US 3557456 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 26,1971 s. M. HUTCHINSON 3,557,456
COMBINATION RETRACTOR AND ASPIRATOR Filed June 12, 1969 INVENTOR United States Patent 3,557,456 COMBINATION RETRACTOR AND ASPIRATOR Seymour M. Hutchinson, Plainview, N.Y., assignor of thirty-five percent to Adrian N. Spitz, Massapequa, N .Y., and thirty percent to I. Jordan Kunik, New York,
' Filed June 12, 1969, Ser. No. 832,656
Int. Cl. A61c 17/04 US. CI. 32-33 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An aspirating tube made of a soft, resilient, but noncollapsing plastic material having ridges or ribs in the outer surface of the end portion thereof to enable said tube to be used as a tissue and lip retractor as well as a protective device for the anatomical or oral cavity during the use of anatomical or dental operating and surgical instruments.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of the invention This invention relates to aspirator tubes and, more particularly, to a combined aspirator and retractor instrument made of a soft, resilient, but non-collapsing plas tic material which is non-injurious to and well tolerated by anatomical tissues during surgery and for removing saliva, liquid, and debris from the mouth of a dental patient while performing both the aspirating and retracting functions.
(2) Description of the prior art Previous aspirating tubes for clearing liquid and debris from the mouth of the dental patient during a dental operation have been made of rigid metal tubes which are un comfortable to the patient and which are damaging to precision dental instruments such as diamond stones, discs, carbide burrs, rotary mirrors, and the like, when they come in contact with the aspirator during the operation. Also, these rigid non-pliable metal aspirators cause chipping of teeth or abrasion of soft tissue should the patient close down his month during treatment or move his head as the assistant carries the instrument toward the oral cavity. Also, during sterilization of the metal aspirator in the same container with other sharp dental instruments, the aspirator often develops sharp ridges or dented edges after repeated contact therewith which are not only uncomfortable to the patient but also may produce damage to tissues on the lips or within the oral cavity. Furthermore, the aspiration of air through a metal tube produces a cooling effect which is uncomfortable for the patient. Where prior art plastic tubes have been used, their walls have been subject to collapse under negative pressure or. to bending or creasing during retraction, thereby halting the aspirating and debris removing process and interrupting the dental operation. Furthermore, the use of smooth-surfaced aspirator tubes have proven unsatisfactory and sometimes dangerous since they tend to slip out of the mouth of the patient as a result of which the patient moves his jaws or turns his head during the operation, thereby interfering with the work being done by the dentist or his assistant.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing disadvantages of prior art aspirators are overcome by the instrument of the present invention which is made of a resilient plastic tube which will not collapse or fold under pressure and which aifords maximum visibility of the operating field to both the dentist and his assistant, thus creating a margin of safety for the patient. No danger of chipping of teeth or cutting and/ or abrasion of soft mouth tissues are incurred with the use of the new device disclosed herein.
-In one embodiment, the tube is made of polyethylene which is a thermal insulator and does not become uncomfortably cold for the patient or dental assistant because of the effect of the negative air stream passing therethrough during aspiration. This new instrument may be scratched, burred, or otherwise cut by other dental instruments but because of its pliability, alterations from its initial surface smoothness will not injure soft tissues. The new instrument may be stored or cold-sterilized with other harder dental instruments such as scalers, explorers, mirror handles, and the like, without developing sharp, broken, or dented edges after repeated contact therewith. When the new aspirator is used during dental operations employing diamond stones, discs, carbide burrs, rotary mirrors, and the like, said precision instruments are not damaged when accidentally coming in contact with the yieldable mass of the aspirator.
