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Publication numberUS3918161 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1975
Filing dateApr 13, 1973
Priority dateApr 13, 1973
Also published asCA1024788A1, DE2417955A1
Publication numberUS 3918161 A, US 3918161A, US-A-3918161, US3918161 A, US3918161A
InventorsMorgan Ward, Raff Ronald D, Weiner Gerald H
Original AssigneeHealth Kit Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dental tool control assembly
US 3918161 A
Abstract
A dental tool fluid control assembly utilizing a three layered laminated control block comprising a manifold plate, a valve plate, and a pilot plate, with a resilient diaphragm sheet compressed between the valve plate and the pilot plate. The manifold plate has a grooved or channeled surface which provides dental fluids to a number of identical sets of passages or ports in the valve plate. The pilot plate controls a set of diaphragm valves which in turn control the supply of dental fluids through the valve plate to various attached dental tools. The pilot plate includes pilot valves actuated by the dental tool hanger or support so that the diaphragm valves are maintained closed by the presence of the dental tool, only opening when the dental tool has been removed from the assembly for use.
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United States Patent Morgan et al.

[ Nov. 11, 1975 DENTAL TOOL CONTROL ASSEMBLY [73] Assignee: Health Kit Corporation,

Burlingame, Calif.

22 Filed: Apr. 13, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 351,052

[52] US. Cl. 32/22 [51] Int. Cl. A6lc 19/02 [58] Field of Search 32/22; 251/25 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,638,310 2/1972 Austin, Jr. 32/22 Prinmry E.\'aminerLouis G. Mancene Assistant E.\'aminerl. Q. Lever Attorney, Agent, or F [rm-Townsend and Townsend [5 7] ABSTRACT A dental tool fluid control assembly utilizing a three layered laminated control block comprising a manifold plate, a valve plate, and a pilot plate, with a resilient diaphragm sheet compressed between the valve plate and the pilot plate. The manifold plate has a grooved or channeled surface which provides dental fluids to a number of identical sets of passages or ports in the valve plate. The pilot plate controls a set of diaphragm valves which in turn control the supply of dental fluids through the valve plate to various attached dental tools. The pilot plate includes pilot valves actuated by the dental tool hanger or support so that the diaphragm valves are maintained closed by the presence of the dental tool, only opening when the dental tool has been removed from the assembly for use.

23 Claims, 21 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Nov. 11,1975 Sheet1of5 3,918,161

FIG 1 US. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet 2 015 8 qwm U.S. Patent Nov. 11, 1975 Sheet4 015 3,918,161

US. Patent Ndv.11,1975 Sheet50f5 3,918,161

FlG 2O FIG 21 DENTAL TOOL CONTROL ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to fluid control assemblies, and in particular to assemblies for controlling the supply of fluid to a plurality of dental tools.

2. Description of the Prior Art Many of the tools used by a dentist require fluid supplies of some type. A dental drill, for example, requires a compressed drive gas to drive the drill, and a water supply for cooling the tooth as it is being drilled. Other appliances, such as the cleaning tool, require both air and water for different cleaning functions. To leave the dentists hands free for other functions, these instruments are preferably controlled by a single foot pedal. However, it is necessary that a control assembly be provided to distribute the different fluids to the proper instrument when the foot pedal is actuated.

Assemblies for distributing the fluids to the various dental tools have traditionally been rather large, bulky, complex and expensive devices assembled from discrete components. However, the use of the diaphragm valve in dental apparatus as illustrated by US. Pat. No. 3,638,310, has reduced the size required for an effective dental tool control. However, while reducing the size of the control, use of the diaphragm valve in itself does little to reduce the complexity of the assembly.

Several control blocks, one for each dental tool, must be individually machined. These individual control blocks are then joined together so that several dental tools may be controlled by the same assembly, When the different control blocks are joined together, fluid connections are required between each block, and these fluid connections are unduly subject to deterioration and leakage.

A further problem with current control assemblies utilizing diaphragm valves is the need for additional discrete devices to accomplish additional secondary control functions. It is often advantageous to add additional valves to control the supply of particular fluids to the certain tools, e.g. to control the flow rate of drive fluid to a drill. In present systems, diaphragm valves may be used to perform the basic control functions, but additional components are required for the desired secondary controls. As a result, the system becomes a maze of tubing to and from the various discrete components. Thus, current systems are still quite complex and the use of diaphragm valves in these systems does little to reduce the complexity of the system relative to devices without diaphragm valves.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention discloses a relatively simple control assembly which controls a number of dental tools at the same time. The assembly comprises basically a manifold plate, a valve plate, and a pilot plate. A resilient diaphragm sheet forming a plurality of diaphragm valves is incorporated between the valve plate and the pilot plate to control the flow of fluid from the manifold plate through the valve plate and to the dental tools. The valve plate has several identical sets of internal passages to allow for control of several dental tools at the same time.

