US 3916879 A
A device adjustably fitted on the head of a dental patient includes rigid lip engaging elements hooked into the corners of the lips to retract them. Holder extensions on the lip engaging elements retain cotton rolls internally of the mouth between the cheeks and the upper arch.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent Cotten COTTON ROLL HOLDER AND LIP RETRACTOR  Inventor: Bennett D. Cotten, 606 Baldwin Drive, Albany, Ga. 31705 22 Filed: Mar. 12, 1974  Appl. No.: 450,451
 US. Cl. 128/12  Int. Cl. A618 l/00  Field of Search 128/12, 20; 32/34, 35, 32/40, 40 A  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 744,204 11/1903 Jordan 128/20 2,914,852 l2/1959 Fridge, Sr. 32/35 [451 Nov. 4, 1975 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 241,532 7/1946 Switzerland 128/12 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Henry S. Layton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Clarence A. OBrien; Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT A device adjustably fitted on the head of a dental patient includes rigid lip engaging elements hooked into the corners of the lips to retract them. Holder extensions on the lip engaging elements retain cotton rolls internally of the mouth between the cheeks and the upper arch.
2 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures I US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of 2 3,916,879
US. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,916,879
cont: ROLL I-IQLDER DLIP' RETRAcfr'oR 1,168,574.- Such prior art-devices are very awkward and considering the benefits'possibl therefrom for the dentist, do .not appear to be'wor'th the discomfort caused the patient. One particular disadvantage in utilizing such prior art devices is the problem of absorbing saliva in the upper arch portion of themouth inview of the effect of the lip retractorson the muscles of the check that are'normally relied upon to hold'absorbant cotton rolls in place. It is, therefore, an important object of the present invention to provide a more comfortable lip retracting device which will avoid the aforementioned disadvantages of the prior art devices.
In accordance with the present invention, rigid hook elements engaging the corners of the lips are held in place and retracting forces applied by means of a flexible head encircling assembly of elastic straps and head and facial contacting pads that are adjustable to fit different patients. Cotton roll holder extensions project from the hook elements between the cheeks and the upper arch and thereby removably mount cotton rolls internally of the mouth on the buccal side of the upper teeth. The device may be applied to the head of a patient without interferring with the use of inhalation sedation masks and connulas and facilitates acces to the oral cavity, the teeth and gums for oral examination, diagnosis and surgical purposes.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof,
wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the device of the present invention being worn on the head of a patient. FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the device alone. FIG. 3 is a sectional view through a rear portion of the device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged transverse section view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 4-4 in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one of the retrator elements associated with the device shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 6 is a partial sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 66 in FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a transverse section view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 77 in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of disassembled parts of the device.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of the present invention generally denoted by reference numeral 10, applied to the head 12 of a patient. The patient may also wear an inhalation sedation mask, if desired. The device is operative to hold the lips 16 of the patient retracted and thereby expose the oral cavity including the teeth and gums.
2 more clearly seen in FIG. 2, the device l0 in cludes a' pair of lip engaging retractors 18 made of a rigid, non-tarnishing material such as stainless steel or a suitable synthetic plastic. The retractors are anchored to spaced end portions of a flexible band assembly generally denoted by reference numeral 20 which is adapted to encircle the head 12 of the patient on which the device is fitted. When fitted on the patient, the retr'actors l8 engage 't he"corners'of the lips 16 as shown in FIG. 1 and apply retracting forces thereto produced by elastic elongation of the band assembly 20. Connected to each retractor 18 is a cotton roll holder extension 22 on which an absorbant cotton roll 24 is removably mounted and retained between the cheeks and the upper arch internally of the mouth on the bucc'al side'of the upper teeth as shown.
The flexible band assembly 20 is adjustable in its undeformedlength and includes a pair of elastic fabric straps 26. The straps 26 are looped about connector loops'28'for adjustment in length by meansof releasable latch devices 30 of a well known type. The looped ends of the straps are interconnected by the connectors 28 with a pad holding strap 32 to which a back positioning pad 34 is secured as by stitching, as more clearly seen in FIGS. 3 and 4. The pad 34 is'waterproofed by a liquid impervious covering 36 enclosing suitable padding 38. The other ends of the elastic straps 26 are interconnected with the retractors 18 by facial contacting pads 40. The pads 40 are also waterproofed by a liquid impervious cover 42 enclosing gauze padding.
Each retractor 18 may be adjustably anchored to one of the facial pads 40, by stitching in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 8. An elongated flat connector portion 46 of the retractor projects into an opening 44 formed in the pad for this purpose as more clearly seen in FIG. 8. Other adjustable connections may be utilized, such as a friction lock. The connector portion 46 is which is positioned by the band 20 and the pads 40 substantially tangent to the cheeks of the patient as shown in FIG. 1, integral with a curved hook portion 48 that engages the lips. The hook portion 48 has a two dimensional curvature relative to a plane extending through the connector portion 46 parallel to its longitudinal axis so as to project upwardly at an angle to the connector portion 46 as more clearly seen in FIG. 5. The holder extension 22 formed integrally with the hook portion projects at an appropriate acute angle to the plane of curvature of the hook portion thus and is itself provided with a suitable curvature so as to comfortably fit between the cheek and upper arch in the mouth of the patient.
As more clearly seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 8, each of the holder extensions 22 has an opening 50 to form a loop 52 surrounding a pointed prong 54 extending from the hook portion 18 in spaced relation to the loop 52. The prong 54 is adapted to longitudinally pierce and thereby hold a conventional cotton roll 24 pressed against the loop 52 in protective relation to the holder extension 22. With the retractors l8 properly positioned on the head by means of the pads 34 and 40 of the band assembly 20, the cotton rolls 24 will be held in proper position within the mouth by the holder extensions 22. The cotton rolls are accordingly placed onto the holders 22 before the device is fitted to the patient and may be readily removed from or replaced on the holders.
The device is made of materials throughout that not only avoid irritation of the patients face and head, but are also suitable for sterilization by liquid sterilizers or the like.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A device adapted to be worn on the head of a dental patient, comprising a pair of separate, rigid lip engaging retractors adapted to project into the mouth of the patient between the cheeks and the upper arch and having flat connector portions, lip engaging h'ook portions and internal extensions projecting from the hook portions into the mouth, a pair of absorbent rolls, holder means mounted on said extensions for retaining the rolls in operative positions between the cheeks and the upper arch, elastic band means connected to the connector portions in encircling relation to the head of the patient for operatively positioning the connector portions externally on the cheeks when the lip engaging hook portions engage the corners of the mouth, each of said hook portions having a two-dimensional curvature extending between the flat connector portion and the extension which projects upwardly at an angle to the flat connector portion between the cheek and upper arch.
2. The combination of claim 1 including a pair of facial anchor pads interconnecting the elastic band means with the lip engaging retractors to position said connector portions in substantially tangential relation to the cheeks.