|Publication number||US3775849 A|
|Publication date||Dec 4, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 20, 1972|
|Priority date||Mar 20, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3775849 A, US 3775849A, US-A-3775849, US3775849 A, US3775849A|
|Original Assignee||Condon J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (22), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Condon Dec. 4, 1973  DENTAL HANDPIECE ATTACHMENT 2,738,528 3/1956 Fridge 32/59 X  I en or: J J Co do 5901 3,521,356 7/1970 Newman .1 32/60 Lldgerwood Spokane wash' Primary ExaminerRobert Peshock  Filed: Mar. 20, 1972 Att0rneyGreek Wells et al.
 Appl. No.: 236,252
' 57 ABSTRACT Related US. Application Data C f an f S N 133 173 A 12 A dental handpiece attachment 15 described for use on g rg lfgigg 0 pn a dental handpiece fitted with a prophy contra-angle The attachment has a cartridge filled with prophy  U 8 Cl 32/59 paste that may be dispensed as desired adjacent the  mt Cl 13/22 working element of the polishing tool to provide a p  Field of Search 32/59 60 222/83.5 Ping accomplishing Wishing Pmce' Y 222/389 dure without the necessity of periodically removing the polishing tool to replenish the lapping compound.  References Cited The cartridge has a free piston mounted therein that is responsive to the application of air pressure to push UNITED STATES PATENTS the prophy paste. The cartridge is releasably loaded in a spring-biased receiving fixture that is affixed to the trie et 222 389 h d 3,042,268 7/1962 Pyles 222/389 an plece 3,195,537 7/1965 Blast 128/56 3 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures 58 41 4O 42 57 43 44 23 Q 63 I0 60 ea 24 7|" 4 68 f 37 J I8 0 72 12 I 1 3o n I 16 2o 6 3s 62 2| 33 28 26 34 SHEET 20F 3 PATENIEU DEC 4 I973 FIGURE 3 lOl FIGWHE4 FIGUHE 5 PATENTEBUEC 4191s SHEET 30F 3 [FIGURE 7 [FIIGURIE .9
IFIIGURIE 1|O DENTAL HANDPIECE ATTACHMENT RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a continuation-in-part application of a parent application filed Apr. 12, 1971 having Ser. No. 133,173 and now abondoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to dental handpiece attachments and more particularly to such attachments for dispensing prophy paste into a patients mouth during a polishing or abrasive cleaning procedure.
Most teeth polishing and cleaning procedures are accomplished by utilizing a dental handpiece having a polishing tool mounted on the end thereof. The polishing tool includes a flexible prophy angle cup that looks similar to a suction cup which receives a prophy paste containing a pumice material for application to the patients teeth.
Generally, a batch of the prophy paste composition or abrasive material is made up for each patient and placed in a container, called a prophy paste cup. The dentist or his assistant dips the end of the handpiece into the prophy cup to scoop up some of the prophy paste into the prophy angle cup. The polishing tool is then inserted into the mouth of the patient with the prophy angle cup bearing against a surface of a tooth. The handpiece is then operated to rotate the prophy angle cup in a lapping fashion to polish and abrasively clean the tooth surface. Additional amounts of the prophy paste are scooped out of the prophy cup as needed. Usually the teeth polishing and cleaning operation requires two persons to perform; in which the operator has an assistant to hold either the prophy cup or a vacuum tube which is utilized to remove saliva and excess paste from the patients mouth. Alternatively, the operator will hold the handpiece with one hand and thevacuum tube with the other hand while his assistant is holding the prophy cup. If the dentist is short of help, he maycall upon the patient himself to hold the prophy cup to alleviate the need for an assistant being present. When the patient holds the prophy cup, the procedure becomes somewhat awkward. When additional prophy paste is needed, the dentist has to lay down the vacuum tube with one .hand and then pick up the prophy cup and then dip the end of the hand tool into the cup to replenish the prophy angle cup. with the prophy paste. He then puts down the prophy .paste cup to free one hand to be able to pick up the vacuum tube before continuing the polishing procedure. Not only is this rather awkward, but it is quite time consuming.
