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Publication numberUS3798773 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 26, 1974
Filing dateMay 8, 1972
Priority dateMay 8, 1972
Publication numberUS 3798773 A, US 3798773A, US-A-3798773, US3798773 A, US3798773A
InventorsNorthcutt M
Original AssigneeNorthcutt M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for improving the alignment of the upper and lower sets of teeth with each other
US 3798773 A
Abstract
A device and a method for aiding in realignment of teeth where the patient's upper row of teeth lies forward of his lower row of teeth, and the patient has difficulty in achieving an aligned bite. A pair of spring arrangements are provided to assist the patient in moving his upper row of teeth rearwardly and his lower row of teeth forwardly each time he closes his mouth, utilizing the vertical closure force of his masseter muscle converted into horizontal corrective vectors.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 51 Mar. 26, 1974 United States Patent [191 Northcutt DEVICE FOR IMPROVING THE ALIGNMENT OF THE UPPER AND LOWER Pr m ry Ex min rRobert Peshock SETS OF TEETH WITH EACH OTHER [76] Inventor: Michael E. Northcutt, 12720 Dianne Dr., Los Altos Hills, Calif. 94021 May 8, 1972 Appl. No.: 250,957

ABSTRACT A device and a method for aiding in realignment of [22] Flled: teeth where the patients upper row of teeth lies forward of his lower row of teeth, and the patient has difficulty in achieving an aligned bite. A pair of spring arrangements are provided to assist the patient in 32/14 E [52] US. moving his upper row of teeth rearward), and his [51] Int Cl 7/00 lower row of teeth forwardly each time he closes his 32/14 A, 14 B, 14 C, 14 D Field of Search mouth, utilizing the vertical closure force of his masseter muscle converted into horizontal corrective vectors.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,618,214 Armstrong....v...u...v............ 32/14 A 9 10 Dmwmg PATENTED HAR26 I974 SHEET 1 BF 2 FIGQ , FIGA FIG. 3

DEVICE FOR IMPROVING THE ALIGNMENT OF THE UPPER AND LOWER SETS OF TEETH WITH EACH OTHER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improvement in method and apparatus for helping a patient with bad tooth alignment to achieve more normal alignment.

In a substantial number of people, the upper row of teeth tends to lie substantially forward of the lower row of teeth, so that a rather poor bite is achieved, and also a bad appearance is' presented. I-Ieretofore, treatment involved the use of rubber bands and headgear. Both of these were subject to disadvantage in that, being removable, they placed the entire outcome of the treatment at the discretion of j the patient. The patient, nearly always an adolescent, might or might not desire to cooperate with the orthodontist, so that the treatment often failed in spite of the efforts of a highly skilled orthodontist.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention employs the natural energy ofthe patient to correct the malocclusion and does so with a device that gives the patient no discretion whatever about using it. The invention typically employs an upper arch wire and a lower arch wire, which are respectively secured to the upper and lower rows of teeth. In place of the upper arch wire, a molar bracket may be used. A pair of upper fittings are secured on opposite sides of the mouth to a rearward portion of the upper arch wire or molar bracket, and a pair of lower fittings are similarly secured to a more forward portion of the lower arch wire, or to an auxiliary arch wire. To each of these fittings is secured a tube, by means of a swivel joint, and the tubes are arranged telescopically with respect to each other. Inside each pair ofteIescoping tubes is a compression spring, such as an open wound coil spring, which exerts force as the mouth is closed.

Thus, as the patient opens and closes his mouth, either in talking or in eating, the compression spring is compressed and relaxed, and each time it is compressed it exerts 'a force tending to urge the upper row of teeth rearwardly and the lower row of teeth forwardly, thereby helping him in achieving abetter b'ite and ultimately helping in correcting the malformation. The vertical closure force of the masseter muscle is about 25,000 pounds per square inch, and the present invention converts this huge force into horizontal corrective vectors. In deep bite cases the closure muscles are so strong as to extend the treatment considerably. The vector facilitating bite opening is combined with the fact that once the orthodontist installs the device, the patient cannot remove it, and it must be used 24 hours a day whenever the patient closes his mouth, so that treatment is both made inevitable and is achieved much faster than with prior-art devices.

Other objects and advantages of the inventionwill appear from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings: FIG. I is a view in side elevation of a device embodying the principles of the invention secured-to a pair of arch wires that overlie the upper and lower rows of teeth shown as when the mouthis in a relatively wideopen position.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view in elevation and in section of one of the combinations of compression spring and telescoping tubes with fittings.

FIG. 3 is a view somewhat similar to FIG. 1, but on a reduced scale, showing a typical position achieved near closure of the mouth.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the installed device looking down on the patients lower row of teeth.

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged view in elevation taken along the line 5-5 inFIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a view in section taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 5 and in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of a modified form of the invention employing an auxiliary lower arch wire.

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of another modified form of the invention wherein there is no upper arch wire, but the device is supported by a molar bracket.

FIG. 9 is a greatly enlarged view in section taken along the line 9-9 in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 of a modified form of attachment to the molar band.