The simple laminated construction of the present invention. as described above, provides an assembly which can be relatively simply constructed, but still is capable of handling a plurality of different dental tools at the same time. This simple construction allows the device to be manufactured quite inexpensively, costing far less than traditional control assemblies. Also, the basic simplicity of the device, and the few moving parts and fluidic seals required, minimized the chance of failure of the device. If the failure did occur, the device could be quickly and inexpensively repaired.

The simple and direct operation of the present invention, while retaining all the advantages of previous devices, further allows for the incorporation of a wide range of secondary controls directly into the laminated control block itself without the need for additional discrete components. For example, different dental tools operate more efficiently at different flow rates of drive gas. The present invention provides means for controlling the drive gas flow rate to each individual dental tool integral to the control system itself. Also, when water is used directly from the tap, the water pressure varies due to local conditions, such as the type of water supply, altitude, etc. However, the present invention provides a means for controlling the water pressure integral to the control assembly itself, thus accounting for these local variations in water pressure.

The incorporation of all secondary controls directly into the laminated control block of the present invention eliminates the maze of tubing associated with prior devices. The need for an independent housing for tubing and other components is likewise eliminated. The present invention provides a single unitary control block which performs all of the desired control functions associated with dental tools. The only control equipment peripheral to the control block itself is a foot pedal.

The present invention further overcomes a problem which is currently facing dental tool suppliers, namely, the changeover from drills requiring lubricated drive gas to those requiring unlubricated drive gas. The present invention provides simple means for distributing both lubricated and unlubricated drive gas at the same time to the appropriate tools. To adapt the system to different tool requirements, a screw plug is simply moved, avoiding the necessity of disassembling the entire system. Hence, the dentist can readily use the dental tool control assembly of the present invention with his current tools, and as he replaces his current tools with new tools, he can switch from tools requiring lubricated drive gas to those requiring unlubricated drive gas without difficulty.

The novel features which are believed to be chaaracteristic of the invention, both as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention having provisions for four dental tools illustrating the dental tools in their respective holders;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the laminated construction of the dental tool control assembly depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an elevation view of the manifold plate of FIG. 2;

3 FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the manifold plate of FIG.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along lines 55 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along lines 88 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is an elevation view of the valve plate of FIG.

FIG. 10 is the elevation view similar to FIG. 9 partially in cutaway;

FIG. 11 is a bottom view of the valve plate of FIG. 9;

FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along lines l212 of FIGS. 9 and 10; FIG. 13 is a sectional view taken along lines 1313 of FIGS. 9 and 10, with the control plug in place;

FIG. 14 is a section view taken along lines l4-14 of FIGS. 9 and 10;

FIG. 15 is an elevation view of the pilot plate of FIG.

FIG. 16 is the elevation view similar to FIG. 15, partially in cutaway; FIG. 17 is a sectional view taken along lines l7-17 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 18 is a sectional view taken along lines l8l8 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 19 is a sectional view taken along lines 19-19 of FIG. 15;

FIG. 20 is a side elevation view, partially in cutaway, of the dental tool control assembly of FIG. 1 illustrating the dental drill in the holder;

FIG. 21 is the side elevation view similar to FIG. 20 with the dental drill removed from the holder.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the present invention adapted to control four dental tools is illustrated generally at 10. As will be more readily apparent hereinafter, the dental tool control assembly of the present invention may be constructed to control any number of tools, the four tool configuration of FIG. 1 being for illustrative purposes only. In the fig- -ure, a first drill 12, a combined water and air injector 14, a hand piece with no special tool attached 16, and a second drill 18 are illustrated in their respective holders. The holders comprise identical nylon cylinders 20 having inwardly flanged lower portions 22 which support the dental tool. Each of the nylon cylinders 20 are pivotally attached to the upper surface of the control assembly 10 by means of a lever arm 24 having a pin connection 26 to the top of the control assembly 10. Also, a cam lockout device 28 is connected to each lever arm 24, and can be manually rotated to maintain the lever arm 24 in the depressed position while the dental tool is not in the holder, as will hereinafter be more fully illustrated.

The control assembly 10 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a control block 30 having three basic laminae; a manifold plate 32, a valve plate 34 and a pilot plate 36. The required dental fluids, such as water. drive air and chip air are input to the control block 30 through the manifold plate 32. Subsequent flow of the dental fluids to the tools is controlled by the valve plate 34 and the pilot 36 in response to the removal of the tool from its holder 20. When the fluid control system has been activated for a given too], such as first drill 12,

The control block 30 is quite small, as can be seen by its relative size next to the dental handpieces. Hence,

it can be located by means of mounting bracket 46 to virtually any convenient place in the dental office, such as underneath the arm of the dental chair.

The basic elements of the control block 30, manifold plate 32, valve plate 34 and pilot plate 36, are illustrated in the exploded view of FIG. 2. 'A gasket 60 is interposed between the manifold plate 32 and valve plate 34. A resilient diaphragm sheet 62 is disposed between the valve plate 34 and the pilot plate 36.

