|Publication number||USRE29686 E|
|Application number||US 05/789,458|
|Publication date||Jul 4, 1978|
|Filing date||Apr 21, 1977|
|Priority date||Apr 10, 1975|
|Also published as||DE2518724A1|
|Publication number||05789458, 789458, US RE29686 E, US RE29686E, US-E-RE29686, USRE29686 E, USRE29686E|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 310,574, filed Nov. 29, 1972, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,879,850, issued Apr. 29, 1975.
The present invention relates to orthodontic band appliances, and particularly to an elastic orthodontic band particularly suitable for use with orthodontic brackets which are mounted on teeth for transmitting forces to the brackets when the elastic band is deformed. In particular, the present invention is directed to an elastic band which facilitates use in a patient's mouth, especially when the band must extend in a stretched condition between several brackets, and to facilitate tying a knot at the end thereof after the band has been properly stretched between the patient's teeth.
The orthodontic band commonly used for the above purpose consists merely of an elongated, smooth surface, elastic band. However, when used in the mouth, such elastic bands are slippery and difficult to handle. Moreover, when being "woven" among a plurality of orthodontic brackets with the elastic band in a stretched condition, it is difficult to maintain the band in a uniformly stretched condition during the complete mounting operation. For example, if tension is released from the conventional smooth surfaced orthodontic band during mounting thereof, the band will relax and it will be necessary for the operator to then go back and re-stretch the band to insure that proper forces are applied. Moreover, after the band has been mounted between brackets in its appropriate stretched condition, it is necessary for the operator to tie the ends thereof in a knot so as to retain the band in its stretched condition. However, great difficulty is encountered in tying such a knot due to the fact that the band is slippery in the environment of the mouth and is therefore difficult to handle. Generally a second person is required in the knot tying operation to prevent releasing of tension in the conventional elastic band during the tying operation.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an orthodontic elastic band which overcomes the above-mentioned difficulties which arise when using the prior art bands.
In accordance with the present invention, an elongated elastic orthodontic band has alternately arranged larger and smaller dimension portions relative to a substantially straight axial line passing through the elongated band, the dimensions being taken in the same direction and in a common plane containing the straight axial line. In a preferred embodiment, the elastic band has alternately arranged larger and smaller diameter portions provided by protuberances, either spaced or adjacent each other. In another preferred embodiment, a desired variable or undulating surface configuration in the axial direction is obtained by twisting and heat sealing together two elongated elastic bands, or twisting and heat setting a single elastic band. The larger portions of the elastic band of the present invention may be smaller in overall size than the opening of the orthodontic bracket through which the band is to be passed. It has been found that even when the larger portions of the band are smaller than the bracket openings, secure retention of the band is still achieved since the band is generally angularly oriented relative to the bracket when it passes out of the bracket opening. Thus, the larger portions, in cooperation with the smaller portions of the band, retain the elastic band in a stretched condition between orthodontic brackets even when the operator releases tension on the free end of the orthodontic elastic band. Moreover, the arrangement of the present invention facilitates tying of a knot after the band has been installed in a patient's mouth, substantially eliminating the inadvertent relaxing of the band and resultant release of tension, and eliminating the necessity of having a second person cooperate with the operator in tying the knot.
The orthodontic band of the present invention is preferably wholly made from elastic material with the larger portions integral with the smaller portions. Alternatively, the band may be made of several elastic pieces bonded or otherwise sealed together. Still further, the protuberances on the elastic band may comprise in elastic material connected to a strand of elastic material in any conventional manner. The particular shape of the protuberances on the elastic band, or the particular shape of the irregular or undulating outer surface thereof, is not a major controlling factor. Various shapes may be used.
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a plurality of teeth having brackets mounted thereon, with an arch wire extending between said teeth, and with an elastic orthodontic band according to the present invention mounted thereon;
FIG. 2 is a section view of the bracket shown in FIG. 1, in an enlarged state;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of one embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of another embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of still another embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of a further embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 7a is a front elevational view of a still further embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 7b is a sectional view of the arrangement of FIG. 7a taken along line 7b-7b in FIG. 7a;
FIG. 8a is a front elevational view of a still further embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 8b is a sectional view of the arrangement of FIG. 8a taken along line 8b-8b in FIG. 8a;
FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of another embodiment of an elastic band in accordance with the present invention; and
FIG. 10 is a sectional view of another type of bracket with which the invention is useful.