DESCRIPTION OF SOME PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the form of the invention shown in FIG. 1, an

upper arch wire 10 is secured to the upper row 11 of teeth in any desired manner, such as by conventional brackets 12 and bands 13, and a lower arch wire 14 is secured to the lower row 15 of teeth by brackets 16 and 17 in the same manner. These arch wires 10 and 14 may be simultaneously used for some other purposes, or may be being used only for the purpose of this invention.

A force applying device 20 of this invention may comprise an upper fitting 21 secured, as by a bolt 22, washer 23, and nut 24 (see FIG. 5) to the upper arch wire 10 at a rear portion thereof, on each side of the mouth.

A lower fitting 25 of the device 20 is secured in the same manner as by a bolt, to the lower arch wire 14. This fitting 25 is also secured, as by-welding, to a socket 27 of a balland-socket joint 28 having a ball 29.

The device 20 includes an upper tube 30 secured at one end 31, as by welding, to the upper fitting 21. The end 31 is secured, as by welding, to a ball 32 which is part of a ball-and-socket joint 33 having a socket 34. A lower tube 35 has an open end 36, and a solid or hollow.

cylinder 37 having ends 38 and 39 fits adjustably tion to which it is adjusted. The two tubes 30 and 35 are .of the cylinder 37. The overlap of the tubes 30 and 35 is sufficient so that the assembly cannot come apart when the mouth is yawning, and the tubes 30 and 35 fit so close together that they are unlikely to pinch or cause any trouble for the patient.

The cylinder 37 and set screw 40 enables one size of device 20 to be used on all patients.

The effect of this on a user, whose upper row 11 of teeth tend to project forward of the lower row 15 and who thereby tends to get a very poor bite when he is eating, is to subject him to a pair of forces each time he closes his mouth. These forces are exerted at the opposite ends of the spring 42, with one force tending to urge the lower row 15 of teeth forward, and the other force tending to urge the upper row 11 of teeth rearwardly. Consequently, improvement is spontaneous and inevitable, since natural forces are harnassed 24 hours per day to make the desired correction. The great amount of work energy that any person expends daily simply in closing his mouth is transferred into a constant force to urge the patients teeth to the desired positions. After treatment for a suitable length of time, which may involve several months or more, the device may be readily removed by unbolting the appliance from the orthodontic arch wires 10 and 14.

As shown in FIG. 7, either end (or both) of the device may be secured to a second or auxiliary arch wire 45.

As shown in FIGS. 8-10, the upper end 31 of the device 20 may be secured to a molar bracket 50 instead of to an upper arch wire. The bracket attachment may be as shown in FIG. 9 or as shown in FIG. 10. In FIG. 9 the bracket 50 is secured to a molar band 51 that encircles the tooth. The screw 22, washer 23 and nut 24 are as before, with a flange 52 attached to the member 20. In FIG. 10, the molar band 53 has a tube 54 secured thereto and a bolt 55, nut 56'and washer 57 are used to make the attachment.

To those skilled in the art to which this invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The diclosures and the description herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

I claim:

1. A device for aiding in realignment of teeth where the patients upper row of teeth lies forward of the lower row of teeth and the patient has difficulty in achieving an aligned bite, comprising upper anchor means adapted to be secured to at least some of said upper row of teeth,

lower anchor means adapted to be secured to said lower row of teeth,

a pair of upper fittings each secured rearward in the telescopically arranged with respect-to a said upper tube,

a pair of swivel joints secured to the closed end of said upper tube, and

a compression spring inside each pair of telescoping tubes and compressed by moving the upper tube and lower tube toward each other each time the patient closes his mouth,

thereby exerting a force tending to align the upper and lower rows of teeth with each other each time the patient closes his mouth.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said upper and lower anchor means comprises respectively upper and lower arch wires.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said lower anchor means comprises a lower auxiliary arch wire.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein said upper anchor means comprises a molar bracket.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein said lower tube has its closed end closed by an adjustable member and means for securing said adjustable member in a chosen position.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein the securing to the upper and lower anchor means comprise bolting arrangements.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the swivel joints are ball-and-socket joints.

8. A device for aiding in realignment of teeth where the patients upper row of teeth lies forward of the lower row of teethand the patient has difficulty in achieving an aligned bite, comprising an upper arch wire adapted to be secured to said upper row of teeth,

a lower arch wire adapted to be secured to said lower row of teeth,

a pair of upper fittings each secured to a rearward portion of said upper arch wire, on opposite sides thereof,

a pair of uppers tubes, each having a closed end and each secured to a said upper fitting,

a pair of lower fittings, each secured to a forward portion of said lower arch wire, on opposite sides thereof,

a pair of lower tubes, each having a closed end and each secured to a said lower fitting by a swivel joint and telescopically arranged with respect to a said upper tube, a pair of swivel joints each secured to the closed end of an upper tube, and a compression spring inside each pair of telescoping tubes and compressed by moving the upper tube and lower tube toward each other each time the patient closes his mouth, thereby exerting a force tending to align the upper and lower rows of teeth with each other each time the patient closes his mouth. 9. The device of claim 8 wherein said lower tube is closed by a cylindrical member slidably arranged in said lower tube, and a set screw for holding said cylindrical member in place.

Patent Citations
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Classifications
U.S. Classification433/19
International ClassificationA61C7/00, A61C7/36
Cooperative ClassificationA61C7/36
European ClassificationA61C7/36