The face 63 of the manifold plate 32 adjacent valve plate 34 (with gasket 60 intervening) has a plurality. of longitudinal grooves or channels formed therein. The. embodiment illustrated contains a water supply groove 64., a drive gas supply groove 66, a chip air supply groove 68 and a pilot air supply groove 70. The gasket 60 has a plurality of identical sets of apertures 72, one aperture of each set corresponding to each of the grooves in the manifold plate 32.

The valve plate 34 has a first planar face hidden in FIG. 2 adjacent the grooved planar face of the manifold plate 32. The other or second planar face 74 of valve plate 34 is preferably parallel to the first planar face but is not necessarily so, and is adapted to abut the diaphragm sheet 62. The second planar face 74 of the valve plate 34 has four sets of inlet or supply ports 76, 78, 80 and 82. Each set is preferably identical so that any dental tool can be used in any position. These ports represent exit ports from transmission passages which pass directly through the valve plate 34 from the hidden planar face in abutment with the manifold plate 32, as will be fully illustrated hereinafter, and correspond with the sets of apertures 72 in the gasket 60. Hence, water from supply groove 64 passes through the gasket 60 and the valve plate 34 to the second planar face 74 of the valve plate 34 terminating at port 76. Similarly, drive air from supply groove 66 passes through the gasket 60 and the valve plate 34 to port 78, chip air from groove 68 to port 80, and pilot air from groove 70 to port 82.

Corresponding return ports 84, 86, and 88 are located in the second planar face 74 of the valve plate 34 adjacent the supply ports 76, 78 and 80 respectively.

The return ports 84, 86 and 88 lead to internal passages in the valve plate 34 which terminate in exit ports at the bottom of the valve plate adapted to be connected to i tubes leading to the dental tools.

The diaphragm sheet 62 has apertures 90 which correspond to the pilot air ports 82 in the second planar face 74 of the valve plate 34 so that pilot air passes directly through the diaphragm sheet 62 into the pilot plate 36.

As will be described in greater detail hereinafter,

when diaphragm 62 is urged against the second planar face 74 of the valve plate 34, supply ports 76,78 and are blocked by the diaphragm and fluid cannot pass from these supply ports to the corresponding return ports 84, 86 and 88. When the diaphragm 62 is not biased against the planar face 74, fluid will flow from the supply ports 76, 78 and 80 to the return ports 84, 86 and 88.

Referring next to FIG. 3, the planar face 63 of manifold plate 32 is illustrated. The manifold plate 32 is cut to illustrate that the plates can be of any desired length, to form a control block 30 capable of accomodating any desired number of dental tools.

A port leads from the water supply groove 64 to the interior of the manifold plate 32. Separate ports 102 and 104 lead from the drive gas supply groove 66 to the interior of the manifold plate 32. One of the drive gas supply ports (102 or 104) can be used to supply lubricated drive gas, with the other supply port used to supply unlubricated drive gas. A threaded plug (not shown) may be inserted from the back of the manifold plate 32 through either aperture 106 to divide the drive air supply groove 66 into separate sections. Thus, dental tools using lubricated drive gas and dental tools using unlubricated drive gas can be accomodated at the same time. More than one plug aperture 106 is provided so that the drive gas supply groove 66 can be divided into sections of varying length. Referring still to FIG. 3, port 108 leads from the chip air supply groove 68 to the interior of the manifold plate 32, and a port 110 leads from the pilot air supply groove 70 to the interior of the manifold plate 32. Apertures 112 extend through the manifold plate 32, to allow the various laminae of the control block to be readily joined together.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the manifold plate of FIG. 3. A plurality of inlet ports are provided in the bottom surface of the manifold plate. Inlet port is adapted to be connected to a source of pressurized drive gas, inlet port 122 to a source of pilot air, inlet port 124 to a source of chip air and inlet port 126 to a water source. Inlet 128 can be also connected to a source of drive gas, and if inlet port 120 is connected to unlubricated drive gas, inlet port 128 can be connected to lubricated drive gas, and vice versa. If only lubricated or unlubricated drive gas is to be used, not a combination of the two, either inlet port 120 or inlet port 128 is used and the other can be capped.

The drive gas supply passage 130 internal to the manifold plate 32 is illustrated by way of reference to FIG. 5, a section taken along lines 55 of FIG. 3. The drive gas passage 130 leads from the inlet port 120, through the interior of the manifold plate 32, to the drive gas supply groove 66 through port 102. The internal passage 130 is threaded adjaacent inlet port 120 to readily permit attachment of a tube leading to the drive gas source. The alternate drive gas passage, leading from inlet port 128 to port 104, is basically identical to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 5.