These and other novel features and advantages of the present invention will be described and defined in the following specification and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the manner in which the instrument of the present invention is utilized in the mouth of a dental patient;
FI-G. 2 is a greatly enlarged side view of the instrument shown in FIG. 1, a part of which is shown in section;
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the instrument shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section view taken on line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view of the probe portion of the instrument showing a clearance recess therein;
FIG. 6 is a further enlarged section view taken one line 66 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a view of an embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention being utilized in conjunction with an additional operating tool for safeguarding the oral cavity of the patient.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is shown the aspirating retractor instrument, generally designated 11, that is made of a tubular shank 12 formed of a suitable plastic material such as polyethylene or the like, whose walls are of sufiicient thickness to prevent collapse thereof under negative aspirating pressure while, at the some time, being characterized by a sufficient pliability as to be yieldably resilient under bending stress without diminution of its function of transmitting water, debris, and air therethrough. The rear end of tube 12 is connectable by a suitable adapter 13 to a flexible tube 14 which is, in turn, connected to a source of negative pressure to produce the aspirating action of instrument 11.
The forward or inlet end of tube 11 terminates in a probe portion 16 which has a narrowed dimension along one diameter and has a widened dimension along the diameter perpendicular thereto to form a generally oval or elliptically shaped probe. Probe portion 16 terminates in an inlet port 17 which, in some embodiments, may be disposed at an angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the instrument.
Formed integrally in the two opposite longer convexly curved walls of probe portion 16 are respective series of transverse ribs or serrations 18 and 19, said serrations being arrayed in a manner where by insertion of said probe inwardly into the mouth of the patient will not produce any drag friction against the internal tissues of the mouth, whereas the motion of said probe outwardly from the mouth of the patient will produce a certain amount of frictional drag against said internal tissues of the adjacent checks or lips of the patients mouth without producing any discomfort. Thus, the transverse array of serrations 18 and 19 enables probe 16 to be used as a mouth or lip tissue retractor without causing any discomfiture of the patient and thereby permitting ready access of the dental operating apparatus into the mouth of the patient and for performing its functions therein. In some embodiments, serrations 18 and 19 may be saw-toothed in shape, as illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, to enhance their retracting function. Serrations of other shapes or contours may be formed to produce the desired retracting function.
In some cases where it is necessary for the dentist to operate in the upper posterior buccal area and in the lower buccal and lingual areas, the apparatus can be used as a protective shield when the patient is treated with a Cavitron scaler, rotary instrument, or the like, in which case the inlet mouth 17 may be cut at a long bevel angle relative to the axis of probe portion 16 so that the wall of said probe on which serrations 19 are formed acts as a protection for the skin tissues in the interior of the mouth against any possible contact from dental operating or surgical instruments.
Furthermore, it is often necessary for the dentist to operate in the upper posterior buccal areas and lower buccal and lingual areas where there is limited space for the outer end of a dental or surgical instrument to operate. Accordingly, the apparatus herein may be modified as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, by providing for an elongated channel recess 21 formed in the median portion of serrations 18 whereby the elongated and rotating dental drill bit, scaler, or other surgical device operating in close proximity to the instrument of the present invention can be afforded extra space Within said channel in which to work without diminishing the protective function of probe 16.
In some embodiments, one set of serrations or ribs 18 may be omitted while the other set of serrations or ribs 19 will be retained as may be necessary or desired if the probe 16 of the instrument is to be operated as a retractor on one curved side only.
In addition to performing the aspirating and retracting function, the instrument of the present invention is useful when stabilization of the mandible is required during treatment of the lower teeth, as in crown or cavity preparations, particularly buccal cavities. In such cases, the patient is instructed to bite down gently but firmly on the rigid but slightly yieldable probe 16 of the instrument on the side of the mouth opposite to that being treated, and to relax the cheek and lip muscles. This procedure effectively stabilizes the mandible, while aspiration of saliva, water and debris takes place, and affords ample space and visibility whereby precision treatment is accomplished more rapidly and comfortably.
The device herein may also be used as an emergency airway should a regular airway tube not be immediately available. Because of its flexibility, softness, and rigid wall construction, the instrument of the present invention can be used as an emergency airway in situations where laryingeal spasm or throat constriction occur.
