US 3866321 A
A prefabricated tooth system which serves as a permanently secured tooth section which is easily removable for purposes of repair or modification. The tooth system comprises a bar which spans the space left by the missing teeth. Artificial teeth are fastened to the bar to form a bridge-like structure. The artificial teeth comprise a bonded composite of a crown and gum-like member. The gum-like member acts as a replacement structure for the resorbed gum and also as a masticatory load absorbing member between the crown and the resorbed gum. This load absorbing ability of the gum-like member provides a viable bridge structure which allows the artificial structure to function as a natural tooth system. A new type of implant is also provided for anchoring the bar and/or an artificial tooth of the system to the jaw of the mouth.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Valen til] 3,866,321
[ Feb. 18, 1975  Filed:
[ 1 CROWN AND BRIDGE PREFABRICATED SYSTEM AND IMPLANT  lnventor: Maurice Valen, 40-17 82nd St.,
Jackson Heights, NY. 11373 Jan. 2, 1974  Appl No.: 430,171
52 0.5.0 32/10 A  Int. Cl. A61C 13/00  Field of Search .I 32/10 A  I References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 2,721,387 10/1955 Ashuckian 32/10 Ax 3,548,499 12/1970 Valen 32/10 A 9 3,729,825 5/1973 Linkow et a! .[32/10 A Primary ExaminerRobert Peshock Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert Stephen Salzman [5 7] ABSTRACT A prefabricated tooth system which serves as a permanently secured tooth section which is easily removable fiam lees f epa o .mes Tl t ethuswtern comprises a bar which spans the space left by the missing teeth. Artificial teeth are fastened to the bar to form a bridge-like structure. The artificial teeth comprise a bonded composite of a crown and gumlike member. The gum-like member acts as a replacementstructure for the resorbed gum and also as a masticatory load absorbing member between the crown and the resorbed gum. This load absorbing ability of .the gum-like member provides a viable bridge structure which allows the artificial structure to function as a natural tooth system. A new type of implant is also provided for anchoring the bar and/or an artificial tooth of the system to the jaw of the mouth 10 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIEMEB EB -B 1 3,866,321
SHEETEUFZV LOWER ARCH CROWN AND BRIDGE PREFABRICATED SYSTEM AND IMPLANT RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is related to U.S. Pat. No. 3,548,499; and copending application, Ser. No. 281,453 by your present inventor. These prior disclosures may be useful herein, for any teachings regarding prefabricating techniques and for positioning of artificial tooth crowns.
This invention pertains to prosthetic dental devices, and more particularly to an artificial tooth system which is a permanent structure which is easily removable by the dentist for purposes of repair or modification. Repair or modification is often required to correct malfunctions or dissorder s which occur in the mouth.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Heretofore, many bridge-like constructions have been proposed, which have appeared to be structurally sound. While these prior systems contain novel methods of assembly and construction, they often fail to function properly within the mouth. This is so, because the forces of mastication are large and are very complex. Chewing is a grinding process of shifting loads. These masticatory forces are transmitted to the alveolar (jaw bone). This is a necessary function of the chewing procedure and helps to stimulate the tissues. However, these chewing forces exert lateral and missial forces on a bridge placed in the mouth and also upon any underlying bar structure. Some of the earlier apparatuses were not functionally designed to sustain these lateral or missial loads.
A pressure of 250 lbs. per sq. inch or more can be exerted by the posterior portion of the jaw during eating, which pressure can be transmitted to anterior sections of the mouth. It is, therefore, no wonder that bridge units are constantly needing repair or adjustment.
Therefore, it should be realized that any modality which is placed in the mouth, such as a denture, a partial, or a finished bridge work, must not only be strong enough to maintain its structural integrity, but must also act to sustain the natural function of the teeth it replaces in the mouth.