Pilot air supply passage 132, which passes through the interior of manifold plate 32 is illustrated by way of reference to FIG. 6 taken along lines 66 of FIG. 3. The chip air supply passage 134 internal to the manifold plate 32 is illustrated by way of reference to FIG. 7, taken along lines 77 of FIG. 3.

The internal supply passage 136 to water supply groove 64 is illustrated by way of reference to FIG. 8, taken along lines 88 of FIG. 3. The water supply 136 has a threaded branch 138 leading to the top of the manifold plate 32. A threaded valve member 140, having a pointed tip 142, is engageable with the threaded aperture 138. The valve member 140 is vertically adjustable so that the tip 142 controls the flow of water through supply passage 136 to the water supply groove 64. In this manner, the water flow to the dental tools can readily be adjusted without the need for separate, external valves. An O-ring 144 is provided on the plug 140 to prevent leakage of water through the aperture 138.

The operation of the manifold plate 32 can be seen by viewing FIGS. 38 in combination. Dental fluids enter the manifold plate through inlet ports in the bottom surface thereof, and pass through internal passages to the grooves. The grooves extend longitudinally so that any port or bore opening into the groove will be supplied with fluid from that groove.

In FIG. 9 the planar face 74 of the valve plate 34 is illustrated. The face 74 of valve plate 34 has a plurality of sets of supply ports 76, 78, 80 and 82, and corresponding sets of return ports 84, 86 and 88. Ports 76 and 84 are the transmission and return ports, respectively, for the water. Ports 78 and 86 are the transmission and return ports, respectively, for the drive gas. Ports 80 and 88 are the transmission and return ports, respectively, for the chip air. Port 82 is the transmission port for the pilot air.

A plurality of apertures 150, extending through valve plate 34, correspond with apertures 112 in the manifold plate, to provide a means for joining the laminated control block together. The valve plate 34 has a plurality of dual flanges or projections 152 from the upper surface valve plate, one pair of flanges or projections above each set of ports, to provide for a pivotal connection with the dental tool holder as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The view of FIG. 10 is identical to that of FIG. 9, but has cutouts in the planar face 74 of the valve plate 34 to illustrate the internal passages in the valve plate. Cutout section extends to a depth of approximately one-fourth of the depth of the valve block 34. At this depth, internal passages 162 and 164 are visible, corresponding to the drive air return port 86 and the chip air return port 88 respectively. The passages 162 and 164 have lower threaded apertures 166 and 168. Cutout 170 of FIG. 10 is to a depth approximately threefourths of the valve plate 34. At this level, the internal return passage 172 and 174 corresponding to return port 86 for the drive gas and 84 for the water are visible. Return passages 172 and 174 have threaded lower apertures 176 and 178.

Referring next to FIG. 11, the bottom surface of the valve plate 34 is illustrated, showing the threaded apertures 166, 168, 176 and 178 of the internal return passages. Apertures 168, 176 and 178 are adapted to be engaged by tubes leading to the dental handpiece so that fluids from the return passages flow to the dental tools. Threaded aperture 166 is adapted to be engaged by a control valve as will be illustrated hereinafter. If a given handpiece does not use one or more of the fluids, a nylon cap (not shown) is used to seal the threaded aperture.

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of the valve plate 34, taken along lines 12-12 of FIG. 9 and 10, illustrating the transmission passages which extend through the valve plate. Water transmission passage extends from the planar face 192 of the valve plate 34 adapted to abut the manifold plate to the water transmission port 76 on the planar face 74 of the valve plate adapted to abut the diaphragm.

Similarly, drive gas transmission passage 196 extends from surface 192 to the drive gas transmission port 78 on surface 74. Also, chip air transmission passage 198 and pilot air transmission passage 200 extend from surface 192 to the chip air transmission port 80 and the pilot air transmission port 82 on surface 74 of the valve plate 34. Each transmission passage provides fluid communication from a groove in the manifold plate 32 to a port in the face 74 of the valve plate 34.

Referring next to FIG. 13, taken along lines 13-13 of FIG. 9, the drive gas return passage 172 in the valve plate 34 is illustrated. The return passage 172 leads from the return port 86 on the face 74 to the lower threaded aperture 176, adapted to be engaged by a tube leading to the dental tool. A control plug 210 is threadably engageable with the threaded aperture 166 of internal passage 162, and has a tip 212 which extends into the horizontal portion 214 of return passage 172. The control valve plug is translatable vertically to provide a means of controlling the drive gas flow rate to the dental tool. A separate control valve plug 210 is provided for each dental tool so that the drive gas flow rate can be tailored separately to meet the individual requirements of each dental'tool.

Referring next to FIG. 14, a cross sectional view taken along lines l4l4 of FIG. 9, internal return passages 174 and 164 for the water and chip air respectively are illustrated. Internal return passage 174 provides fluid communication from the return port 84 to lower threaded aperture 178 engageable by a tube leading to the dental handpiece to provide water to the handpiece. Similarly, internal return passage 164 provides drive air from the return port 88 to threaded aperture 168 also engageable with a tube leading to the dental handpiece.

