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Publication numberUS3724075 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 3, 1973
Filing dateMar 8, 1971
Priority dateMar 8, 1971
Publication numberUS 3724075 A, US 3724075A, US-A-3724075, US3724075 A, US3724075A
InventorsKesling P
Original AssigneeKesling P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance
US 3724075 A
Abstract
An orthodontic appliance for use in the final stages of orthodontic treatment to ideally position and retain teeth, which comprises an arch-shaped body of resilient material having upper and lower archways for receiving the upper and lower arches of a patient, and seating springs anchored to the body for engagement in embrasure areas to maintain the appliance in place and cause closing of teeth spaces. The appliance is premolded in several sizes, and the seating springs are custom fitted to the patient's arches in a short period of time by the orthodontist, thereby eliminating the usual wait for a custom molded appliance produced from impressions of the patient's teeth.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Kesling 51 Apr. 3, 1973 154] UNIVERSAL TOOTH POSITIONING AND RETAINING APPLIANCE [76] Inventor:

LaPorte, Ind. 60610 [22] Filed: Mar. 8, 1971 [21] Appl, No.: 121,771

52 US. Cl. .Q ..32/14 B 51 Int. Cl ..A61c 7/00 58 Field of Search ..32 14 A, 14 c, 14 D Peter C. Kesllng, Green Acres;

Primary Examiner-Robert Peshock Attorney-Lloyd L. Zickert [57] ABSTRACT An orthodontic appliance for use in the final stages of orthodontic treatment to ideally position and retain teeth, which comprises an arch-shaped body of resilient material having upper and lower archways for receiving the upper and lower arches of a patient, and seating springs anchored to the body for engagement in embrasure areas to maintain the appliance in place and cause closing of teeth spaces. The appliance is premolded in several sizes, and the seating springs are custom fitted to the patients arches in a short period of time by the orthodontist, thereby eliminating the usual wait for a custom molded appliance produced from impressions of the patients teeth.

14 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPRS 1973 3.724.075

SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR PETER C. KESLING W flow ATTO NEYS PATENTEDAFRS ms 3,724,075

sum 2 OF 2 INVENTOR PETER C. KESLING ATT RNEYS UNIVERSAL TOOTH POSITIONING AND RETAINING APPLIANCE This invention relates in general to an orthodontic appliance, and more particularly to a universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance to be used in the final stages of orthodontic treatment, and still more particulrly to a tooth positioning and retaining appliance that includes seating springs or the like which can be custom fitted in a short period of time immediately following removal of the usual metal appliances.

I-Ie'retofore, it has been common to provide a custom molded tooth positioner of resilient material for patients to be used in the final stages of orthodontic treatment, and which requires taking an impression of the patients arches with or without the usual metal appliances thereon to enable processing of a custom molded positioning appliance, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,467,432 and 2,531,222. In the event that the metal appliances are removed prior to taking the impressions, the patient must return usually within a week to receive a custom molded positioning appliance and instructions for its use. This requires another visit by the patient shortly after removal of the metal appliances, and also encounters a waiting period between the time when the appliances are removed and the positioner is brought into use. Where impressions are taken of the patient with the metal appliances still in place, a patient is still required to return for a second visit shortly thereafter to have the metal appliances removed before being able to place the tooth positioner in use.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance that will eliminate the need for a return visit by the patient and any waiting period between removal of metal appliances and the application of the resilient tooth positioning appliance.

It has been known to provide a premolded tooth positioner with tooth sockets, but such has necessitated the need to stock twenty to thirty different sizes in order for the orthodontist to properly use the concept in the final stages of treatment, and it is not believed that such a positioner which is not custom molded will provide satisfactory results. A standardized tooth positioning device for use only on anterior teeth is also known in U.S. Pat. No. 3,478,429. This device does include certain protuberances adapted to engage certain teeth for the contended purpose of aligning the teeth, but it does not in any way effect an aligning relation between the anterior and posterior teeth. Accordingly, it cannot be effective as a tooth positioning and retaining device for an entire arch, and therefore it cannot be used in the final stages of treatment to complete a case.

The universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance of the present invention includes a body of resilient materialin arch form with upper and lower archways or troughways defined to receive the upper and lower arches of a patient. The appliance may be made out of any suitable resilient material, such as rubber or plastic. Both the upper and lower archways are defined by lingual. and labial surfaces for respectively engaging the lingual and labial sides of the teeth. These'surfaces are smooth, and therefore the archways are devoid of any tooth sockets. In the area of the bicuspid and molar teeth, a cuspal guide ridge is formed in the bottom of the archways to engage in the sulcus of the teeth and further assist in maintaining the proper orientation of these teeth. The upper and lower archways are offset in the usual manner, wherein the lower archway is slightly lingual of the upper archway to provide the ideal bite relationship between the arches. Seating springs or the like are provided in the body of the appliance and adapted to be custom fitted to the patient for engaging in embrasure areas of the arches. These seating springs function to enable proper positioning of the appliance in the mouth on the arches, and to cause closing of spaces between teeth which are present following removal of metal appliances. The seating springs are usually provided in only the upper quadrants of the appliance, but may be provided in all four quadrants if desired. Further, the seating springs may be arranged to engage in embrasure areas anywhere along the arches, but are more often fitted to engage between the bicuspids and the first molars.

Therefore, another object of the present invention is to provide a universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance that can be readily and correctly fitted into a patients mouth at any time during treatment of the patient, thereby eliminating the need for a custom molded appliance, while yet providing an appliance that will accomplish the purpose of finishing treatment.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed disclosure, taken in conjunction with the accompanying sheets of drawings, wherein like referencev numerals refer to like parts, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tooth positioning and retaining appliance of the invention, illustrating one of the seating springs in rough form before fitting, and one of the seating springs in fitted form for use;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the appliance according to the invention, and also showing one seating spring in unfitted form and one seating spring in fitted form;

FIG. 3 is a detailed sectional view of the appliance taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 2

FIG. 4 is a detailed sectional view of the appliance taken substantially along line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the appliance as positioned on the arches of a patient, to illustrate the manner in which the seating springs may be fitted;

FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional view taken through the appliance and illustrating it in association with a tooth wherein the seating spring engages in the gingival embrasure areas between adjacent teeth;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view of one distal end of the appliance illustrating the manner in which a seating spring is arranged in its form prior to fitting;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 and illustrating the seating spring ends being bent into position for engaging in the arch;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an appliance according to the invention and illustrating another form of providing seating springs, wherein holes are provided transversely through the appliance to receive springs that may be bent into proper shape;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective view of the distal end of the appliance in FIG. 9 with a single wire shown in solid lines in one of the holes and two additional wires shown in dotted lines in other holes to illustrate the manner in which the position of the seating springs can be adjusted along the arch;

FIG. 11 is a further enlarged distal end view of the appliance of FIGS. 9 and 10, and illustrating the first step in fitting the seating spring by bending the wire up at the lingual and labial extremities of the appliance on one side;

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 11 and illustrating the final step of preparing a seating spring wherein the ends are inserted into the lingual and labial walls of the body to project into the arch so as to engage an embrasure area;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a positioning appliance according to the invention and illustrating a still further embodiment of seating springs or the like, wherein they include a clip that is fastened to each of the walls of an archway and provided with an inwardly extending lug for engaging in embrasure areas;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged perspective view of a single lug and clamp that may be custom fitted to the appliance;

FIG. 15 is a transverse sectional view taken through one side of the appliance and illustrating the use of the seating spring embodiment of FIGS. 13 and 14;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to FIG. 15 but illustrating another seating spring embodiment;

FIG. 17 is an enlarged perspective view of a lug arrangement for the embodiment of FIG. 16 which facilitates the custom positioning of the seating springs; and

FIG. 18 is a distal end view of one side of an appliance, illustrating the use of seating springs at both the upper and lower quadrants in an appliance.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1-8, the appliance of the present invention includes an arch-shaped body 20 of resilient material, such as a suitable rubber or plastic, having formed therein upper and lower archways 21 and 22 adapted to receive the upper and lower arches of a patient. The.

upper archway 21 is formed in the shape of a patients arch in having the bottom 23, a labial wall 24, and a lingual wall 25. The labial wall defines a surface 26 that engages the labial sides of the teeth, while the lingual wall defines a surface 27 that engages the lingual sides of the teeth. Similarly, the lower archway is defined by a bottom 28, a labial wall 29 and a lingual wall 30. The labial wall 29 defines a surface 31 that engages the labial surfaces of the teeth, while the lingual wall defines a surface 32 engaging the lingual sides of the teeth. It will be appreciated that the archways will be narrower in the areas of the anterior teeth and wider in the areas of the posterior teeth, and they will be formed to fit somewhat snugly with the labial and lingual sides of the teeth, thereby causing movement forces to align the labial and lingual surfaces of the teeth. As seen in the drawings, the archway teeth engaging surfaces are smooth and therefore socketless.