The present invention achieves this natural balance of forces within the mouth. This is accomplished by providing a bridge structure whose individual teeth will give in a natural manner under load. In addition, the present dentural system is prefabricated by using several sets of basic tooth and bar sizes. This massproduction technique will greatly reduce the costs involved in constructing or repairing this system. (Please refer to patent application, Ser. No. 281 ,453).
The need for only several basic sizes and shapes is further facilitated by using materials which can be easily ground or reshaped for size and fit.
The present inventive system is also designed to include, and be compatible with, a new implant which provides a firm foundation to the jaw bone.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The bridge-like system of this invention comprises a bar of rolled gold or titanium which is flexible. This bar is placed in the gap of the mouth produced by the missing teeth. The bar may be either permanently or temporarily anchored at the ends of the gap. Anchoring may take place into a natural tooth, an implanted tooth, an implant itself, a prepared endodontic tooth, or a tooth root. A series of artificial teeth are secured upon the bar. The artificial tooth structure comprises a novel composite of a crown member which is bonded to a gum-like member. The gum-like member serves two distinct functions:
I. it structurally replaces the resorbed bone and gum substance, thus providing a naturalized base for the tooth, i.e., the replacement crown is placed at a natural height above the gum. This allows the replacement crown to retain a proper tooth height simulative of the natural crown.
2. it also provides a flexible cushion for adjusting masticatory forces so that they may be transmitted in a natural fashion to the alveolar (jaw bone).
Thus, the invention provides a living-type bridge which acts in viably similar manner to the naturally intended tooth structure. In this invention, each tooth of the system assumes its normally assigned masticatory loads. Where only one tooth is being replaced, the present invention provides the advantage that the surrounding supportive teeth need not be prepared to receive a bridge. Two slots need only be cut to support the bar which retains the replacement tooth.
The inventive bridge-like structure also may include a novel implant structure having a plurality of cupshaped protrusions in its lower end for anchoring the implant into the bone. The upper stem of the implant is generally cylindrical in shape, and has a slot at the top for receiving the bar of the bridge construction.
It is an object of the invention to provide an improved artificial tooth system;
It is another object of this invention to provide a tooth system which functions as a natural tooth system by properly adjusting for the masticatory forces exerted during mastication;
It is still another object of this invention to provide a prefabricated, low cost artificial tooth system; and
It is a further object of the invention to provide an artificial tooth system which gives a natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
These and other objects of this invention will become better understood and will become more apparent with reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the artificial tooth system of this invention as shown in situ within the jaw of a mouth;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a single tooth, bar, and implant of the tooth system of the invention of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a typical tooth structure and bar of the artificial tooth system taken along lines 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of a typical tooth structure of the inventive tooth system shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a frontal view of several different types of implants of this invention as generally shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a side view of a typical implant of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a side view of an endodontic post for use with the artificial tooth structure of this invention.
Generally speaking, one aspect of the invention comprises an artificial tooth structure for placement in a mouth of an individual. The tooth structure is placed in that portion of the mouth requiring replacement of at least one missing natural tooth. The artificial tooth structure is a viable and simulative replacement of the missing natural teeth. Each artificial tooth of the structure comprises a composite of two mutually bonded members: the first member being a crown section having the shape and color simulating the missing natural tooth crown, and the second member being a gum-like member which is bonded to a lower portion of the crown section. The second member is simulative in shape and color of a gum section immediately adjacent said missing natural tooth crown. The gum section being replaced by the second member is a resorbed portion of the gum. The second member acts as a natural height adjusting base for said crown member. The gum-like member also acts as a flexible load carrying cushion between the resorbed gum and said crown section. It adjusts the masticatory forces exerted upon said individual crown member during mastication, thus providing a natural functional viability to said artificial tooth structure.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Now referring to. FIG. 1, the artificial bridge-like tooth structure of this invention is generally shown by arrow 9. The structure is illustrated as being disposed between a viable tooth and a capped tooth 11. The artificial tooth structure 9 is composed of a plurality of artificial replacement teeth 12. The replacement teeth 12 are each composed of a crown section 14 and a gum-like base portion 15.