The face 220 of the pilot plate 36 adapted to abut the diaphragm 62 is illustrated by way of reference to FIG. 15. A plurality of sets of recesses 222 are provided in planar face 220. Ports 224 in the bases of the recesses 222, provide fluid communication between the recesses and the interior of the pilot plate. Ports 226 in the face 220 of the pilot plate 36 correspond with the apertures 90 in the diaphragm 62 (see FIG. 2) to provide direct communication between the interior of the pilot plate 36 and the pilot air port 82 on the face 74 of the valve plate 34. Apertures 228, corresponding to the apertures 150 in the valve plate 34 and the apertures 112 in the manifold plate 32, extend partially into the pilot plate 36 and permit interconnection of the various plates.

FIG. 16 is a view identical to that of FIG. 15, but with cutaway portions illustrated interior channels in the pilot plate 36. The cutaway portions illustrate a pilot valve channel 240 having oppositely disposed larger sections 242 and 244 joined to the center section by beveled sections 246 and 248 respectively. A threaded aperture 250 is defined at the lower larger portion 244 of the valve channel 240 on the lower surface of the pilot plate 36. A second valve channel, corresponding to a non-cutaway portion of the planar face 220, is illustrated by phantom 240.

The apertures 228 in the pilot plate 36 are more fully illustrated by reference to FIG. 17, taken along lines l7-17 of FIG. 15. From this figure it is apparent that the apertures 228 do not pass fully through the pilot plate 36, but provide a tapped threaded aperture. Bolts may be inserted from the back of the manifold plate 32 through apertures 112, through apertures 150. of the valve plate 34, and engaged with the threaded aper- I Referring next to FIG. 18, a cross sectional view of I the pilot plate 36 taken along lines 18-18 of FIG. 15 i is illustrated. In this view, the interconnection of the pilot valve channel 240 with recesses 222 is evident. Also, it is seen that the larger lower portion 244 of the pilot valve channel 240 is in communication with port 226 on the face 220 of the pilot plate 36. This places the lower portion 244 of the pilot valve channel 240 in communication with the pilot air transmission pass ge 200 through apertures in the diaphragm 62.

In FIG. 19, taken along lines 1919 of FIG. 15, a full cross section of two of the recesses 222 is illustrated. It has been found preferable to provide a sharpshouldered recess, as illustrated, rather than a smooth dished recess. The smooth dished recess results in eventual stretching of the diaphragm and eventual deterioration during use. A needle valve member 254 which fits within the pilot valve channel 240 is illus-- trated by way of reference to FIG. 20. The needle valve has a first O-ring 258 adjacent the top portion thereof, and a second O-ring 262 adjacent the lower portion. thereof, adapted to contact either upper beveled valve seat 246 or lower beveled valve seat 248 respectively. A spring 256, resting on nylon cap 260, biases the needle valve 254 upward. The lever 24, biased downward by the weight of the dental tool 12, serves to depress the needle valve 254 as illustrated in FIG. 20.

The operation of the control apparatus 10 is illus-- trated by way of reference to FIGS. 1-21 inclusive.

Dental fluid supplies, namely, drive gas, pilot air, chip air, and water, are connectedby means of tubes to apertures -126 respectively on the bottom surface of the manifold plate 32. If both lubricated and unlubricated drive gas supplies are to be used, one is connected to aperture 120 and the other to aperture 128, and the drive gas groove 66 in the face 63 of the manifold plate is divided into sections by means of a threaded plug through one of the apertures 106. The

fluid supplies are controlled by a foot pedal whichis operated by the dentist.

Various dental tools, such as drill 12, can be attached to the control apparatus 10. The dental tools have tubes (such as tubes 38 from drill 12) emanating from the bottom of the tool, one tube for eachdental fluid required by the tool. The tubes are connected to the 7 bottom of the valve plate 34 at apertures 168, 176 and 178, to supply chip air, drive air and water respectively to the tool. Since certain dental tools do not require all of the above dental fluids, the unused apertures can be capped by nylon plugs.

The water flow rate to the dental tools can be con.

The drive gas flow rate to each specific dental tool can be controlled by the valves 210 in apertures 166 so that the appropriate drive gas flow is supplied to each specific dental tool. The dental tools themselvesare placed in the nylon holders 20, from which they can be removed for use by the dentist. Removal of the dental tool from the holder activates the pilot valve to permit the flow of dental fluids to that dental tool, when the foot pedal is depressed.

