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Publication numberUS3863627 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 4, 1975
Filing dateNov 1, 1972
Priority dateNov 5, 1971
Also published asDE7240404U
Publication numberUS 3863627 A, US 3863627A, US-A-3863627, US3863627 A, US3863627A
InventorsBouffard Pierre
Original AssigneeBouffard Pierre
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mouth exploring device
US 3863627 A
Abstract
A mouth exploring device comprising a handle and an exploring strip connected to the handle. The strip has two convex lateral edge portions which extend in a front part of the strip and define a substantially V-shaped notch having convex flanks so that the strip has a generally heart-shaped profile.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Bouffard Feb. 4, 1975 [54] MOUTH EXPLORING DEVICE 1,613,373 (l)/1927 Beck 128/15 3,154,069 1 /1964 Ring 128/15 [76] Invent 131 Avenue de 3,651,800 3/1972 Wilbanks 128/12 Dorlrdan, Cheron, France D53,649 7/1919 Weder, 81. et al 128/15 ux [22] Filed: Nov-1,1972 OTHER PUBLICATIONS [21] Appl. No.: 302,924 V. Mueller & Co, Catalog dated 1929, page 122.

Primary Examiner-Lucie H. Laudenslager [3O] g i g g rz Prlomy Data. 71 39807 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack l'fl 521 vs. c1. 128/10, 128/15 [57] 51 1m. 01 A6lb 1/24 A 9 exnlormg devlce comprlsmg a handle a an [58] Field 61 Search 128/10, 12, 15, 20 explormg P connected to the handle The P has two convex lateral edge portions which extend in a 5 4 References Cited front part of the strip and define a substantially UNITED STATES PATENTS shaped notch having convex flanks so that the str1p 659 182 10/1900 Pilling 128/20 has a generallylhean'shaped profile 1,465,259 8/1923 Friedman 128/20 8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures MOUTH EXPLORING DEVICE The present invention relates to improvements in tongue depressors of known type including arrangements which render it of utility for both exploring and curative purposes.

More precisely, the invention provides a mouth exploring device comprising a handle to which is connected an exploring strip whose convex lateral edge portions extend in a front part of the strip and define a substantially V-shaped notch having convex flanks so that the strip has a generally heart-shaped profile.

This instrument not only permits examining the pharynx when the tongue is moved downwardly by a pressure exerted thereon by the exploring strip as with known tongue depressors, but also permits, owing to the front V-shaped notch, reaching the frenum labii and the frenum linguae so that it is possible to examine these parts and the neighbouring regions such as the gums, internal mucous membrane of the lips and the mucous membrane of the mouth.

In order to facilitate these operations, the top of the exploring strip has advantageously pointed projections which may retain for example the internal mucous membrane of the lips or that of the cheeks.

One of the convex lateral edge portions of the strip may have ridges or notches so as to permit, in the case of the baby, an incision for a tooth which is in process of pushing through the gum or, in the case of an adult, an examination of the consistence or sensibility of a lesion, or of a mouth tumeur, and, by a surface scraping, a verification of its adherence or non-adherence, or its bleading or non-bleading upon contact with the strip.

The mouth exploring device according to the invention may be composed of plastics material and be in one piece in the manner of known depressors.

Alternatively, it may comprise a detachable strip of plastics material mounted on an independent handle which would preferably be of metal.

A plastics mouth exploring device in one piece may be sterilized provided that the plastics material is chosen for this purpose, so as to permit repeated utilizations of instrument, but it is preferable to adopt a cheap plastics material and provide a sterile packing formed by an individual bag so that the instrument can be thrown away after use. lt will be understood that if the mouth exploring device comprises a detachable strip of plastics material, it is this strip which may be discarded after use.

Further features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the ensuing description with reference to the accompanying drawing.

In the drawing FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a mouth exploring device viewed from above;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view in the median plane of the instrument;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2.

The illustrated mouth exploring device, preferably composed of moulded plastics material, comprises a handle 1 to which is connected an exploring strip or blade 2 whose mean plane makes an angle of approximately 120 with the handle. The handle 1, which has a generally rectilinear shape, has a front face 3 of convex cross sectional shape in which are formed recesses 4,6 adapted to facilitate the handling of the handle by the fingers of the hand of the user, and a rear face having a concave cross sectional shape defined by a recess 7 having curved flanges 8.