Some effort has been directed in providing an alternative to the prophy paste cup. Such an alternative is illustrated in U. S. Pat. No. 2,738,528 to Fridge, Sr. The Fridge, Sr. patent shows a squeezable flexible container having prophy paste therein that is attached to the dental handpiece. The container has an outlet that extends through the contra-angle to dispense the prophy paste directly into a lapping cup. However, it is found that a dentist is unable to hold the handpiece in one hand to polish the patients tooth while at the same time squeezing the prophy paste container to dispense the prophy paste.
One of the principle objects of this invention is to provide a dental handpiece attachment that is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and easy to assemble and attach to the handpiece.
A further object of this invention is to provide such a dental handpiece attachment for automatically dispensing a prophy paste from the end of the handpiece when desired without requiring the physical exertion of the dentist or his assistant.
An additional object of this invention is to provide a dental handpiece attachment having a cartridge containing a prophy paste for dispensing the paste from the handpiece adjacent the polishing tool in which the cartridge may be thrown away and replaced at the conclusion of the polishing orabrasive cleaning procedure.
A further. object of this invention is to provide a dental handpiece attachment having a cartridge containing a prophy paste that may be dispensed from the attachment utilizing a power source associated with the handpiece without the necessity of modifying the handpiece or associated dental equipment.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the reading of the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred and alternate embodiments of this invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side view of a dental handpiece having an attachment secured thereto for dispensing prophy paste therefrom, in which said attachment contains the principal features of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an isometric expanded view showing the unassembled parts of the attachment illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary enlarged side view of an alternate embodiment in which the invention includes an improvement to a polishing tool attached to the end'of the handpiece in which a portion of the attachment is incorporated in the polishing tool;
FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of this invention illustrating an alternative construction of the attachment;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal cross section of a section of the attachment taken from FIG.
FIG. 6 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of the alternate embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6 taken along line 7 7 in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view of a front end of the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 9-9 in FIG. 7 showing one operational position; and 4 FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 9 except showing a second operational view.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a dental handpiece attachment generally identified by the numeral 10 for mounting on a dental handpiece identified by the numeral 11. Dental handpieces are manufactured by a variety of companies for use by a dentist or his assistant during drilling and polishing procedures. The handpiece is normally held in one hand by the operator between the thumb and index finger in a manner similar to holding a pencil.
The specific dental handpiece shown in FIG. 1 is manufactured by Midwest American, a dental division of American Hospital Supply Company of Melrose Park, Illinois. Although the dental handpiece attachmentlO is shown specifically designed for utilization on such a" handpiece, it is intended that the attachment be utilized generally on any of the other handpieces.
The dental handpiece 11 is adapted to have several different types of tools or contra-angles attached thereto for performing different dental procedures. Generally a handpiece is adapted to receive various types of drilling contra-angles to perform drilling procedures on patients teeth. The handpiece is also adapted to receive a prophy contra-angle to be used in the polishing of the teeth generally near the conclusion of a teeth-cleaning procedure. The dental handpiece attachment 10 is intended to be used in conjunction with the prophy contra-angle.
Specifically, the dental handpiece 11 has a back or head end 12 and a forward end 13 with an intermediate gripping section 14. The intermediate gripping section 14 is generally slender and is adapted to be easily gripped by the operator between the thumb and the index finger in a manner similar to holding a pencil. The dental handpiece 11 is generally weighted so that it is rather well balanced for easy handling. As illustrated, a prophy contra-angle 16 is mounted on the forward end 13, for use in a polishing or abrasive cleaning procedure. Prophy contra-angle 16 includes a housing 18 having an output shaft 20 for rotating a prophy cup 21. Prophy cup 21 is quite similar to a suction cup having a cavity on the end for receiving a prophy paste for lapping application on a tooth surface. The prophy cup 21 is generally constructed of a rather flexible material such as rubber.
