US 3513838 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 26, 1970 Y J. w, Fon lc EI'AL 3,513,838
TEETH PROTECTOR Filed Oct. 11. 1967 United States Patent Oifice 3,513,838 Patented May 26, 1970 3,513,838 TEETH PROTECTOR John W. Foderick, Rte. 1, Box 187, Hastings, Minn.
55033, and Arnold B. Dammermann, 4829 Minetonka Blvd., Minneapolis, Minn. 55416 Filed Oct. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 674,412 Int. Cl. A61b 19/00 US. Cl. 128136 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A teeth protector for patients undergoing treatment requiring intubation, administering of anesthesia, etc. It comprises a pair of plastic sheath-like protector sections to be applied to the patients upper and lower teeth. The opposing surfaces of the sections are provided with riblike formations adapted to withstand the pressure applied to the patients teeth -by instruments inserted in his or her mouth during the course of the treatment and similarly to prevent any damage to the teeth should the patient bite down hard on the tube used in intubation, etc. The ribs are specially formed and/or shaped to prevent full meshing of upper and lower teeth by the patient.
This invention relates to improvements in teeth protectors and, more particularly, to teeth protectors designed to protect the teeth of a patient against chipping and/or breaking by contact with the tube employed in an intubation procedure and/or in administering anesthesia, for example.
Among the objects of the invention may be noted the provision of teeth protectors comprising a pair of identical units or sections capable of being applied one to the upper teeth and the other to the lower teeth of a patient undergoing intubation, anesthesia administration, etc. and, when so applied, of forming protective sheaths extending over the patients teeth which effectively prevent chipping and/or breakage thereof likely to result from his or her forcefully biting down on the tube used in or during such procedures; the provision of teeth protectors as aforesaid of a design and size enabling the sections making. up the pair thereof to be used on both the patients upper and lower teeth and by male and female patients; the provision of paired teeth protectors as aforesaid capable of effectively performing the manifold functions of protecting the teeth of a patient against being chipped or broken by an instrument such as a laryngoscope being rested and fulcrumed thereon, of preventing a patient undergoing intubation and/or administration of anesthesia from completely closing his or her jaws, thereby insuring the patients ability to breathe through the month while the tube is in place, and which further facilitates breathing through the mouth when the tube is not in place by preventing full intermeshing of the upper and lower protector sections; and the provision of teeth protectors as aforesaid characterized by dependable but simple, inexpensive construction as renders same disposable after each use.
The above and other objects and features of advantage of teeth protectors of the invention will appear from the following more detailed description thereof, in which reference is had to the accompanying illustrative drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one of the teeth protector sections of the pair thereof;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view, and FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the teeth protector section shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of a pair of teeth protectors disposed in the opposing relation which they assume when applied to a patients teeth; and
FIG. 5 is a section taken through the paired teeth protectors intended to be illustrative of their principal protective function.
Referring to the aforesaid drawing in greater detail, teeth protectors of the invention comprise a pair of identical sections A and B preferably made of flexible vinyl plastic, of which the section designated A is adapted to be applied to the upper teeth and the section designated B is adapted to be applied to the lower teeth of a patient undergoing treatment requiring intubation or being administered anesthesia, for example, and when so applied of forming protective sheaths extending over and about the teeth which prevent chipping or breaking thereof by an instrument such as a laryngoscope used in the treatment being too forcefully engaged therewith and/or should the patient bite down with force on the tube employed in said treatment. Accordingly, the sections in plan each has general U-shape so as to conform to the U-line of both the upper and lower rows of the patients teeth, and they are preferably made in a singlesize, namely, an adult size adapting them to fit the mouths of adult persons, both male and female. However, because of their inherent flexibility, and further because mouth sizes of older and teen-age children closely approximate that of adult months, the protective sections of the adult size may also be used to protect the teeth of older and teen-age children.
Being adapted to fit ,over and about the teeth so as to provide a protective sheath therefor, the protector sections A and B of necessity have trough or channel cross-section, audit is a feature of the invention that the width and depth of the section channels are such as to enable the sections to fit snugly but not too tightly over the teeth of the upper and lower teeth rows. More particularly, the depth of the channel provided in each section is such that the edge portions of the side walls or flanges which extend along the channel open side will extend well onto the patients gums from which the teeth project, and the width of the channel adjacent its said open side is slightly less than the gum portions received therein, so that said side walls bear with slight friction on said gum portions. In contrast, the width of the channel adjacent its closed bottom or cross wall being such as to accommodate for crooked or misaligned teeth extending thereinto may be somewhat greater.