The operation of the pilot valve in controlling the flow of fluids from the fluid supply to the dental tool is illustrated by way of reference to FIGS. and 21. In FIG, 20, the first dental drill 12 is illustrated in place in the nylon cylinder 20. The nylon cylinder is attached to lever 24 by means of a screw 250. The lever 24 pivots about pin 26 in support projections or flanges 152 on the top of the valve plate 34. The weight of the dental drill 12 biases lever 24 downward, which in turn biases needle valve 254 against spring 256. When the needle valve 254 is biased downward as illustrated in FIG. 20, O-ring 258 is pressed against the upper beveled portion 246 of the pilot valve channel 240, thus preventing escape of pilot air through the upper portion 242 of the pilot valve channel. When the dental drill 12 is in position as illustrated in FIG. 20, the pilot air from groove 70 in the manifold plate 32 passes through the aperture 72 in the gasket 61), through transmission passage 200 in the valve plate 34, and then through the aperture 90 in diaphragm 62 into the pilot valvechannel 240. The lower end of the pilot valve channel 240 is sealed by nylon cap 260 and lower 0- ring 262 is displaced from the beveled valve seat 248 to allow the pilot air to pass into pilot valve channel 240. From pilot valve channel 240, the pilot air pressurizes the recesses 222 and biases the diaphragm 62 against the planar face 74 of the valve plate 34. The diaphragm 62 thus blocks the transmission passages 190, 196, and 198, preventing the flow of fluids to the dental drill 12.

The on configuration of the pilot valve is illustrated by reference to FIG. 21, wherein the dental drill has been removed from the cylinder 20. Withthe weight of the dental drill removed, the needle valve 254 is biased upward by spring 256, pivoting the lever 24 about pin 26. In this position, lower O-ring 262 is biased against beveled valve seat 248, thus closing off the pilot valve channel 240 from the source of pilot air from groove 70. The upper O-ring 258 is now raised from its beveled valve seat 246 depressurizing recesses 222. When the recesses are depressurized, fluid pressure from the transmission passages 190, 196 and 198 will press the flexible diaphragm 62 away from the planar surface 74 of valve plate 34, allowing fluid transmission between the transmission and return passages through the recesses 222, and through the tubes 38 to the dental drill.

Referring back to FIG. 20, when it is desirable to remove a dental tool without turning the pilot valve on, e.g., to have an assistant replace a drill bit, a manual lockout 28 is illustrated. The lockout cam 28 has a circular surface and a flat surface. When rotated vertically as in FIG. 20, the cam 28 prevents pivoting of lever 24 which would allow the needle valve member 254 to rise and open the valve. During normal use of the dental tool, the cam lockout device 28 will be rotated as in FIG. 21, with the flat surface down, which allows normal raising and lowering of the needle valve 254.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated, it is apparent that adaptations and modifications of the above embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. In particular, nonidentical sets of apertures may be used to fit various different tools. However, it is to be expressly understood that any such modification or adaptation is within the spirit and scope of the present invention, as set forth in the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for controlling the supply of dental fluids from various dental fluid sources to a plurality of dental tools comprising:

a laminated control block having, in series, a manifold lamina, a valve lamina, and a pilot lamina, a plurality of grooves being formed at the interface between the manifold lamina and the valve lamina,

said manifold lamina in fluid communication with the various dental fluid sources and adapted to supply the dental fluids to the respective grooves,

said valve lamina having a plurality of sets of internal passages, each set associated with a particular dental tool and each passage thereof providing fluid communication from one of the respective grooves to the face of the valve lamina adjacent the pilot lamina and from said face to apertures adapted to be fluidly connected to the associated dental tool,

said pilot lamina having a plurality of valve means, each said valve means associated with a particular dental tool and adapted to control fluid passage through the associated passages in the valve lamina from the manifold lamina to the apertures.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1 and additionally comprising a diaphragm sheet intermediate the valve lamina and the pilot lamina, and wherein each said valve means includes means for biasing the diaphragm sheet against the face of the valve lamina adjacent the pilot lamina to prevent fluid passage through the associated internal passages.

3. Apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the plurality of grooves are formed in the face of the manifold lamina adapted to abut the valve lamina.

4. A fluid control assembly for a plurality of dental tools comprising:

a manifold member having a planar face, a plurality of inlet ports, and means for providing internal fluid communication from the inlet ports to the planar face;

a valve plate having a first face adapted to substantially abut the grooved face of the manifold member, a plurality of grooves being formed at the interface between the first face of the valve plate and the planar face of the manifold member, said grooves in fluid communication with the respective inlet ports,,'said valve plate having a plurality of sets of passages, each set associated with a particular dental tool and comprising a plurality of transmission and return passage pairs, said transmission passages providing fluid communication from the respective grooves to a second face of said valve plate and said return passages providing fluid communication between said second face and outlet ports on a third face of said valve plate; and

valve means for selectively providing fluid communication between the transmission and the return passage pairs of each said set, said valve means comprising a diaphragm sheet adapted to overlie the second face of the valve plate; a pilot plate having a planar face adapted to compress the diaphragm sheet against the second face of the valve plate, said planar face of said pilot plate having a plurality of sets of recesses formed therein, each said set associated with a particular dental tool, each recess corresponding to a transmission and retturn passage pair; and means selectively pressurizing and de-pressurizing each set of recesses to respectively bias or not bias the diaphragm sheet against the second face of the valve plate at said passages to prevent or permit fluid communication between each transmission and return passage of said set.

