US 3802736 A
Disclosed is an instrument storage and delivery system for storing dental instruments completely enclosed within the back of a dental chair. The dental instruments are moved from a stored position within the chair back to a position at least partly extended from the upper end of the chair back by manually moving a slide extending through the rear surface of the chair back. Lines connecting each instrument to a source of utility service together with a retraction mechanism, such as a reel or pulley are also located within the chair back.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191. Valeska et al. 2
1111 3,802,736 1 Apr. 9, 1974 gfigggb g Rq STORAGE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 441,650 l/l9 68 Switzerland 297/l91  Inventors: John J. Valeska, 276 Normandale 1541.412 8/1968 France 297/191 Dr., Rochester, NY. 14624; M c a Rick, 226 Avalon D11, Prin'mr v E.ruminerJames T. McCall Rochester, 14618 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Theodore B. Roessel; Roger 221 Filed: Nov. 9, 1972 21] Appl. No.: 305,125  ABSTRACT Disclosed is an instrument storage and delivery system  US. Cl. 297/191, 248/311 for Storing dental instruments completely enclosed  hit. Cl. A476 7/62 within the back of a dental Chair. The dental instrw  Field of Search 297/191, 188, 194; ments are moved from a Stored position within the 312/209; 32/22 chair back to a position at least partly extended from the upper end of the chair back by manually moving a  References C'ted slide extending through the rear surface of the chair U ITE T T S PATENTS back. Lines connecting each instrument to a source of 3,198,574 8/1965 Sadayasu e161. 297/191 utility Service together with a retraction mechanism, 3,637,184 1/1972 such as a reel or pulley are also located within the 1,645,660 10/ 1927 chair back. 2,811,083 10/1957 Simjian 297/191 x 3,427,719 2/1969 Gordon et a1 32/22 9 Chums, 7 Drawing Flgures 24 5 7122 fi l\\\\\\\\l Zr 4 [40 e 32 ,.4 1 46 r-- e g A 44 I I I 1 DENTAL INSTRUMENT STORAGE APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to storage apparatus for dental instruments of the type requiring a supply of utility service, such as air or electrically driven drills, syringes, aspirators and the like. More particularly the present invention relates to dental instrument storage apparatus as may be incorporated into a dental chair. U. S. Pat. No. 3,259,430 shows an instrument storage apparatus incorporated into the dental chair back whereby the instruments, such as hand pieces and. the like, protrude from the upper end of the chair back. In another US. Pat. No. 3,198,574, the instruments and their connected hoses extend from the upper end of the chair back with the instruments being suspended from hangers incorporated into the dental chair headrest.
With the dental instrument s entending out of the chair back and being held in the headrest, the attached hoses loop outwardly into the area immediately above the shoulder. The hoses are thus exposed to the patient and dentist and not only present a distraction but also may become entangledwith one another. Also, if the dental drills are held in the head rest by the burr end, there is the possibility of the burr becoming contaminated. On the other. hand, holding means arranged to hold the instruments protruding from the upper end of the chair back can create a hazard for both the dentist and his assistant. For example, if burrs are left in the instruments, accidental contact with the bur could cause a skin puncture and possible infection by pathogenic bacteria.
In the presentinvention, the dental instruments are stored wholly within the chair back when not in use. Selected instruments arethen extended from the chair back one at a time as the need arises. Having the instruments stored in such an out-of-sight position reduces the possibility of accidents, lessens the fears of a nervous patient upon entering the dental operatory and produces a much more aesthetically pleasing dental en- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention may be characterized in one aspect thereof by the provision of a dental instrument storage apparatus incorporated into the back of a dental chair, wherein the instruments are stored and concealed wholly within the back of the chair the apparatus including: a slide associated with each instrument for moving in the instrument from its stored position and through an opening in the upper' end of the chair back to a ready-to-use position wherein the instrument protrudes from the upper end; and manually operable means fixed to the slide and extending through the rear surface of the chair back, the operator grasping and pulling the means to move the slide and its associated '2 instrument toward the upper end of the chair back to extend instrument out from the chair back.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of the dental chair, patient and operator, showning an instrument in stored position;
FIG. 2 is side elevation view partly broken away and in section showing the instrument storage apparatus in corporated into the back rest of a dental chair;
FIG. 3 is anend'elevation partly broken away and in section, of the apparatus shown in FIG. 2;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are end and side elevation views respectively, showing another embodiment of the present invention; and
FIGS. 6 and 7 are end and side elevation views respectively of still another embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a dental chair having a seatportion l0and a back 12 pivoted adjacent one end of the seat so that the patient may be- Referring to FIG. 2, chair back 12 is formed by spaced front and rearpanels l6 and 18 respectively. Any suitable upholstery or cushioning material 20 is attached to the front panel. These front and rear panels, together with side panels 22 and an upper end panel 24 define a housing 26 within the chair back. The dental instrument storage apparatus, generally indicated at 28, is contained within this housing.
