Scotch-yoke is well known and further description is not necessary to an understanding of the present invention.

During the operation of pulsed jet dental apparatus, it is desirable that the intensity of the jet stream may be adjusted so that the kinetic energy of the individual pulses may be changed in accordance with the requirements of the user. This enables the operator to provide the optimum kinetic energy for depressing discrete areas of the particular gum tissue on which the jet stream is used. This adjustment is effected in the appliance illustrated by adjusting the pressure of the liquid discharged by the pump through the port 31. In the illustrated embodiment this adjustment is accomplished by changing the degree of closing of the inlet valve 32 between its position seated on the port 30 to a position substantially spaced from the port as shown in FIG. 4. The stop comprises a shaft 57 rigidly attached to a knob 58 which is formed as a gear meshing with an intermediate gear 60 which meshes with a gear 61 on the assembly of the control knob 17. When the knob 17 is turned, the gear 61 turns and moves the gear 60 and gear 58 to change the position of the stop 57 with respect to the intake port 30. It will thus be apparent that the pressure within the pump chamber 33 may be varied by altering the effect of the intake valve 32 from its fully closed position, which is the high pressure position, to its fully open position illustrated in FIG. 4; intermediate positions, of course, provide pressures between the pressures at the two ends. This arrangement for controlling the pressure of the liquid discharged by the pump by interfering with the action of the inlet valve is not my invention but is the invention of Michael A. Cammack and is disclosed and claimed in a copending application filed of even date herewith and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention. The control knob 17 not only is rotatable, but is longitudinally or axially 'movable. The knob assembly is rotatably mounted by journalling the gear 61 within a sleeve 62 rigidly mounted on the motor plate 41 and which acts as a bearing and maintains the gear 61 in mesh with the gear 60. The motor 35 is energized under control of an on-otf switch 63 having an operating lug or button 64 movable in a straight line between on and off positions. Switches of this type are well known and readily available. The details of construction of this combined control assembly for adjusting pressure and for controlling the motor switch are shown enlarged in FIG. 5. The knob 17 is arranged to actuate the switch button 64 by movement toward and away from the front plate of the appliance unit indicated at 65. In order to actuate the switch 64 the knob 17 is provided with two parallel round discs 66 and 67 which are spaced and positioned with the button 64 lying between them and with some play so that the button fits loosely between the two discs. When the knob 17 is pulled out from its position shown in the drawings, the disc 67 engages the switch button 64 and moves it forward until it reaches its on position and energizes the motor. In a similar manner, when the motor is to be turned off, the knob is pressed in and the disc 66 engages the button 64 and moves the switch to its off position. The gear 61 is elongated .and remains in mesh with the gear throughout the longitudinal movement of the knob 17. In the construction illustrated, the knob 17 is provided with a shaft 68 which is rigidly secured centrally of the rear 61 by a press fit and the discs 66 and 67 are mounted on a rod or shaft 70 similarly, rigidly secured to the gear 61. This complete assembly provides an effective and easily operated mechanism for controlling the operation of the pulsed jet appliance and effects the operation by a single control easily accessible to the user. It will be clear that the switch may be operated regardless of the rotated position of the knob 17 and similarly the pressure setting may be adjusted regardless of the axial or longitudinal position of the knob. This combination of controls may be employed with other types of rotatably adjustable pressure controls.

The driving member 46 is slidably and rotatably mounted on a fixed pin 51 which is rigidly secured by a press fit in a projecting block or support 52 formed integrally with the partition wall 41. The piston 25 is connected to the driving member 46 by a headed projection 53 formed on the piston 25 and a complementary recess 54 formed in the end of the driving member 46. The recess 54 is formed with a lateral slot 55 .at its top as shown in FIG. 3 and through which the headed member 53 may be inserted during the assembly of the mechanism. The details of construction of this coupling which constitutes a floating joint connection between the piston and the driving member 46 are described below.

The details of construction of the universal or floating joint connection between the piston 25 and the drive member 46 are shown more clearly in the exploded view in FIG. 6; this assembly comprises the headed extension 53 on the piston and the slotted recess 54 on the drive member 46. The head of the member 53 is of generally cylindrical construction as is the stem connecting it with the piston, the head being of greater diameter so that it cannot be withdrawn axially from the recess 54 which is formed to fit about the head as a complementary part. The dimension and configuration of the recess 54 and head 53 are such that both lateral and angular movement of the axis of the piston 25 with respect to the axis of drive member 46 are possible. This relative movement is suflicient to compensate for angular misalignment as well as parallel but offset misalignment between the axis of the pump bore 24 and the axis of motion of drive member 46. This relative movement is also sufiicient to prevent the transfer of any appreciable lateral movement from the drive member 46 to the piston 25. As a result, the assembly of the pump is made simpler and effectively provides the required alignment of the piston 25 and the drive member 46 so that vibration and wear are minimized and the operation of the pump is smooth and reliable.