The appliance can be premolded in several sizes to handle the various usual arch shapes encountered, the one to use for a patient being determined by the orthodontist at the time of removing the metal appliances. The upper archway 21 is offset from the lower archway 22 so that the lower archway is slightly lingual to the upper archway in the usual way to obtain the proper bite relationship between the arches. This relationship is such that the sulcus of the molar and bicuspid teeth of the lower arch will receive the lingual cusps of the molar and bicuspid teeth of the upper arch. The archways are separated such that when the arches are seated therein, they will be in normal rest position.

To further assist in the proper relationship between the upper and lower arches, cuspal guide ridges 35 are formed in the upper archway bottom in the area of the bicuspid and molar teeth, while cuspal guide ridges 36 are formed on the bottom of the lower archway, also in the area of the molar and bicuspid teeth. These cuspal guide ridges engage in the sulcus of the teeth affected and therefore between the lingual and labial cusps, thereby functioning to further control the orientation and movement of these teeth to their desired positions. Essentially, the cuspal guide ridges will influence the rotation of these teeth so that the sulci of adjacent teeth are aligned to assure proper bite relationship between the arches.

Seating springs or means for obtaining the seating of the appliance relative the teeth are provided to obtain the proper position of the appliance in the mouth, to maintain it in proper position during the wearing thereof, and to further influence the closing of spaces between adjacent teeth. These seating springs may be provided in the upper and/or lower quadrants of the appliance and for engagement in the embrasure areas of adjacent teeth. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-8, the seating springs are initially provided by being molded into the body of the appliance, and arranged so that they may be custom fitted to the patients arch. In FIG. 1, a seating spring 38 is shown adjacent one distal end of the body in the form prior to it being fitted to the patients mouth, and as 39 adjacent the other distal end of the appliance in the form as would be fitted to a patients mouth, wherein lugs or pins 40 extend inwardly from the labial and lingual walls 24 and 25 so that they can engage in the gingival embrasure areas between adjacent teeth. It is understood that the gingival embrasure area is above the height of contour line 41, FIG. 6, and therefore upon application of the appliance to the arch, the pins 40 are deflected apart as they pass the height of contour line and then close together again in the gingival embrasure areas to lock the appliance in place and further possibly apply a force on the arch through the labial sides of the teeth by virtue of the labial wall ofthe appliance to close the spaces between adjacent teeth.

. A seating spring 38 in the form initially provided, FIG. 7, includes a transversely extending section 45 that is embedded in the body 20 between the upper and lower archways 21 and 22. At the opposite ends of the section 45, upwardly extending sections 46 and 47 extend within the body to a point approximately threefourths the height of the body walls 24 and 25. From the upper ends of the sections 46 and 47, end sections 48 and 49 extend distally through the walls 24 and 25 and out the very distal ends of the walls, as seen in FIG. 7. Thus, the seating spring 38 is in the form of a single piece of wire, such as spring steel bent in the shape illustrated.

When fitting a seating spring to a patient, the appliance is first fitted within the mouth of the patient on the arches, and the orthodontist marks the labial surface of the appliance at the points where the seating spring pins 40 must be positioned in order to engage in the selected embrasure areas. The appliance may then be removed from the mouth of the patient and the orthodontist can then bend the ends of the end sections 48 and 49 and/or shorten the lengths to provide the pins in the correct length and at the correct locations, such as shown in FIG. 8. Because the walls 24 and 25 are relatively thin, the ends of the seating springs can be pulled through that part of the walls to enable the ends to be bent and cut to the proper length. As already mentioned, pins 40 then are capable of moving away from each other by the application of force thereto, such as when being placed in the mouth, and thereafter springing back to the original position for engagement in the embrasure areas of the teeth. Where the pins are to be cut to length, they may be clipped and ground to round or smooth the edges. Accordingly, it may be appreciated that the seating springs will be custom fitted in the mouth of the patient at the time it is desired to fit the patient with a tooth retaining and positioning appliance, and since the appliances are stocked, they may be immediately fitted upon removal of the metal appliances. Moreover, the appliance will be more inexpensive inasmuch as it is not necessary to take impressions and have a custom molded appliance made by a laboratory before providing same to a patient.

