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Publication numberUS3897632 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 5, 1975
Filing dateMar 1, 1974
Priority dateMar 1, 1974
Publication numberUS 3897632 A, US 3897632A, US-A-3897632, US3897632 A, US3897632A
InventorsBeu Richard A
Original AssigneeHanau Engineering Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dental articulator
US 3897632 A
Abstract
A dental articulator having lower and upper members for receiving lower and upper dentures, the lower and upper members being hinged to each other to simulate the condylar movements of the jaws of a patient. The members have laterally spaced hinge joints wherein each hinge joint comprises a condylar ball carried by the lower member and an upper hinge member rotatably adjustable on a lateral horizontal axis. Each upper hinge member has superior, posterior and medial lateral guide surfaces engaging the condylar ball with all of said surfaces adjustable on a common axis through the center of the condylar ball and perpendicular to the superior guide surface. In the principle embodiment the superior guide surface and the posterior guide surface are integral and in a modified form the superior guide surface and the medial lateral surface are integral.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

O United States Patent 1 1 [1 I1 3,897,632

Beu Aug. 5, 1975 1 DENTAL ARTICULATOR [57] ABSTRACT Inventor? Richard Bell, Eggensvme! A dental articulator having lower and upper members [73] Assigneei Hana Engineering Company for receiving lower and upper dentures, the lower and B ff l upper members being hinged to each other to simulate the condylar movements of the jaws of a patient. The Filed: 1v 1974 members have laterally spaced hinge joints wherein [2]] Appl No; 447,292 each hinge joint comprises a condylar ball carried by the lower member and an upper hinge member rotatably adjustable on a lateral horizontal axis. Each [52] US. Cl. 32/32 upper hinge member has Superior posterior and [51] Int CL) A61C 11/00 dial lateral guide surfaces engaging the condylar ball [58] Field of Search 32/32 with all of said surfaces adjustable on a common axis through the center of the condylar ball and perpendic- [56] References cued ular to the superior guide surface. 1n the principle em- UNITED STATES PAT NT bodiment the superior guide surface and the posterior 3,150,955 9 4 De Pietro 32 32 guide surface are integral and in a modified form the 3,478,431 11/1969 De Pietro... 32/32 superior guide surface and the medial lateral surface 3,590,487 7/1971 Guichet 32/32 are integral. 3,624,906 12/1971 Granger 32/32 3.63:6,634 1/1972 De Pietro 32/32 Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assismnt E.raminer.l. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Christel & Bean 9 Claims, ll Drawing Figures PATENTEIJAUB SIHYS 3. 897, 632

SHEET 1 FlCiZ.

PATENTEUAUB W5 3.897163? SHEET 2 FIGJL.

PATENTEI] AUG 5 I 75 SHEET DENTAL ARTICULATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to dental articulators which are used by dentists and dental technicians to simulate a patients condylar joints.

While a great many dental articulators are found in the prior art the patents to Beu et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,159,915 and DePietro US. Pat. No. 3,478,431 are representative of the general type here under consideration. The dental articulators of these two patents afford a full range of adjustment to simulate varying condylar conditions but the mechanical constructions involved are complex and the setting up, adjustment and use of these articulators is complex and not always readily understood even by those skilled in dental prosthesis and the related dental fields in which articulators are commonly employed In addition to the problems incident to setting up and use of articulators of the types shown in the aboveenumerated patents, the devices are expensive to manufacture and maintain.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The articulator described, illustrated and claimed herein is relatively simple from a mechanical standpoint and is accordingly more economical to manufacture and simpler to set up and use. The relative simplicity of the present articulator makes it more useful to dentists and dental technicians due to the relative simplicity of the construction, adjustment and operation thereof as compared with similar prior art articulators.

The articulator of the present invention is readily adjustable to provide for various condylar conditions and geometry, as will presently appear.

The articulator of the present invention is of the type embodying a pair of laterally spaced condylar balls fixedly supported upon a base or lower bow member and condylar guide surface members for engagement with the condylar balls and adjustably carried by an upper bow member. The condylar guide surfaces are variously adjustable about a horizontal transverse axis and vertical axes to provide for the basic condylar guide adjustments which are provided to adjust for various condylar inclinations, to adjust the posterior guide surface about a generally vertical axis and to provide angular adjustment on a generally vertical axis for the lateral condylar guide surfaces or Bennett angle adjustment.