The storage apparatus includes a guide member 30, preferably tubular, which is disposed in axial alignment with an opening 32 in the upper end panel 24. Guide 30 may be fixedly supported within housing 26 by any suitable means such as a hanger 34 which embraces the guide and is fixed to front panel 16. The lower portion of the guide is provided with an axially extending slot 36 which aligns generally with a corresponding slot 38 in rear panel 18 for purposes set out herein below.
Slidably supported within guide 30 is a slide 40. As shown in FIG. 2, this slide is in the form'of a withdrawal tube or holder which releasably nests the handle portion 42 of dental instrument 14. The slide has its forward end 48 provided with a finger grip 50. The grip extends down through slots 36 and 38 and projects outward from rear panel 18.
A utility line or hose 44 delivers utility service to the dental insturment and extends out through the open rear 46 of the slide. It should be appreciated that line 44 is connected to a source of utility supply and is engaged by any suitable retraction mechanism (not shown) incorporated into the chair back which exerts a rewind force on the line. Such a retraction mechanism may be of the reel type or a pulley and slide retractor both systems being well known in the dental art. It should be sufficient for purposes of the present invention merely to indicate that such a retraction mechanism is provided with a brake which is set when the line is pulled from the retraction mechanism and which is released by tugging on the hose to permit rewinding and retraction.
- As shown in FIG. 3, several instruments may be stored in housing 26 having its own side or withdrawal tube 40 and finger grip 50. With this arrangement, any particular one finger grip 50 can be located kinesthetically by the operator.
As shown in FIG. 1, the finger grip is operated with the operators hand in a palms-up position for moving the grip toward the upper end 24 of the chair back. Operating the finger grip in this manner moves any particular instrument 14 from its stored position within the chair back to the position shown in dotted line (FIG. 2) wherein the instrument protrudes through opening 32.
As the figure grip is moved towards the upper end panel 24, slide 40 slides within guide 30 until finger grip 50 strikes the forward end 52 of slot 38. This places the forward end 48 of the slide adjacent opening 32. In this position, a portion of dental instrument 14 projects through 32, so that the instrument is within easy reach of the dentist or his assistant.
It should be appreciated that the spatial relationship between finger grip 50, slide 40 and upper end panel 24 is such that when the finger grip is adjacent upper end panel 24 as shown in dotted line in FIG. 2, the instrument l4 will lie over the open palm of the operator. Thus after the operator has moved the instrument out of the housing, only a slight motion will permit the operator to close his hand around the instrument. This considerably reduces any reaching effort by the operator as the instrument is for all intents and purposes presented from storage directly into the operators hand.
In order to insure the proper spatial relationship regardless of the length of the instrument 14, an adjustable stop 54 is provided at the rear of the slide. The stop engages the handle of the instrument and is attached to the slide by any suitable means, such as screw threads, which permit longitudinal adjustment of the stop with respect to the slide. This in effect, permits the slide to accomodate longer or shorter instruments while maintaining the head portion of a stored instrument adjacent upper end panel 24 as shown in solid line in FIG. 2.
As set out herein'above, line 44 is subject to a rewind or retraction force until the hose is full extended and a brake is set. The problem then is to prevent retraction of the slide and instrument in the short time it takes for the operator to release finger grip 50 and grasp the instrument. In the present invention a sufficient amount of sliding friction between slide 40 and guide 30 is built-in to just overcome the force of the retraction mechanism. In addition, a collar 56 disposed about guide tube 30 is provided with set screws 58 adapted to exert an inward radial force on the guide tube. With this arrangement the profile of the guide tube may be altered slightly to increase the sliding friction between the guide tube and the slide.