When the mouth loses teeth, the jaw bone below the gum resorbs, thus causing the gum line 16 to shrink below the natural gum line 17. Therefore, in order to place a normal sized crown into the resorbed gum area, it is necessary to rebuild the resorbed gum to its natural gum line height 17. If this is not done, the replacement tooth becomes unnaturally long, and the aesthetics of the replacement teeth are not achieved.
A normally shaped and sized replacement tooth not only adds to the aesthetics of the situation, but also pro vides that natural conditions of bite, and masticatory action can be obtained. Furthermore, when natural shapes and sizes are used, the replacement structure can be mass-produced, because several typical-or standard structures can be manufactured to fit almost any mouth (see application Ser. No. 281,453).
The crown section 14 of the replacement tooth 12 is generally composed of a moldable acrylic material, such as a methyl methacrylate and acrylic copolymers, or it may be composed of porcelain.
The gum section can be molded of similar material and can be physically pressed to the crown section 14, while either of the section materials are still tacky. The sections 14 and 15 can also be molded separately and then adhesively bonded together.
Because the amount of resorption of the gum 19 is not always uniform or predictable, the gum section 15 can be manufactured slightly over-sized, and then filed or ground to proper size and shape. A liner 13 (FIGS. 2-4) may also be placed between the resorbed gum l9 and gum section 15, so that the tooth structure may be relined.
The crown section 14 is colored in the natural shade of whiteness characteristic of the natural teeth of the individual. The color of the gum section 15 is the natural flesh-color of the individual's gum.
The gum section 15 not only serves as a base for achieving a naturally sized crown section 14, but also acts as a load absorbing cushion for masticatory loads. The liner or cushion 13 (see FIGS. 2-4) which lines the inner surface of the gum member 15 may be formed of any. suitable material such as I-lydron. Lateral and forwardly directed forces are directed against the jaw and the artificial teeth during mastication. These forces are naturally transmitted by the gum section 15 to the resorbed gum l9 and consequently to the jaw bone. In addition, the loads exerted against or upon the crown sections 14 are cushioned by the flexibility of the liners 13 of the gum sections 15, so that the artificial bridge 9 is allowed to assume a natural position with respect to the jaw. Each tooth 12 of the bridge-like structure 9 shoulders its own naturally received and generated forces, so that a natural masticatory condition is allowed to develop.
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the inner construction of artificial bridge-like tooth structure 9. The tooth structure 9 is built upon a titanium or gold rolled bar 18, which fills the gap left by the missing teeth. The bar 18 is joined between the two teeth 10 and 11. The teeth 10 and 11 have slots 20 ground therein, for receiving the bar 18 (FIGS. 1 and 2). The bar 18 can be fastened within slots 20 to form a permanent bridge structure, or the bar 18 can be left temporarily fastened within the slots 20 by means of filling material such as silicates, lined between the slots 20 and bar 18. Each composite'replacement tooth 12 fits over the bar 18, and is fastened to the bar by means of a pin 21. The pin 21 is inserted into the aperture 22 disposed within tooth 12. The pin 21 is pushed through the aperture in the tooth 12 (arrow 25) and then through and past the hole 23 provided in the bar 18 (see FIG. 3). The pin 21 is coated with a layer of'I-Iydron 31 to provide a snug fit in hole 22. The Hydron will tend to expand within the aperture 22 causing the pin to fit tightly therein. The pin can be made without a liner 31, if it is mechanically tight fitting, such as when the pin has a slotted groove for expansion purposes.