These various adjustments are provided for in a mechanical structure which is relatively simple and accordingly economical to manufacture, rugged in construction and use, and which permits ready and accurate adjustment of the various guide surfaces and secures maintenance of the surfaces in properly adjusted relationship.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of one form of the dental articulator of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view thereof;

FIG. 5 is a general perspective view of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 4;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the upper member of the articulator of FIGS. 1 through 5',

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view on the line VIIVII of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view on the line VIIl-VIII of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of one of the upper hinge assemblies of the embodiments of FIGS. I through 8;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view taken generally from the underside of the upper hinge assembly of FIGS. 7 through 9; and

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing a modified form of the hinge structure of the upper member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first generally to FIGS. I through 5, the articulator illustrated therein comprises a generally T- shaped base member 15 having at its forward end an incisal guide structure indicated generally by the reference numeral 16 and having fixed to its rear portion a pair of upstanding posts 17 and 18 which are provided at their upper ends with ball formations 19 and 20 which simulate the mandibular members of the condylar joints of patients. The construction and operation of the upper maxillary member of the present articulator is such that the condylar ball formations l9 and 20 of the lower member comprise fixed non-adjustable members. The base 15 is provided with a mounting insert 21 for receiving a mandibular model in a manner well known to those familiar with dental prosthetics.

The upper maxilla-simulating structure comprises a generally elongate member 25 which carries hinge blocks 26 and 27 at its rear end and is provided with a vertically adjustable incisal guide pin 28 at its forward end. The incisal guide structure comprising the unit 16 on base member 15 and the incisal guide pin 28 may be the same as that illustrated and described in detail in Beu et al. US. Pat. No. 3,159,915, dated Dec. 8, I964.

Hinge blocks 26 and 27 carry condylar guide mem bers which engage the condylar balls 19 and 20 to pro vide superior guide surfaces, posterior guide surfaces and medio-lateral guide surfaces. The hinge blocks 26 and 27 are provided with support shafts 30, the shaft 30 of hinge block 26 being shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. The shafts 30 project inwardly from blocks 26 and 27 to ward the sagittal plane and bear in the rear portion of upper member 25. Shaft members 30 provide for adjustment of the blocks 26 and 27 about a horizontal lateral axis and adjustment of each of the blocks 26 and 27 is secured by set screw members 31 and 32, respectively.

To provide the aforementioned condylar guide surfaces each hinge block is provided with a guide member 33 which provides a superior guide surface 34 and a posterior guide surface 35 and guide member 33 includes a threaded upward extension 36. A further guide member 38 includes a medic-lateral guide surface 39 which is adapted to engage the surface of a condylar ball which faces toward the center or sagittal plane of the apparatus. Guide member 38 is likewise provided with a threaded upward extension 40 and the manner in which the guide members 33 and 38 are assembled and adjusted will now be described with reference particularly to FIGS. 7 and 8. The threaded upward extension 40 of guide member 38 receives a locking nut 42 which is loosened to rotate member 38 to dispose the medio-lateral guide surface 39 thereof at the desired angle as indicated by the graduations 43 at the underside of each of the blocks 26 and 27. A LUIi spring 45 is housed within locking nut 42 and bears against the upper surface of block 26 to provide a controlled frictional drag during adjustment of the medio-lateral guidance surface 39.

After the mediolateral guidance angle has thus been established. member 33 is adjusted to establish the dc sired angular extent of posterior guide surface 35. It will be noted from FIGS. 7 and 8 that the upward extension 36 of member 33 passes upwardly through member 38 and is provided at its upper end with a locking nut 48. When nut 48 is loosened member 33 may be rotationally adjusted by means of a screw driver engaging a slot 49 in the upper end thereof to set the de sired posterior guidance angle. Here again a coil spring 50 is housed within locking nut 48 and bears against a ledge formed on upward extension 36 as shown in de tail in FIG. 7.

It will be noted that the disposition of the superior guide surface 34 of member 33 is not affected by this adjustment of the posterior guide surface. In order to adjust the inclination of superior guide surface 34 to establish the correct angle of anterior-posterior inclination of the condylar path each block 26 is adjusted on the aforesaid horizontal lateral axis by loosening either or both of the set screws 31 and 32 and adjusting the shaft mountings 30 of blocks 26 and 27.

