US 3881251 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 l l Valen [451 May 6,1975
 Inventor: Maurice Valen, Franklin Dental Studios, 40-17 83nd St., Jackson Heights, NY. 11373  Filed: Jan. 2, 1974  Appl. No.: 430,170
 US. Cl. 32/5; 32/10 A; 32/12  Int. Cl. A611: 13/22  Field of Search 32/5, l0, 12
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,748.739 7/1973 Thibert 32/l0 A Primary Examiner-Robert Peshock  ABSTRACT 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 gumlike 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.
7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEUH 51975 SHEET 1 if I PATENTEDHAY 6|975 3.881.251
sum 2 UF 2 LOWER ARCH CROWN AND BRIDGE PREFABRICATED SYSTEM 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 dissorders 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 its 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 cup shaped protrusions in its lower end for anchoring the implant into the bone. The upper stern 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 line 3-3 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 hav ing 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 natu ral 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 pro viding a natural functional viability to said artificial tooth structure.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Now referring to FIG. I, 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 l 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 provides 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. 128L453).
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 gun section can be molded or 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 aiways 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 19 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 individuals 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 Hydron. Lateral and forwardly directed forces are directed against the jaw and the artificial teeth during mastication. These forces are naturally transmitted by the gum oJClllOll 15 to the resorbed gum 19 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 sili cates, lined between the slots 20 and bar 18. Each composite replacement tooth l2 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 l2 (arrow and then through and past the hole 23 provided in the bar 18 (see FIG. 3). The pin 2] is coated with a layer of Hydron 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 an chored 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 cupshaped 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 cylindrica] 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 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 15 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.
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:
1. An artificial tooth structure for placement in a mouth of an individual, in that portion thereof, requiring replacement of at least one missing natural tooth, said artificial tooth structure being an operatively viable, and simulative replacement for the natural missing teeth, each of the artificial teeth of said structure comprising a composite of two mutually bonded members, a first member of said composite being a crown section having the shape and color simulative of the missing natural tooth crown, a second member of said composite being bonded to a lower portion of said crown section and simulative in shape and color of a guru section immediately adjacent said missing natural tooth crown, which said gum section being a resorbed portion of the gum, said second gum-like member acting to replace said resorbed gum section so as to act as a natural base for said crown member, and also being flexible so as to act as a load carrying cushion between the resorbed gum and said crown section for adjusting for masticatory forces exerted upon said crown member during mastication, thus providing a natural functional viability to said artificial tooth structure, said composite tooth structure containing a slot-like aperture in a lower portion thereof, for receiving a bridge like bar therein, and means supported by said composite to anchor the composite artificial tooth structure to said bridge-like bar, and further wherein said slot-like aperture receives a portion of an implanted structure which is anchored in said mouth.
2. The artificial tooth structure of claim I, wherein said composite contains an aperture in a lower portion thereof, for receiving an upper portion of an implant anchored in said mouth, and means supported by said composite to fasten said composite artificial tooth structure to said implant.
3. An artificial tooth structure for placement in a mouth of an individual, in that portion thereof, requiring replacement of at least one missing natural tooth, said artificial tooth structure being an operatively viable and simulative replacement for the natural missing teeth, said artificial tooth structure, comprising:
a flexible bar extending across and anchored within the replacement portion of said mouth;
at least one artificial tooth composite composed of two mutually bonded members, a first member of said composite being a crown section having the shape and color simulative of the natural missing tooth, and a second member of said composite having the shape and color of a resorbed gum portion of the mouth immediately adjacment said crown section, said second member being a flexible load carrying member for said first member;
means disposed in a lower portion of said tooth composite defining a slot-Like aperture for receiving said flexible bar, said slot-like aperture receives a portion of an implanted structure which is anchored in said mouth; and
means supported by said artificial tooth composite for fastening said tooth composite to said flexible bar.
4. The artificial tooth structure of claim 3, wherein the bar is permanently anchored within the replacement portion of said mouth.
5. The artificial tooth structure of claim 3, wherein the bar is temporarily anchored within the replacement portion of said mouth.
6. The artificial tooth structure of claim 3, further comprising a tooth implant having a blade section anchored within ajaw bone of said mouth and a stem section protruding through the resorbed gum portion of said mouth, said stem section being connected to said bar.
7. The artificial tooth structure of claim 6, wherein said blade section of said implant comprises a plurality of cup-like protrusions disposed thereon, for anchoring said implant to said jaw bone.