The bar 18 and a particular tooth 12 may also be anchored to an implant 24, which is implanted within the jaw (FIG. 2). The implant 24 has a thin lower straight blade-like section 26, and an upper cylindrical stem 27. The lower blade section 26 is implanted into the jaw bone. The lower section 26 of the implant has cup-like projections 28 extending outwardly therefrom (see FIGS. 3, 5 and 6). These projections 28 hook into the walls of the alveolar bone, and help to root the implant within the jaw. Because the alveolar bone is varied in hardness and physiological structure, it is necessary to provide the cup-shaped projections 28 to give or flex when they abut against the bones. This will prevent a stretching of the bone, which prevents necrosis.
The upper cylindrical section 27 of the implant 24 has a slot 29 for receiving bar 18, and a hole 30 (FIGS. 2 and 3) for accommodating the fastening pin 21.
The composite tooth structure 12 and bar 18 is shown in more detail in the enlarged prospective view of FIG. 4.
The implant 24 is shown in more detail with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6.
FIG. 5 shows various designs for the typical implant 24 shown in FIG. 2. The implants 24 of FIG. 5 illustrate the various shapes of implants that can be used in the upper and lower jaw. Each section 26 is shaped to fit a different section of the jaw bone (front and rear). Each blade-like section 26 has a number of flexible cup-shaped protrusions 28 as depicted. Each cylindrical stem 27 is shown with a slot 29 and anchoring hole 30 to accommodate bar 18. Some implanti 24 have two stem sections 27 for fastening to more than one station along the length of bar 18.
The side view of the implants (FIG. 6) shows that the implant is thin and blade-like, so as to easily fit in the narrow cut made in the jaw bone structure.
Where only one tooth 32 (FIG. 1) is being replaced, the supportive natural side teeth 33 and 34, respectively, need only have slots 20 cut therein to receive bar 18. This has the advantage over prior methods requiring that teeth 33 and 34 be prepared or capped to receive a bridge.
FIG. 7 shows an endodontic post 35 that can be cemented into a natural root tooth member or implant. This endodontic post 35 can receive bar 18 in its abutment 37 via slot 36.
In regard to locating the deposition of post 35 with respect to a single tooth, please refer to the method outlined in US. Pat. No. 3,548,499.
As will be obvious to those skilled in the art, many modifications in structure and materials can be made which will nonetheless fall within the scope and spirit of this invention. For example, the crown section 14 may be made from porcelain, and the gum section may be composed completely of Hydron. The stem 27 of the implant 24 does not necessarily have to be cylindrical, although it must always contain the slot 29 for receiving bar 18.
The blade 26 of the implant 24 may extend from the stem 27 in a bifurcated manner, such as to suggest a tuning fork structure or an inverted Y-shaped member.
All changes obvious to the skilled practitioner are deemed encompassed by the invention, and the invention should only be interpreted by the appended claims. The drawings are considered to be merely exemplary, and useful only as a means to give a general understanding of this invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A tooth implant for anchoring at least one artificial tooth to a jaw bone in a mouth of an individual, comprising:
a blade-like section having a thin cross-section and having a plurality of flexible cup-like protuberances protruding therfrom, said cup-like protuberances acting to anchor said blade-like section to the walls of said jaw bone, but being flexible so as to give when they abut against the bone of the jaw in order to prevent necrosis; and
at least one stem section extending from said bladelike section into the mouth of the individual, said stem section adapted to receive an artificial tooth disposed thereon.
2. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said stem section has a slot in an end portion thereof, for receiving a bar-like member of an artificial tooth structure.
3. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said stem section has an aperture in an end portion thereof, for receiving a pin for fastening said artificial tooth to said stem section.
4. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said stem section is substantially cylindrical in shape.
5. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein two stem sections extend from said blade-like section.
6. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said bladelike section is substantially straight.
7. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said bladelike section is approximately 1 mm. in thickness.
8. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said stem section is approximately 2 mm. in thickness.
9. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said bladelike section can be shaped to fit different sections of said jaw bone.
10. The tooth implant of claim 1, wherein said bladelike section extends from the stem section in a bifurcated manner, so as to suggest a tuning fork structure.