The head end 12 generally contains an air. driven turbine for rotating a longitudinal drive shaft (not shown) that extends the general length of the handpiece for rotating an output shaft 20 through a right angle drive (not shown) in the contra-angle. The details of the turbine, the longitudinal shaft and the right angle drive are not shown as these are common elements to a dental handpiece. The turbine is generally capable of rotating between 100 and 25,000 rpm.
The dental handpiece has a spindle knob 23 adjacent the rear end 12 which is connected to a tightening rod (not shown) for securing various tools or contra-angles to the forward end 13. A speed change ring 24 is rotatably mounted on the head end to enable the operator to adjust the speed of the tool. A fluid supply housing 26 is formed integrally with the head end 12, and projects outward at an angle. The fluid supply housing 26 includes a main air-in connector tube 27 and a main air-return connector tube 28. A reverse flow button 30 is mounted in the housing 26 for changing the direction of the flow between the air-in and the air-return connector tubes to change the rotation of the air driven turbine. Smaller auxilliary lines 31 and 32 are included in the housing 26. Auxilliary line 31 supplies air and the auxilliary line 32 supplies water. An auxilliary service tube 33 is mounted to the supply housing 26 communicating with auxilliary line 31. A similar auxilliary service tube 34 is mounted to the housing 26 communicating with the auxilliary water line 32. Generally during a grinding or drilling operation two flexible tubes (not shown) are connected to the tubes 33 and 34 and extend forward along the dental handpiece terminating adjacent the grinding tool so that the operator by use of control valves can spray air or water into the patients mouth adjacent the grinding area to blow or wash tooth particles or the like away from the grinding area. In the past, auxilliary tubes 33 and 34 have been rather unneeded appendages without serving any function during the polishing procedures.
As part of this invention, dental handpiece attachment 10, includes a pneumatic tube 37 that has one end 38 communicating with the auxilliary air service tube 33 shown in FIG. 1. Pneumatic tube 37 has an opposite end 40 for supplying air to a prophy paste cartridge 41. The prophy paste cartridge 41 has an open end 42 and a reduced end 43. The reduced end 43 has a reduced opening 44.
The dental handpiece attachment 10 further includes a releasable mounting and receiving means 46 for operatively receiving the cartridge 41 and mounting the cartridge 41 to the handpiece. The means 46 includes a male element 47 and a female element 48. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the female element 48 includes a receiving head 50, having a cylindrical cavity 51 formed therein with shoulder grooves 52 extending longitudinally therein with shoulders, to form an interlock with the male element 47 when the cartridge end 42 is inserted into the cavity 51 and rotated. The male element 47 in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, includes projecting shoulders 55, extending outward from the periphery of the cartridge end 42 that will slide in the grooves 52 and engage the female shoulders to interlock and releasably connect cartridge end 42 to the receiving head 50. The cavity 51 has a passageway communicating with pneumatic tube 37.
The cartridge 41 is initially filled with a flowable prophy paste 57. A free piston 58 is mounted in the open end 42 for movement toward the reduced end 43 to push the prophy paste from the cartridge out through the reduced opening 44. The flowable prophy paste is a mixture of various materials that are effective to polish or abrasively clean teeth. It is preferable to mix the ingredients to obtain a paste that is rather viscous but one which will flow when air pressure of between 25 and 60 psia is applied to the piston 58.
The dental handpiece attachment 10 further includes an elongated delivery tube 60 having one end 61 formed integrally with or connected to the reduced end 43 of the cartridge. Elongated delivery tube 60 has a terminating end 62 that, when mounted to the dental handpiece terminates at a location adjacent the prophy angle cup 21. It is preferable for the end 62 to be positioned on the inward side of the prophy angle cup as shown in FIG. 1 so that the prophy paste will be dispensed from the end 62 forward of the cup when the dental handpiece 11 is moved in a rearward stroke. Generally the operator will first polish or abrasively clean the molar teeth and will then continue forward along the side teeth towards the front of the patients mouth.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the elongated delivery tube 60 is composed of a plurality of parts including a flexible tube 63 having a collar mounted to one end thereof. A syringe element 65 is connected to the collar 64 having a rather small diameter needle tube 66 which is bent to form the terminating end 62.