The handle is extended, beyond the region 9 of connection with the strip 2, by a rearwardly extending curved extension portion 1] which constitutes an abutment in which an extension of the bottom of the recess 7 offers a support and bearing face for the thumb of the user so that it is possible to employ the instrument in the manner of a lever.

The front face of the abutment 11 is the start of a concavity 12 situated in the connecting region 9, that is to say the start of the exploring strip 2 proper, which. when viewed in plan, is symmetrical with respect to a plane intersecting the centre line of the recess 7.

The upper face 13 of the strip 2 is slightly convex in both the longitudinal direction (FIG. 2) and transverse direction (FIG. 3) so that it corresponds to the curvature of the tongue of the patient.

The lateral edge portions l4, 16 of the strip 2 have a convex profile which joins the relatively narrow connecting region 9 and extends in the front part of the strip 2 in such manner as to define a notch 17 which constitutes the corner of a V-shaped portion having convex flanks which is located in the plane of symmetry of the strip and imparts a heart-shaped appearance to the front part of the strip.

The upper face 13 of the strip 2 is provided with pointed spike-shaped projections which facilitate the retention of the internal mucous membrane of the lips or that of the cheeks when it is raised or lowered for examining the gums, teeth or gum grooves.

The lower face 19 has a concavity corresponding to the convexity of the upper face 13 and is provided with projecting portions or studs 21 whose free end is slightly concave and creates a suction effect upon contact with the surface of the tongue and thus ensures an improved adherence for examination of the pharynx.

One of the lateral edge portions, 14, of the strip 2 is smooth and this permits ascertaining, by contact, the relief of a mucous membrane, gum, or a tooth for example. The other lateral edge portion 16 is provided with vertical ridges 16a so as to permit in particular a sounding or scraping of the surfaces to be explored or even treated, if it concerns, for example, an incision for a tooth of a baby which is in process of pushing through the gums.

It will be understood that various sizes of the mouth exploring device adapted to the age of the patient to be examined may be provided.

Having now described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

l. A device for depressing the tongue and exploring the inside of the mouth, comprising a handle, and a tongue depressing and mouth exploring strip having a rear part connected to the handle adjacent an upper end of handle in the position of use of the device, a front part, two curved convex lateral edge portions which extend from said rear part to said front part and define in said front part a substantially V-shaped notch which has curved convex flanks so that the strip has a generally heart-shaped profile in plan in the position of use of the device, the strip extending continuously between said lateral edge portions and between said front part and rear part, the strip having in the position of use of the device with the handle extending downwardly from the strip a slightly curved convex upper surface substantially throughout the strip in longitudinal and transverse directions of the strip and having a lower surface which is concave and slightly curved with a substantially constant curvature in said longitudinal and transverse directions so that it substantially corresponds to the shape of the part of the tongue the device is to depress.

2. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the upper surface of the strip comprises small pointed spikeshaped portions.

3. A device for depressing the tongue and exploring the inside of the mouth, comprising a handle, and a tongue depressing and mouth exploring strip having a rear part connected to the handle adjacent an upper end of the handle in the position of use of the device, a front part, two convex lateral edge portions which extend from said rear part to said front part and define in said front part a substantially V-shaped notch which has convex flanks so that the strip has a generally heartshaped profile in plan in the position of use of the device, the strip extending continuously between said lateral edge portions and between said front part and rear part, the strip having a lower surface which comprises projecting studs each of which studs defines suction means.

4. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein one of the two lateral edge portions of the strip has a rough surface.

5. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein ridges constitute said rough surface.

6. A device for depressing the tongue and exploring the inside of the mouth, comprising a handle, and a tongue depressing and mouth exploring strip having a rear part connected to the handle adjacent an upper end of the handle in the position of use of the device, a front part, two convex lateral edge portions which extend from said rear part to said front part and define in said front part a substantially V-shaped notch which has convex flanks so that the strip has a generally heartshaped profile in plan in the position of use of the device, the strip extending continuously between said lateral edge portions and between said front part and rear part, the handle having a rear surface having a concave cross sectional shape defined by the flanks of a groove extending longitudinally of the handle. there being further provided an abutment which extends the handle beyond a region of the handle connected to said rear part of the strip, the abutment having a rear surface which has a concave cross-sectional shape and merges with said concave rear surface of the handle so as to provide a curved concave recess for receiving and partly enveloping the thumb of the hand of the user and thereby enable the thumb to participate in the control of the position of the device in use.