According to a further and highly important feature of the invention, means are provided on the opposing surfaces of the protector section A, B which rigidity and strengthen the sections against forces applied in a direction normal to said surfaces and which further limit the extent to which the sections when in place on a patients teeth can be brought together. More particularly, there is formed on each of the relatively under surfaces of the channels of the sections (which become opposing surfaces when the protectors are in place) an integral rib R which projects therefrom in the direction of the like rib provided on the companion section. As best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the so provided ribs are each of modified Y configuration when viewed in plan; that is to say, the side arms or branches 10, 12 thereof extend along and follow the general curvature of the front and forward side portions of it protector section and hence the line of the front and forward-side teeth to which the section will be applied, and the stem 14 of the Y which necessarily has short length extends relatively forwardly from said branches on the vertical center line of said section.
The extent of projection of the ribs P from the opposing surfaces of the companion pair of sections A and B represent another feature of the invention. Thus, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, the height of the rib as formed on each said section is greatest at or about the point of connection of its branch portions 10, 12 With its stem portion 14, and from this point, the height of both said side branch portions and said stem portion of the rib progressively decreases to minimum height at the relatively free ends of said branch and stem portions, although it will be noted that the stem portion 14 of the rib has appreciable height even at its free end.
As indicated above, the ribs R provided on the opposing surfaces of the protector sections A and B a aforesaid senve to strengthen and make rigid the portions of the sections which are likely to be subjected to relatively heavy forces applied in a direction normal to said surfaces, for example, the forces applied by a laryngoscope rested or even fulcrumed to a degree on the front teeth. Further, the ribs R, by preventing full closure of the jaws of a patient when the tube employed in an intub'ation procedure in or administering anesthesia is in place, insures the ability of the patient to breathe through his or her month, this because the ribs are sufficiently rigid as to prevent the patient clamping his or her jaws closed with such force to bed the tube in the opposing surface of the protectors. Similarly, the rib R, by functioning to prevent full meshing of the upper teeth by the patient when the tube is not in place (having been removed, for example), insures that the patient can breathe through the mouth even though the protectors are closed on one another.
As mentioned in the foregoing, it is contemplated that tooth protectors according to the invention will be offered and used in pairs and disposed of after each use. Such is made economically feasible by making them from a durable but relatively inexpensive vinyl plastic, for example, by modern plastic molding techniques. Although, as indicated above, it is intended that the protectors are to be made up in One adult size, it is of course within the scope and purview of the invention to make them up in a variety of sizes if the need therefor develops.
As many changes could be made in carrying out the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. Teeth protector means comprising: a pair of teeth protector sections, one adapted to be applied to the upper teeth and the other adapted to be applied in opposing relation to the lower teeth of a patient undergoing intubuation and like procedures requiring a tube or instrument to be inserted into the mouth and, when so applied, being effeceive to prevent chipping or breakage of the teeth by contact of said tube or instrument therewith; said sections being shaped in plan and transversely so as to conform generally to the line of the patients upper and lower teeth rows and, when applied, to extend as a protective sheath over said teeth; the opposing surfaces of said sections having thereon integral ribs projecting therefrom which serve to strengthen the sections against externally applied forces acting on said surfaces and cooperate one with the other in preventing full closing of the sections one against the other, as assures an airway therebetween; each said rib having the configuration of a modified Y as it is viewed in plan, the branches of the Y following the curvature of the front and front-side portions of the section on which it is formed and the stem portion of the Y extending forwardly from said branches and being disposed on the approximate center line of said section, the ribs thus strengthening the sections at locations thereof at which tubeor instrument-pressure is usually the greatest.
2. Teeth protector means according to claim 1, wherein the extent of projection of each said rib from its supporting surface is greatest at approximately the point of intersection of its branches and stem portion and decreases progressively from said point of intersection towards the ends of said branches and stem portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,103,217 9/1963 Butler et al 128l36 3,223,085 12/1965 Gores et al. l28l36 3,293,748 12/1966 Skinner l28-62 XR LAWRENCE W. TRAPP, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 138348