The mounting and receiving means 46 further includes a securing means 68 for securing the dental handpiece attachment to the handpiece 11 in a very convenient manner so that the dental handpiece attachment will not interfere with the ease of handling of the handpiece and will prevent the dislodgement of the dental handpiece attachment under normal use. In this embodiment the securing means includes three releasable clips 70, 71 and 72. Each of the clips are of differing sizes to accommodate the different diameters at various locations along the dental handpiece. However, each of the clips are constructed in a rather similar design in which each has an annular upper section 74 circumscribing and holding a section of the dental handpiece attachment. Each slip further includes an enlarged lower section 75 that extends around a peripheral section of the handpiece to hold and mount the dental handpiece attachment to the dental handpiece. A slot 76 is formed in the enlarged section 78 so that the enlarged seciton 75 may be resiliently spread open to enable the clips to extend about the peripheral portion of the handpiece. The clips 70, 71 and 72 are designed to adapt to the particular handpiece utilized by the dentist. The releasable clip 70 has the annular section 74 extending about the receiving head 70 to secure the receiving head firmly to the rear end 12. The clip 71 is utilized to secure the reduced end 43 of the cartridge to the immediate section 14 just rearward of the location where the hand grips the handpiece. The clip 72 is utilized for securing the delivery tube to the'forward end 13.
In the alternate embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3, the dental handpiece attachment includes a prophy contraangle 80 that is attachable to the forward end of the handpiece. Prophy contra-angle 80 has a delivery tube 81 incorporated therein. Delivery tube 81 is included in angle 80. The angle has a longitudinal drive shaft 83, that is connectable to the longitudinal shaft of the dental handpiece. Power is transmitted from the longitudinal shaft through a right angle drive 84 and out an output shaft 85. One of the principle features of this embodiment is that the output shaft 85 is hollow, with the delivery tube 81 extending through the hollow shaft 85. A prophy angle cup 86 is removably mounted on the output shaft 85. The prophy angle cup 86 has an outer peripheral wall 87 and an inner cavity 88 defining an inner wall 90. A seal 91 is formed in the upper end of the pumice cavity to hold the pumice cup on the output shaft 85 during operating conditions. The delivery tube 81 has an end 93 that extends downward through the hollow output shaft 85 and into the cavity 88 to dispense the prophy paste directly into the cavity 88 instead of adjacent the exterior of the cup as shown in FIG. 1. In this embodiment the prophy angle 80 is removed with the rest of the attachment. It may also be desirable to construct the angle 80 of rather inexpensive material so that the tool 80 may be thrown away after eachoperation.
A second alternate embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 4 in which the dental handpiece attachment 10 is a throw-away unit having a pneumatic tube 95 extending from the auxilliary air service tube 33 to an integrally connected cartridge 96. The dental handpiece attachment 10 further includes a delivery tube 97 that is formed integrally with the output end of the cartridge 96. In this embodiment, the attachment is designed as an integral unit so that the entire unit can be thrown away after the prophy paste 100 has been exhausted or at the conclusion of a polishing procedure. An important feature of this embodiment is the form of the free piston 101. The free piston 101 is in the form of a ball constructed of either glass or plastic that is originally mounted on the rear end of the cartridge 96 for pushing the prophy paste through the delivery tube 97 to the prophy angle cup.
An additional alternate embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 6-10.'A cartridge 105 is illustrated in FIG. 6 releasably received in a mounting and receiving means 106 so that when the prophy paste is removed from the cartridge, the cartridge may be readily ejected from means 106 and a full cartridge 105 inserted. The cartridge 105 has a cylindrical body 108 with a reduced open front end 110 and a reduced open rear end 111. A free piston is enclosed in the body 108.