As an illustration by way of example, and not by way of limitation, one pump which was constructed as shown in the drawings was provided with a cylinder having an internal diameter of about inch, the other parts having substantially the proportional sizes illustrated in the drawings. The diameters of the cylindrical parts of the head 53 were .030 inch smaller than the width of the corresponding portions of the recess 54 and the length of the head of the extension 53 was of the order of .005

inch less than the depth of the corresponding portion of the recess 54. With the arrangement, it was found that the piston was not required to carry the side thrust loads generated by the motion of the Scotch-yoke drive mechanism. Furthermore, the piston was not required to serve as a bearing for the drive mechanism. The entire assembly except the motor, associated electrical components, shafts, and the drive member 46 were constructed of synthetic plastic materials which are electrically non-conducting and facilitate the design for isolating the electrical and water conducting parts of the mechanism.

The reservoir 11 supplies water through the connection 26 to the flexible tubing 27. A valve 80 in the bottom of the reservoir prevents water from flowing out until the reservoir is placed on the housing 10. When the reservoir is in position on the housing a pin 81 fixed in the connection 26 engages the valve 80 and holds it open to allow water to flow from the reservoir. The connection is sealed by .an O-ring or other suitable seal 82 positioned between the inner and outer parts of the connection 26. This arrangement of a reservoir and valve assembly is described and claimed in a copending application of John W. Mattingly, Ser. No. 412,954, filed Nov. 23, 1964, now Patent No, 3,393,673 issued July 23, 1968 and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.

The configuration of the housing and of the reservoir are generally symmetrical about the vertical axis, being generally circular as illustrated. The water outlet of the reservoir and the inlet of the housing are in the center on the vertical .axis. This greatly facilitates the placing of the reservoir on the housing with easy positioning of the interfitting parts of the connection 26.

The construction and arrangement of the oral hygiene appliance as illustrated in FIG. 1 is such that the motor, the switch and other electrical parts are located above the partition 41 and are isolated from the pump and the water carrying parts. This is accomplished by conducting the water from the reservoir 11 through the connection 26 and flexible tubing 27 through the plate 41 into the space below where the tube 27 is connected to the pump inlet 28. The hole in the partition through which the tubing 27 passes fits the tubing tightly and provides a seal tending to prevent the passage of water to the upper chamber of the housing 10. Furthermore, the cylindrical drive disc 40 is made to fit as closely as possible for rotation in the opening in the partition 41. Thus the openings through the partition are made with little or no clearance about the parts passing therethrough. The tendency of water to flow through the plate is minimized by placing the water pumping and control mechanism below the partition 41 so that any water which collects will tend to flow by gravity downwardly away from the partition. The motor and electrical parts are thus isolated from the water handling mechanism, both by a physical shield and gravity.

While the invention has been illustrated and described with reference to a specific embodiment thereof, various other variations and modifications will occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is not desired that the invention be limited to the specific details illustrated and described and it is intended by the appended claims to cover all modifications which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. A system for treating gum tissue by applying spaced pressure pulses of liquid to depress discrete areas of gum tissue with the spacing of said pulses one from the other of duration which provides for rebound time for said gum tissue, comprising a pump of the reciprocating type including a cylinder having a piston therein and an intake port and a discharge port,

rotatable control means for adjusting the quantity of liquid discharged through said discharge port,

an electric motor for driving said pump,

a switch for controlling the energization of said motor,

a single rotatable and axially movable manual operating member positioned to engage and rotate said rotatable control means and to engage and move said switch between its on and its ofi positions whereby said single manual member is effective for controlling the intensity of the pulses of liquid discharged by said pump regardless of its axial position and may be operated to energize or de-energize the motor regardless of its rotated position.

2. A system for treating gum tissue as set forth in claim 1 wherein the engaging means of said rotatable control means to move said switch comprises a pair of spaced discs rigidly secured on said rotatable means for rotation therewith, said switch including an actuating member having a portion extending between said discs whereby upon axial movement of said member one or the other of said discs engages said actuating member to move the same toward its opposite position.

3. A system for treating gum tissue as set forth in claim 2 wherein the engagement between said rotatable member and rotatable control means comprises an elongated pinion gear on said operating member and a meshing gear on said rotatable control means, said gears being slidable with respect to one another upon axial movement of said member, and including a case for said system and a handle on said manual operating member extending through said case and accessible from the outside thereof.

4. A system for treating gum tissue as set forth in claim 1 wherein the engagement between said rotatable member and said rotatable control means comprises an elongated pinion gear on said operating member and a meshing gear on said rotatable control means, said gears being slidable with respect to one another upon axial movement of said member.

5. A liquid pump comprising a cylinder having intake and discharge ports and a piston mounted for reciprocation therein, means including an electric motor for reciprocating said piston, rotatable control means for adjusting the quantity of liquid discharged by said pump through said discharge port, a switch for controlling the energization of said motor, and a single rotatable and axially movable member mounted adjacent said cylinder and connected with said rotatable control means and with said switch for controlling the intensity of the liquid stream discharged through said discharge port upon rotary movement and upon axial movement to control the position of said switch regardless of the rotated position of said member.