5. A fluid control assembly as recited in claim 4 wherein wherein one said groove is associated with pilot air; wherein the valve plate has a plurality of pilot air passages providing pilot air communication from the pilot air groove to the second face of the valve plate, each pilot air passage associated with a particular dental tool; and wherein the means selectively pressurizing and depressurizing the recesses comprises a plurality of pilot valve channels providing fluid communication from the pilot valve passages to each set of recesses, each pilot valve channel associated with a particular dental tool, and a plurality of pilot valve members, one pilot valve member in each pilot valve channel, adapted to selectively control fluid communication between each said pilot valve passage and the set of recesses associated therewith.

6. A fluid control assembly as recited in claim 4 and additionally comprising a plurality of caps adapted to seal off selected outlet ports of said valve plate, whereby dental tools of varying fluid requirements are attached to the outlet ports of each set of return passages, and unused outlet ports are sealed by said caps.

7. A dental tool fluid control assembly comprising;

an elongate valve plate having two substantially parallel planar faces, said valve plate having at least two longitudinally spaced substantially identical sets of transmission passages providing fluid communication from the first parallel face to the second parallel face, and at least two substantially identical sets of return passages providing fluid communication from the second parallel face to outlet ports in said valve plate, each return passage being adjacent to and corresponding with a transmission passage;

means for providing dental tool fluids to the transmission passages at the first parallel face of the valve plate; and

means for selectively providing fluid communication between the transmission passages and the return passages of each set at the second parallel face of the valve plate.

8. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 7 wherein the means for providing dental tool fluids to the transmission passages comprises a manifold plate having a planar face adapted to substantially abut the first parallel face of the valve plate, said planar face having a plurality of grooves formed therein, said manifold plate having means for directing said dental tool fluids to said grooves, respectively.

9. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 7 wherein the means for selectively providing fluid communication between the transmission passages and the return passages at the second parallel face of the valve plate comprises diaphragm valve means overlying said second parallel face.

10. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 9 and additionally comprising a plurality of dental tool holders, one holder for each dental tool,and

wherein the diaphragm, valve means operatesresponsively to the presence of each dental tool in each respective holder.

11. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 7 wherein one return passage of each set is associated with drive gas, and additionally comprising a. plurality of plug valves, one plug valve associated with each dental tool and insertable intermediate the drive gas return passage of said dental tool to control flow of drive gas through each said return passage.

12. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 7 and additionally comprising a plurality of caps adapted to seal off selected outlet ports of said valve plate, whereby dental tools of varying fluid requirements are attached to the outlet ports of each set return channels, and unused outlet ports are sealed by said Caps.

13. A fluid control assembly for a plurality of dental the first planar face to exit ports on a second planar face, each set of transmission passages associated with a particular dental tool and comprising a pilot transmission passage in communication with the pilot groove, and a supply transmission passagein communication with each supply groove, said valve plate further having a plurality of longitudinally spaced sets of return passages, eachset of return passages associated with a particular dental tool,

one said return passage corresponding to each said supply transmission passage and having an inlet port on the second planar face adjacent the exit port of said corresponding transmission passage;

a diaphragm sheet adapted to overlie the second planar face of the valve plate;

an elongate pilot plate having a planar face adapted to compress the diaphragm sheet against the sec ond planar face of the valve plate, said planar face of said pilot plate having a plurality of sets of reces-. ses therein. each set of recesses associated with a particular dental tool and each recess corresponding to adjacent transmission and return exit and inlet ports respectively,

said pilot plate further having a plurality of control valve channels, one control valve channel associated with each dental tool, each said control valve channel providing fluid communication between one said control transmission passage and each recess corresponding thereto, so that fluid pressure from the said pilot transmission passage is transmitted to the corresponding recesses to bias the diaphragm against the second planar face of the valve plate and thereby prevent fluid communication between corresponding adjacent transmission and re turn passages of the associated dental tool; and

a plurality of pilot valve members, one pilot valve member associated with each dental tool, one of said pilot valve members located in each pilot valve passage and activatable to prevent communication between the pilot transmission passage and the recesses corresponding thereto to prevent biasing of the diaphragm and thereby allow fluid communication between adjacent transmission and return passages of the associated dental tool.

14. A fluid control assembly as recited in claim 13 wherein at least three supply grooves are formed at the interface between the manifold plate and the valve plate, one supply groove comprising a drive gas supply groove, one supply groove comprising a chip air supply groove, and one supply groove comprising a water supply groove.