When the instrument is returned to its stored position, the retraction system lock is released so that a rewind force is exerted on hose 44 to draw the hose back in through opening 32. The retracting hose first nests the instrument in slide 40 and then pulls the instrument and slide to the stored position. The force exerted by the retraction mechanism coupled with the inertia of the instrument and-hose in moving into the slide is sufficient to overcome the sliding friction between slide 40 and guide 30 to move the slide back to the position shown in FIG. 2.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the guide tube is formed integral with the front panel of the back rest. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, front panel 116 can be molded from any suitable plastic material so as to include a depending guide member 130. Guide member is formed by two curved walls 130 A and 130 B which slidably embraces a slide 140. The two walls are spaced apart along their bottom to form an elongated opening l36 (FIG. 5)'to accomodate the passage of a finger grip attached to the slide 140.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, a guide is provided by the front and rear panels 216 and 218 respectively of the backrest. In this case, a block member 60 is designed to just fit between the front and rear panels. This block has a opening 62 therethrough to hold a tube 240 which nests the instrument (not shown). Block 60 also has a pin 64 which extends down into a slot 238 in rear panel 218. This pin together with a finger grip 250 also attached and extending through slot 238 insures a straight line movement of the block as it slides between the front and rear panels.
Thus it should be appreciated that the present invention provides a dental instrument storage apparatus which may be incorporated directly into the back of a dental chair. The apparatus is arranged to completely store within the chair back when not in use so as to conceal the dental instrument from view. Withdrawing the instruments to an operative position can be done quickly and easily by the operator without the need for taking his attention from the patient. The position of finger grip 50 is such that when the grip is moved towards the upper end 24 of the chair back to extend the instrument through opening 32, the instrument is positioned over the operators palm, so that the instrument can be grasped without any extraneous reaching movement.
Having thus described the invention in detail, what is claimed as new is:
1. A dental chair-unit having at least one dental instrument, a utility line connecting said instrument to a utility supply and a retraction mechanism all incorporated into the chair, said chair-unit comprising in combination:
a. a seat portion and a back arranged to support a patient in a generally supine position, said back including front, rear, side and upper end panels defining a housing within said back for containing at least one dental instrument;
b. said upper end panel having an opening to permit passage of said instrument into and out of said housing and said rear panel having an elongated slot therethrough in general alignment with said opening;
0. tool support means in said housing releasably supporting said dental instrument including a slide member associated with and engageable against said dental instrument said slide being movable towards and away from said openingv between a stored position wherein said dental instrument is extended out of said upper end panel through said opening to permit manual grasping of said instrument; and
d. manually manipulated means operably connected to said slide and extending at least partly through said rear panel slot for manually moving said slide and the associated dental instrument toward said upper end panel to present at least part of said dental instrument out through said opening, the spatial relationship between said manually manipulated means, upper end panel, tool support means, and instrument is such that when said manually manipulated means is adjacent said upper end panel and said instrument is extended out from said housing through said opening, said instrument lies over the palm of the operators hand which is to grasp said instrument.
2. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 1, said tool support means comprising:
a. a guide block slidably confined between said front and rear panels and having an opening therethrough for releasibly nesting said dental instrument in both said ready-to-use position and said stored position;
b. a guide pin fixed to said block and extending into said slot; and
c. said manually manipulated means including a finger grip attached to said guide block and extending through said slot wherein said finger grip and guide pin are guided by said slot to insure straight line sliding movement of said guide block towards and away from said opening.
3. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 1 wherein said tool support means includes:
a. an elongated guide member slidably embracing said slide, said guide member being fixed in said housing in axial alignment with said opening and having its bottom provided with an axially extending slot aligned with said rear panel slot, the rear of said guide member being open to permit passage of saidslide; and
b. said manually manipulated means including a tinger grip fixed to said slide and extending through said slots.
4. A'dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 3 wherein said guide member is formed integral said front panel and includes a pair of curved wall members depending from said front panel and embracing said slide, said wall members being spaced apart along their lower ends to form said axially extending slot.
5. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 3 wherein said guide member is tubular and is suspended in said housing from said front panel, said slide being a tubular member slidably disposed in said guide member and releasably nesting said dental instrument.
6. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 5 including means acting on said tubular guide member for adjusting the sliding friction between said tubular guide and said tubular slide to provide a sliding friction just sufficient to overcome the force of said retraction mechanism. V
7. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 6 wherein said friction adjusting means comprises a locking collar about said tubular guide for exerting a radially inward force on said guide to constrict said guide about said tubular slide.
8. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 1 comprisa. a plurality of said tool support means and slide members in said housing in side-by-side relationship, each supporting one dental instrument; and
b. a plurality of said manually manipulated means, each associated with one of said slides wherein each instrument can be individually extended from said upper end panel.
9. A dental chair-unit as set forth in claim 8 wherein said slides are each provided with an adjustable stop engagable with the handle portion of the dental instrument associated therewith, said stop being adjustable to vary the effective length of said slide so as to locate the head end of said instrument within said housing and adjacent said end panel regardless of the length of said instrument.