7. A device for depressing the tongue and exploring the inside of the mouth, comprising a handle, and a tongue depressing and mouth exploring strip having a rear part connected to the handle adjacent an upper end of the handle in the position of use of the device, a front part, two convex lateral edge portions which extend from said rear part to said front part and define in said front part a substantially V-shaped notch which has convex flanks so that the strip has a generally heartshaped profile in plan in the position of use of the device, the strip extending continuously between said lateral edge portions and between said front part and rear part, the device further comprising a curved portion which extends the handle beyond a region of the handle connected to the strip, the curved portion constituting an abutment which offers a support for the thumb of the hand of the user.

8. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the strip has a general plane which makes an angle of substantially with the handle.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US659182 *May 21, 1900Oct 2, 1900George P PillingRetractor.
US1465259 *Oct 10, 1921Aug 21, 1923Henry FriedmanDental apparatus
US1613373 *Jul 1, 1924Jan 4, 1927Beck Foster ACombined suction tube and tongue depressor
US3154069 *Jul 31, 1962Oct 27, 1964Sorenson Res CorpGrooved tongue depressor
US3651800 *May 19, 1970Mar 28, 1972Wilbanks James LSurgical instrument
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4947829 *May 10, 1988Aug 14, 1990Bullard James RModular blade laryngoscope
US5003963 *Mar 5, 1990Apr 2, 1991James Roger BullardLaryngoscope
US5643221 *Aug 9, 1994Jul 1, 1997Bullard; James RogerControlled targeting laryngoscope
US5846192 *Oct 31, 1997Dec 8, 1998Teixido-Longworth PartnershipPolymeric surgical retractor
US6964570 *Mar 17, 2003Nov 15, 2005Ghim Steven HDental lip retractor
US8740788Jun 4, 2010Jun 3, 2014Gil MettlerTongue retraction method and apparatus with relief notch
US8968186Aug 30, 2012Mar 3, 2015Intubrite, LlcHandle for fiber optic device
US9072446Dec 16, 2011Jul 7, 2015Intubrite, LlcLaryngoscope and method of use
US9095298Aug 23, 2012Aug 4, 2015Intubrite, LlcAdjustable display mechanism and method
US9198738 *Sep 21, 2012Dec 1, 2015Manuel Barry GordonCombination tongue and flap retractor
US20040185415 *Mar 17, 2003Sep 23, 2004Ghim Steven H.Dental lip retractor
US20060036133 *Aug 16, 2004Feb 16, 2006Christopher DemskyOral examination tool
US20090182364 *Jan 14, 2008Jul 16, 2009Mettler Jr Gilbert WilliamTongue retraction and cleaning method and apparatus
US20090318768 *Feb 10, 2009Dec 24, 2009Tenger James PLaryngoscope and Method of Use
US20120330368 *Mar 4, 2011Dec 27, 2012University Of MassachusettsZygomatic elevator device and methods
US20130017509 *Sep 21, 2012Jan 17, 2013Manuel Barry GordonCombination tongue and flap retractor
EP0494840A1 *Jan 10, 1992Jul 15, 1992de la Cruz Josť CoboDisposable sterile lingual anatomical depressor for the exploration of the isthmus of the fauces and the pharynx
EP2240070A2 *Jan 13, 2009Oct 20, 2010Gilbert William Mettler Jr.Tongue retraction and cleaning method and apparatus
EP2240070A4 *Jan 13, 2009Aug 29, 2012Gilbert William Mettler JrTongue retraction and cleaning method and apparatus
WO1997020516A1Sep 10, 1996Jun 12, 1997Newkirk Darrel DImproved tongue depressor
WO2015164619A1 *Apr 23, 2015Oct 29, 2015The General Hospital CorporationTongue retractors for frenotomies
Classifications
U.S. Classification600/210, 600/240, 600/192
International ClassificationA61B1/24, A61B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B13/00, A61B1/24
European ClassificationA61B1/24, A61B13/00