15. A fluid control assembly as recited in claim 14 and additionally comprising a plug valve intermediate the inlet port for the water supply groove and said water supply groove, said plug valve adapted to control the flow of water to said groove.

16. A fluid control assembly as recited in claim 13 wherein each said pilot valve member is upwardly spring biased to project through the upper surface of the pilot plate; and additionally comprising a plurality of dental tool hangers pivotally attached to the upper surface of the valve plate and extending over the pilot plate, each said hanger associated with a particular dental tool and adapted to overly the associated pilot valve member so that the pilot valve member is depressed by the weight of the associated dental tool in said hanger. and removal of said dental tool from said hanger allows the pilot valve member to rise to activate said pilot valve member.

17. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 16 and additionally comprising manually activatable and adapted to maintain said hanger in the depressed position without the weight of the associated dental tool.

18. A fluid control assembly as recited in claim 13 wherein the longitudinal grooves are formed in the planar face of the manifold plate.

19. A dental tool fluid control assembly comprising:

an elongate valve plate having two substantially parallel planar faces. said valve plate having at least two longitudinally spaced substantially identical sets of transmission passages providing fluid communication from the first parallel face to the second parallel face, and at least two substantially identical sets of return passages providing fluid communication from the second parallel face to outlet ports in said valve plate. each return passage being adjacent to with a transmission passage;

a manifold plate having a planar face adapted to substantially abut the first parallel face of the valve plate, said manifold plate and said valve plate defining a plurality of grooves at the interface therebetween, said manifold plate having means for directing dental tool fluids to said grooves respectively; and

means for selectively providing fluid communication between the transmission passages and the return passages of each set at the second parallel face of the valve platev 20. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 19 wherein the means for selectively providing fluid communication between the transmission passages and the return passages at the second parallel face of the valve plate comprises diaphragm valve means overlying said second parallel face.

21. A dental tool fluid control assembly as recited in claim 19 wherein the grooves are formed in the planar face of the manifold plate.

22. Apparatus as in claim 21 wherein each said hanger means includes a pivotally mounted lever rotatable responsively to the weight of the associated dental tool. and wherein each said valve means is controlled by the pivotal movement of the associated lever.

23. Apparatus as in claim 1 and additionally comprising a plurality of hanger means attached to the control block, each hangermeans associated with a particular dental tool and adapted to support said tool, each said hanger means adapted to control the associated valve means responsively to; the presence of the associated dental tool in saidhanger.

UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 13,918,161 Q DATED flqovember 11, 1975 |NV ENTOR(S) ret d Morgan, et al.

It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below: Q

Claim 4, line 46, delete grooved.

Claim 19, line 10, delete "with".

' Engncd and Bealed this twenty-fourth Day Of February 1976 [SEAL] Q Arrest."

RUTH c. MASON c, MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer ('ummissiuner ofPaIents and Trademarks

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4136450 *Sep 3, 1976Jan 30, 1979Siemens AktiengesellschaftHydraulic-pneumatic control device for controlling the flow of agents to hand-held dental apparatus
US4144644 *Jun 17, 1976Mar 20, 1979American Hospital Supply CorporationModular selector valve assembly
US4145813 *Sep 13, 1976Mar 27, 1979Halmon-Locren Industries, Inc.System for selectively supplying fluids to dental and surgical tools
US4251211 *Nov 16, 1979Feb 17, 1981Dentsply Research & Development Corp.Fluid control system for dental console
US4295490 *Aug 9, 1979Oct 20, 1981Boudreau Archie EMilking apparatus
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US5201899 *Dec 13, 1991Apr 13, 1993A-Dec, Inc.Control system for dental handpieces
US5273427 *Mar 31, 1992Dec 28, 1993A-Dec, Inc.Instrument holder with valve assembly
US5398899 *Feb 3, 1993Mar 21, 1995A-Dec, Inc.Rotation adjustment for dental instrument holder
US5405115 *Sep 16, 1994Apr 11, 1995A-Dec, Inc.Mounting bracket assembly
US5686657 *Jul 12, 1996Nov 11, 1997Hewlett-Packard CompanyPlanar manifold assembly
US5738520 *Apr 21, 1995Apr 14, 1998A-Dec, Inc.Three-way pneumatic valve system
US7845210 *May 4, 2007Dec 7, 2010Abb Inc.Fluid control device for a gas chromatograph
DE2339824A1 *Aug 6, 1973Feb 27, 1975Kaltenbach & VoigtSteuereinheit zur einzelsteuerung zahnaerztlicher instrumente
WO1995005795A1 *Aug 22, 1994Mar 2, 1995Hallen Jan AakeA holder for tools which are propelled via conductor
Classifications
U.S. Classification433/28, 433/98, 433/104, 433/100
International ClassificationA61C19/00, A61C1/00, A61G15/16, A61C17/00, A61G15/00, A61C1/02, F15B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C1/0038, A61G15/16
European ClassificationA61G15/16, A61C1/00C4