While the embodiment of FIGS. 1-8 illustrates the use of seating springs only in the upper quadrants, it should be appreciated that they may be used only in the lower quadrants or in both' the upper and lower quadrants,the latter being illustrated by the appliance 50in FIG. 18,-wherein a seating spring 51 is arranged in the upper quadrant on one side and a seating spring 52 is arranged in the other quadrant on the same side. It should be appreciated that additional securing of the appliance is obtained where seating springs are arranged in both upper and lower quadrants on each side.

Since it is necessary tocustom fit the seating springs to the patients mouth, it should be recognized that several forms of seating springs may be used, any of which function to engage in the embrasure areas of the arches, as described. Another form of seating spring is illustrated in FIGS. 9-12, wherein the appliance, here designated generally by the numeral 54, is premolded with a plurality of transverse holes 55 at each distal side, the holes extending crosswise through the appliance between the upper and lower archways 56 and 57. The holes are spaced from each other to permit the selective placement of a seating spring which may be formed by a straight length of suitable wire 58, FIGS. 10 and 11, that may thereafter be formed to define a seating spring 59, FIG. 12. Accordingly, the seating spring will not be embedded in the molded appliance. The various holes 55, permitting a choice of location for aseating spring so that it can be custom fitted to the patients arch, are sized to freely receive the straight length of wire 58. The wire 58 is bent to form a seating spring with suitable pliers after the orthodontist has placed the appliance in the patients mouth and marked the desired location of the seating spring. Thereafter, the appliance is removed, and following the insertion of a length of wire 58, the ends outside of the appliance body are bent upwardly, as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 11 and indicated by the numeral 60. The upper ends are then bent inwardly, as seen in FIG. 12, and

I pushed through the opposing walls of the appliance body in the proper position to ultimately define the pins 61, FIG. 12, which engage in the embrasure areas of the arch. In addition 'to choosing one of the holes 55, the terminal ends of the wire may be moved mesial or distal before pushing same through the walls of the appliance to the desired position, this giving a fine adjustment to the location of the pins. In operation, the pins 61 will be deflected apart when inserting the appliance in the mouth and thereafter come together in spring locking position in the gingival embrasure areas of the arch.

Another form of seating spring arrangement is illustrated in FIGS. 13-15, wherein the arrangement is defined at each side of the appliance by a pair of pin clamps 65 and 66 mounted on the labial and lingual walls 24 and 25 of the body 20, and the intermediate portion of the body arranged between the archways. Each pin clamp is in the form of an inverted U-shaped plate having a pin or lug 67 struck from one side, FIG. 14, and a plurality of inwardly struck gripping tangs 68. The pin clamps are the same except that the pins are struck from the opposite sides of the plate so that a pair of pin clamps, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 15, coact to provide inwardly projecting pins for engagement in the embrasure areas of an arch. The pin clamps may be readily mounted in a desired location along the endges of the walls of an archway to position the pins so that they will properly engage in chosen gingival embrasure areas. Accordingly, the pins will be custom fitted like the previous embodiment wherein the appliance is first placed in the mouth of a patient so that the location of the pins can be marked on the appliance, and thereafter the pins may be properly anchored in place on the body. It should be appreciated that the pin clamps would be open prior to mounting same on the body, and thereafter be squeezed against a particular wall of an archway to lock it in place.

Another seating spring arrangement is illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, which is defined by a pair of pins 70 that can be custom positioned on the body 20 of the appliance. The pins 70 may be made of metal or molded of plastic, and include a pin head 71 slightly enlarged at its terminal end, a pin base 72 having a serrated or ridged outer surface to be embedded in the body of the appliance for anchoring the pin in place, and a bottoming or stop flange 73 between the pin head and pin base, to gauge the depth of penetration of the pin in the appliance body so that the proper length of pin extends from the body. It should also be appreciated that the base or stem 72 may be threaded.

Again, the appliance is first placed in the patients mouth and the desired locations of the pins are marked on the appliance. Thereafteig upon removal of the appliance from the mouth, the pins 70 may be anchored in place at the marked locations, wherein they are inserted into the walls of an archway at the teeth engaging surfaces of the archway. If desired, prior to inserting the stem of the pins into the body of the appliance, a perforation of the body may be made by a sharp instrument to facilitate entry of the pin stem. However, it is contemplated that the tip end of the stem 72 may be sharp enough to facilitate penetration of the stem into the body. Like the embodiment of FIGS. 13-15, the seating spring arrangement here is defined by a pair of pins and the intermediate portion of the body between the archways, wherein placement of the appliance in the mouth will require the pins to be deflected apart. They will close together again when they are fully received in the gingival embrasure areas, thereby locking the appliance in position.