The means 106 includes a frame having a longitudinal member 116 that extends alongside the handpiece and nose and tail end member 118 and 128 respectively. The nose end member 118 has a axial passageway 120 therethrough for communicating with tube end 44 through which the paste passes. The nose end member 118 has a socket cavity 121 formed therein to receive the open front end 110 of the cartridge 105. The nose end member has a valve 124 formed therein to regulate the flow of paste through the axial passageway 120. The valve 124 has a handle 126 exteriorly exposed for manual manipulation.
The tail end member 128 is slidably mounted on the frame for limited axial movement to enable the cartridge 105 to be grippingly inserted between the ends 118 and 128. The end member 128 has a socket cavity 129 found therein to receive the rear end 111 of the cartridge. A spring 130 is mounted in the frame bearing against the tail end member 128 to bias the member 128 axially toward the end member 118 to grip the cartridge therebetween and to enable an empty cartridge to be readily removed and a full cartridge inserted.
Valve means is provided for regulating the air pressure to the free piston 112. The valve means includes a main passageway 132 through the tail end member 128 for receiving air from the tube 37 and transmitting the air to cartridge end 111. A needle valve 136 is mounted in the member 128 communicating with the passageway 132 to regulate the flow of air therethrough. A bleed passageway 133 is formed in member 128 communicating with the passageway 132 to bleed air from the passageway 132. A needle valve 138 is mounted in the member 128 communicating with the passageway 133 to set the maximum pressure to be applied to the piston 112.
A securing means 140 is provided having clips 141 and 142 formed integrally with the frame to releasably attach the attachment 10 to the handpiece.
It should be understood that the above described embodiments are simply illustrative of the principles of this invention and that numerous other embodiments may be readily devised without deviating therefrom. Therefore only the following claims are intended to define this invention.
What is claimed is: V
1. A dental handpiece attachment for a dental handpiece having an elongated body adapted to be gripped in one hand by an operator, in which the dental handpiece has a prophy contra-angle adapted to receive and rotate a prophy cup that is utilized for applying and lapping flowable prophy paste to a patients teeth during a polishing or abrasive cleaning procedure, said attachment comprising:
a tubular cartridge containing the flowable prophy paste in which the cartridge has a reduced outlet at one end and a piston freely movably mounted in the other end; l
pressure supply means for delivering air under pressure into the other end of the cartridge to apply air pressure directly to the free piston to move the piston toward the one end of the cartridge to push the flowable prophy paste through the reduced outlet;
an elongated delivery tube communicating with the reduced outlet and extending to the prophy contraangle of the handpiece terminating in close proximity to the prophy angle cup for delivering the prophy paste thereto; valve means for regulating the air pressure applied directly to the free piston to control the flow of the prophy paste from the tubular cartridge;
means for releasably receiving the cartridge and mounting the cartridge on the handpiece;
said releasably receiving means having opposed ends that are spaced substantially the length of the cartridge to realeasably received the cartridge therebetween;
said opposed ends having sockets formed therein to receive corresponding ends of the cartridge;
said releasably receiving means having spring means for biasing at least one of the sockets toward the other to releasably grip the cartridge between its ends to enable the cartridge to be readily inserted or removed from between the sockets. 4
2. A dental handpiece attachment as defined in claim 1 wherein the securing means secures the attachment to the handpiece with a delivery tube terminating adjacent an inward side of the prophy angle cup so that the prophy angle cup travels over the dispensed prophy paste during a rearward stroke of the handpiece.
3. The dental handpiece attachment as defined in claim 1 wherein the prophy contra-angle has a rotatable output shaft extending therefrom with the prophy cup mounted thereon and further comprising the feature of the output shaft being hollow to enable the delivery tube to be extended through the hollow output shaft to deliver the flowable prophy paste adjacent an interior wall of the prophy cup
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|U.S. Classification||433/87, 433/125, 433/166, 433/133|
|International Classification||A61C17/00, A61C1/08|
|Cooperative Classification||A61C1/087, A61C17/005|
|European Classification||A61C17/00P, A61C1/08G|