The instrument of the present invention will not injure delicate tissues, and any debris which may have slipped back to the rear of the oral cavity or into the throat can be removed safely, quickly, and comfortably.
The instrument of the present invention can be contoured or shaped when utilized as a protective shield for soft tissue during treatment with a Cavitron scaler, rotary instrument, or the like, by cutting the inlet mouth as shown in FIG. 7, so that it has a small, acute angle relative to the axis of the instrument. Such a cut may be made with a curved crown shears without forming dangerous edges or burrs.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, the mouth 25 is cut at such a small acute angle that one side wall 26 thereof extends a considerable distance beyond the other and its ridged outer surface 27 rests against the buccal mucosa. The shaft 28 of a Cavitron scaler extends between the aspirator element 12 and the teeth of the patient, the operating head 29 of said scaler being located generally within mouth 25 of the instrument with the scaler tip being projected toward the teeth of the patient. It will be noted that wall 26 serves as a barrier or shield between the Cavitron scaler and the mouth tissue which is thereby protected from accidental and serious damage. In some embodiments, the cutting of elongated mouth 25 need not be in a straight line but may be in the form of a concave curve so that the working head 29 of the Cavitron scaler or other dental operating instrument is more conveniently nested within said mouth and is shielded by a Wall 26 of the aspirator instrument so that damage to the oral tissue is prevented.
The instrument of the present invention can be shaped to suit the dentist or the dental assistant for proper convenience in manipulating the device in relation to the mouth of the patient by applying heat in the form of hot water or flame to the tubular element, forming or bending the latter into the desired shape, and thereafter chilling in cold water whereby the instrument will retain its new shape.
In some embodiments, the instrument may be approximately six inches long, its outside diameter of an inch, and its inner diameter of an inch. The elliptical probe portion 16, bearing the transverse ridges, may be approximately two inches long while the remainder of the instrument is a circular tube or the like.
Although the utility of the present invention has been described mainly in reference to dental operations, it is understood that it may be utilized in general anatomical surgery in the light of the ever increasing utilization of operating techniques under a wet medium such as a saline solution or the like. The aspirating and retracting functions of the instrument herein will be found to be considerably superior to the harsh and non-yielding retractor instruments that are presently used in dry surgery for the most part.
Although the present invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments and examples, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that vari tions and modifications can be substituted therefor without departing from the principles and true spirit of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An instrument for simultaneously aspirating liquid and debris from a surgical cavity or from the mouth of a dental patient and acting as a tissue retractor, comprising a tube of resilient, pliable, soft, but rigid non-collapsing plastic material, an integrally formed probe portion at the inlet end of said tube, the inlet port of said probe being arrayed at an angle to the axis of said probe whereby one wall of said probe is longer than the other and both walls are convexly curved, a plurality of ribs formed integrally on the curved surface of at least said longer walll and arrayed transversely in respect of the axis of said probe, said transverse ribs being capable of performing a retracting action upon the anatomical or oral cavity tissues adjacent said ribs.
2. An instrument according to claim 1 wherein said ribs are formed on both of said probe walls.
3. An instrument according to claim 1 wherein said transverse ribs are saw-toothed in shape, and are arrayed in a direction for applying a retracting action upon the tissues of the surgical or oral cavity when said instrument is moved outwardly from said cavities.
4. An instrument according to claim 1 and further comprising a longitudinal channel in the curved surface of the short wall of said probe intermediate its edges for References Cited providing clearance for other surgical or dental instru- UNITED STATES PATENTS ments used in close proximity to said probe.
5. An instrument according to claim 1 wherein said 1,613,373 1/1927 Beck 12815 outer wall is sufficiently longer than said shorter inner 5 2,482,116 9/1949 Lanahan 12815 wall to enable said inlet port to accommodate a port on 3,319,628 5/1967 Halligan 32-33X of an operating instrument whereby said longer wall serves as a shield between said operating instrument and ROBERT PESHOCK, Primary Examiner the anatomical or oral cavity tissue adjacent the outer surface of said longer wall. 10