6. A liquid pump as set forth in claim 5 wherein said switch includes an actuator movable between switch on and switch 01f positions, and including spaced discs on said axially movable member one on each side of said switch actuator and positioned to move said switch actuator between its on and olf positions upon axial movement of said movable member.

7. A pumping apparatus for treating gum tissue by applying spaced pressure pulses of liquid to depress discrete areas of gum tissue with the spacing of said pulses one from the other of duration which provides for rebound time for gum tissue, comprising a support, a cylinder block rigidly mounted on said support and having a cylinder therein,

guide means mounted on said support in alinement with the axis of said cylinder and axially spaced therefrom,

a piston in said cylinder,

a piston drive member rotatably and slidably mounted on said guide means for axial movement in alinement with said axis,

power means for driving said piston drive member,

and a floating joint connection means between said piston and said drive member for minimizing the transmission of lateral force from said drive member to said piston.

8. A pumping apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein said means between said piston and said drive member comprises means for minimizing the effect of both lateral and angular misalinement of said drive member and said cylinder.

9. A pumping apparatus as set forth in claim 7 including a laterally opening slot in said floating joint connecting means for atfording separation of said piston and said drive member upon relative lateral movement thereof.

10. A pumping apparatus for treating gum tissue as set forth in claim 7 wherein said power means for driving said piston comprises a motor and a Scotch-yoke con nection between said motor and said piston drive member and comprising a rotating member adjacent said drive member, an eccentric drive pin on said rotating member, a cross guide normal to said drive member, and a slide engaging said drive pin and slidably mounted in said cross guide whereby said drive member is reciprocated upon rotation of said rotatable member.

11. A pumping apparatus for treating gum tissue as set forth in claim 7 wherein said lost motion connection comprises a cylindrical disc formed on a smaller cylindrical extension from said piston concentric with the longitudinal axis thereof, and a slot in said piston drive member open at one side for receiving said disc and of a configuration to retain said disc upon longitudinal movement of said member and said piston, the clearance between cylindrical surfaces of said disc and its spacing cylinder and the corresponding longitudinal walls of said slot being suificient to afford significant lateral movement therebetween, the clearance between circular end surfaces of said disc and bottom end of said piston and related flat surfaces of said slot being sufiicient to afford a slight 8 angular relationship between the axis of said driving member and the axis of said piston.

12. A system for treating gum tissue by applying spaced pressure pulses of liquid to depress discrete areas of gum tissue with the spacing of said pulses one from the other of duration which provides for rebound time for said gum tissue comprising a generally symmetrical housing enclosing asymmetrically a pump and its energizing motor, said housing having at its top a centrally located sump for receiving a removable reservoir and activating a valve therein, and means including a flexible conduit for connecting said sump to the intake of said pump.

13. A system for treating gum tissue by applying spaced pressure pulses of liquid to depress discrete areas of gum tissue with the spacing of said pulses one from the other of duration which provides for rebound time for said gum tissue comprising a housing for connecting and supporting a removable reservoir on its top surface and an internal horizontal partition, an energizing motor mounted on the upper side of said partition, a pump of the pulsating type mounted on the underside of said partition, and means including an isolating conduit for conducting liquid from said top connected reservoir through the upper motor containing chamber to the pump containing chamber of said housing by gravity flow.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS LAWRENCE w. TRAPP, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1995424 *Dec 7, 1931Mar 26, 1935Lee Guinness Kenelm EdwardReciprocating pump
US3227158 *May 8, 1961Jan 4, 1966Aquatec CorpMethod and apparatus for oral hygiene
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3783867 *Dec 7, 1970Jan 8, 1974Beverly EnterprisesWoman{40 s hygiene apparatus
US3871560 *Aug 1, 1973Mar 18, 1975Prod Associes SaReservoir for a liquid pump including means for initially forcing liquid into the pump
US4178931 *Dec 5, 1977Dec 18, 1979Burchman Edmund KPortable bidet, enema and douche
US4247288 *Jun 29, 1979Jan 27, 1981Ricoh Watch Co., Ltd.Method and apparatus for root canal irrigation
US4534340 *Aug 1, 1983Aug 13, 1985Teledyne Industries, Inc.Combination handle
US7059853Feb 5, 2003Jun 13, 2006Cra Labs, Inc.Oral irrigation and/or brushing devices and/or methods
US7757328Sep 9, 2005Jul 20, 2010Cra Labs, Inc.Oral brushing devices and/or methods
US7757329Sep 28, 2007Jul 20, 2010Cra Labs, Inc.Oral brushing devices and/or methods
US7757330Jul 7, 2008Jul 20, 2010Cra Labs, Inc.Oral brushing devices and/or methods
US7849549Jul 10, 2008Dec 14, 2010Cra Labs, Inc.Oral brushing devices
US8449295Jul 5, 2011May 28, 2013Cra Labs, Inc.Oral irrigation and/or brushing devices and/or methods
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/162
International ClassificationA61C1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C1/0092
European ClassificationA61C1/00S6P