It will be understood that modifications and variations may be effected without departing from the scope of the novel concepts of the present invention, but is is understood that this application is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

The invention is hereby claimed as follows:

1 A universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance comprising, an arch-shaped body of resilient material, upper and lower archways formed in the body to receive the upper and lower arches of a person, said archways being offset from each other to establish the proper bite relation between the upper and lower arches, each archway having smooth labial and lingual walls for engaging the labial and lingual surfaces of the arches, and means anchored to the body adjacent the distal ends thereof for engaging in the embrasure areas of molars and/or bicuspids in at least one arch to positively hold the appliance in place and cause closing of any spaces between teeth and aligning of the labial sur faces, said embrasure area engaging means including a pair of pin shaped elements extending inwardly from said labial and lingual walls of the body.

2. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said pin shaped elements are portions of a wire spring member extending transversely through the body.

3. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said pin shaped elements extend from clamp portions adjustably secured to and along the labial and lingual walls.

4. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein each pin shaped element has a base anchored in the body.

5. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said pin shaped elements include generally U-shaped seating springs, the central portions being anchored in the body between the archways and the terminal ends engaging in the embrasure areas.

6. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said pin shaped elements include seating springs located near the distal ends of the body for engagement in embrasure areas of theupper and lower arches.

7. The combination as defined in claim 1, and cuspal guide ridges formed in the bottom-of the archway of at least one arch in the area of molar and bicuspid teeth positions to engage between the buccal and lingual cusps of the teeth.

8. The combination as defined in claim 1, and cuspal guide ridges formed in the bottoms of the archways in the areas of molar and bicuspid teeth positions, the ridges in the lower archway being lingual of the ridges in the upper archway.

9. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said pin shaped elements are defined by an elongated member having an anchoring portion on one end adapted to be anchored in a wall of the archway and an embrasure engaging portion on the other end adapted to extend into the archway.

10. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein said pin shaped elements are defined by straight lengths of wire receivable m a preformed hole exten mg transversely through said body between the archways and bendable back through the walls to extend into the archways.

11. A universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance comprising, an arch-shaped body of resilient material, upper and lower archways formed in the body to receive the upper and lower arches of a person, said archways being offset from each other to establish the proper bite relation between the upper and lower arches, each archway having smooth labial and lingual walls for engaging the labial and lingual surfaces of the arches, and means anchored to said body including pins extendable from distal ends of the labial and lingual walls and adjustably bendable to project into the archways from the labial and lingual walls and to engage in selected gingival embrasure areas of at least one arch to positively hold the appliance in place and cause closing of any spaces between teeth and aligning of the labial surfaces.

12. The combination as defined in claim 11 and cuspal guide ridges formed in the bottoms of the archways in the area of the molar and bicuspid teeth, the ridges in the lower archway being lingual of the ridge in the upperarchway.

13. A universal tooth positioning and retaining appliance comprising, an arch-shaped body of resilient material, upper and lower archways formed inthe body to receive the upper and lower arches of a person, said archways being offset from each other to establish the proper bite relation between the upper and lower arches, cuspal guide ridges formed centrally in the bottom of the archways in the area of the molar and bicuspid teeth positions, and means anchored in the body adapted to engage in the embrasure areas of the teeth of at least one arch to positively orient the appliance and coact with the body to cause aligning and closing of the teeth, said means including a pair of pin shaped elements adjacent each distal end of the archways extending inwardly from said labial and lingual walls.

14. A universal tooth positioning and retaining ap pliance comprising, an arch-shaped body of resilient material, upper and lower archways formed in the body to receive the upper and lower arches of a person, said archways being offset from each other to establish the proper bite relation between the upper and lower arches, each archway having smooth labial and lingual walls for engaging the labial and lingual surfaces of the arches, and means anchored to the body adjacent the distal ends thereof for engaging in the embrasure areas of molars and/or bicuspids in at least one archto positively hold the appliance in place and cause closing of any spaces between teeth and aligning of the labial surfaces, said embrasure area engaging means including a pair of pin shaped elements extending inwardly from said walls of the body.

t i l

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Classifications
U.S. Classification433/6
International ClassificationA61C7/00, A61C7/08
Cooperative ClassificationA61C7/08
European ClassificationA61C7/08