In the embodiment of FIG. 11 all of the parts are identical to those described in the embodiment of FIGS. I through I excepting only for the parts which contain the condylar guide surfaces. The upper member 25 and the hinge blocks 26 and 27 are identical with the corresponding parts of the previously described embodiment. However. in the embodiment of FIG. II the medial lateral guide members 60 are formed as a part of the superior guide surface member 61 so that these parts correspond roughly to the part 38 of FIGS. 9 and I0 whereas the posterior guide member 62 comprises a separate member corresponding roughly to the member 33 of FIG. 9. The retaining and locking parts of the embodiments of FIG. II will be the same as the corresponding parts 42 and 48 of the embodiment of FIGS. I through 10.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described herein and shown in the accompanying drawings to illustrate the underlying principles of the invention but it is to be understood that numerous modifications may be made without departing from the broad spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

I. In a dental articulator, a lower member and an upper member, a pair of laterally spaced hinge joints engaging between said lower and upper members. each of said hinge joints including a condylar ball carried by said lower member and an upper support member, said upper support member being rotatably adjustable relative to said upper member on an axis extending in a horizontal transverse direction. superior, posterior and medic-lateral guide surface members carried by said support member. said superior and one of said other two guide surface members being jointly rotatably adjustable on an axis through the center of said condylar ball and perpendicular to said superior guide surface. and the remaining guide surface member being adjustable independently of said superior and said one guide surface members on an axis coincident with the axis of adjustment of said superior and said one guide surface members.

2. A dental articulator according to claim 1 wherein said superior guide surface member and said one of said other two guide surface members are integral and have a threaded shank portion provided with a nut for locking said members in adjusted angular position.

3. A dental articulator according to claim 2 wherein said remaining guide surface member has a threaded sleeve extension encircling said threaded shank portion and likewise provided with a nut for locking the same in adjusted angular position.

4. In a dental articulator. a lower member and an upper member. a pair of laterally spaced hinge joints engaging between said lower and upper members, each of said hinge joints including a condylar ball carried by said lower member and an upper support member. said upper support member being rotatably adjustable relative to said upper member on an axis extending in a horizontal transverse direction. superior, posterior and medio-lateral guide surface members carried by said support member. said superior and posterior guide surface members being jointly rotatably adjustable on an axis through the center of said condylar ball and perpendicular to said superior guide surface, and said mediolateral surface member being engageable against the inner face of said condylar ball and adjustable independently of said superior and posterior guide surfaces on an axis coincident with the axis of adjustment of said superior and posterior guide surfaces.

5. A dental articulator according to claim 4 wherein said superior and posterior guide surface members are integral and have a threaded shank portion provided with a nut for locking said members in adjusted angular position.

6. A dental articulator according to claim 5 wherein said medio-lateral guide surface member has a threaded sleeve extension encircling said threaded shank portion and likewise provided with a nut for locking the same in adjusted angular position.

7. In a dental articulator. a lower member and an upper member. a pair of laterally spaced hinge joints engaging between said lower and upper members, each of said hinge joints including a lower condylar ball and an upper support member. said upper support member being rotatably adjustable relative to said upper member on an axis extending in a horizontal transverse direction. superior, posterior and medio-lateral guide surfaces carried by said support, said superior and medio-lateral guide surface members being jointly rotatably adjustable on an axis through the center of said condylar ball and perpendicular to said superior guide surface. and said posterior guide surface being adjustable independently of said superior and medio-lateral guide surface members on an axis coincident with the axis of adjustment of said superior and medic-lateral guide surfaces.

8. A dental articulator according to claim 7 wherein said superior and medio-lateral guide surface members are integral and have a threaded shank portion provided with a nut for locking said members in adjusted angular position.

9. A dental articulator according to claim 8 wherein said posterior guide surface member has a threaded sleeve extension encircling said threaded shank portion and likewise provided with a nut for locking the same in adjusted angular position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3160955 *Jan 9, 1963Dec 15, 1964Medical Electronics And Res CoDental articulator and attachments therefor
US3478431 *Dec 31, 1968Nov 18, 1969Anthony J De PietroHinge joint for dental articulator
US3590487 *Sep 23, 1968Jul 6, 1971Guichet Niles FDental articulator
US3624906 *Aug 29, 1969Dec 7, 1971Granger Ernest RDental articulator
US3636634 *Oct 28, 1970Jan 25, 1972Anthony J De PietroHinge joint for dental articulator
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4209909 *Jul 11, 1977Jul 1, 1980Lee Robert LDental apparatus
US4365955 *May 4, 1981Dec 28, 1982Michael TradowskyDental articulator
US5314332 *Apr 1, 1993May 24, 1994Kaltenbach & Voigt Gmbh & Co.Dental articulator
DE4211021A1 *Apr 2, 1992Oct 7, 1993Kaltenbach & VoigtZahnärztlicher Artikulator
WO1979000038A1 *Jun 10, 1978Feb 8, 1979R LeeDental articulator
Classifications
U.S. Classification433/57, 433/56
International ClassificationA61C11/08, A61C11/02, A61C11/00, A61C11/06
Cooperative ClassificationA61C11/022, A61C11/088, A61C11/06
European ClassificationA61C11/02A