Referring to FIG. 1, a plurality of teeth 1 have respective brackets 2 mounted thereon in a conventional manner. FIGS. 2 and 10 illustrate end sectional views of typical brackets 2,14, respectively mounted on a tooth 1. The brackets 2,14 are conventional, the bracket of FIG. 2 being illustrated in the drawings of copending parent application Ser. No. 310,574, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The brackets 2 have openings 3 (see FIG. 2) for receiving an arch wire 4 therein (see FIG. 1). The arch wire 4 is retained in the openings 3 of the brackets 2 by means of wires 5 which pass around the arch wires 4 and through the openings 6,7 of the brackets 2. The ends of the wires 5 are twisted as shown in FIG. 1 to retain the arch wire in the bracket openings 3 in a conventional manner. Elastic rings can be used to retain arch wire 4. As shown in FIG. 10 another conventional bracket 14 defines an opening or channel 15 with the tooth 1, and further defines an opening or channel 16 with the tooth 1 and locking pin 17 thereof. Either opening 15,16 may receive the elastic band of the present invention therein.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, after the arch wire 4 is mounted in openings 3 of the brackets 2, an orthodontic elastic band 8 is "woven" through the openings 6,7 of the brackets 2 in a stretched condition so as to provide orthodontic forces to the brackets 2 which are secured to the teeth 1, to tend to move the teeth 1 in a desired direction, depending upon the application of the elastic forces created by the arch wire 4 and elastic band 8. In order to facilitate securing the elongated elastic band 8, the elastic band 8 of the present invention is provided with a variable outer periphery in the axial direction of the elongated band, the variable periphery being at least in a plane passing through the longitudinal axis of the elongated band. This peripheral configuration of the elastic band permits the operator to release tension on the end of the band without the band relaxing over a substantial length thereof which had been previously woven or mounted to the brackets 2. This is because enlarged or protruding portions of the elastic band of the present invention will engage the end of an opening 6 or 7 of the bracket 2 when tension in the band is released, thereby preventing substantial portions of the already mounted band from totally relaxing as has been a difficulty with the prior art.
FIG. 3 illustrates a first embodiment of the invention wherein the elastic band 8 comprises strand portions 9 having enlarged nodules or protuberances 10 spaced along the length thereof. The nodules 10 may be formed integrally with the strand 9 or may be added to the strand 9 later. Preferably, the nodules 10 are integral with the strand 9 and both are made from an elastomeric material, such as rubber or plastic. However, the nodules 10 need not be made from an elastic material. Still further, the nodules 10 need not be generally spherical in shape as shown in FIG. 3. The exact shape of the nodules 10 is not critical and if desired, they may take the shape as illustrated by nodules 10" in FIG. 6. The nodules may take any convenient shape, as long as the variable outer peripheral configuration of the strand 8 results so that the protruding portions of the strand 8 may engage the ends of the openings 6,7 of a bracket 2 to prevent relaxing of the strand.
In accordance with the present inventive concept, it is not necessary that the nodules 10 be of larger dimension than the openings of the channels 6,7 in the bracket 2. This is because, as shown in FIG. 1, the elastic band is generally engaged with the brackets such that the band 8 leaves the opening of a channel of the bracket at an angle such that the band tends to press against the lower or base portion of the channels 6,7 of the bracket 2. Therefore, the undulating or irregular outer periperal surface of the elastic band 8 will tend to grip the edge of the opening of the bracket channels and be prevented by this action from relaxing from its stretched condition. Moreover, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bracket channels 6,7 generally have a wire 5, or an arch wire retaining elastic ring already mounted therein before the elastic band 8 is applied to the brackets. See, for example, FIGS. 1 and 2. Therefore, since the already present wire 5 or the already present elastic arch wire retaining ring takes up a portion of the channels 6,7 this will enhance the engagement or wedging of the band 8 of the present invention with the brackets to prevent relaxing thereof when tension forces are released from the ends, even when the size of the nodules is substantially less than the cross-sectional dimension of the channels 6,7.
Still further, the provision of the nodules 10 facilitates tying of the knot 11 at the free ends of the elastic band 8. When the first loop of the knot is made, the nodules 10 will interengage with each other to prevent the first loop of the knot from loosening while the operator is making the second securing loop of the knot. Heretofore, using prior art smooth surfaced elastic bands, it has been necessary for the operator to use external means to retain the first loop of the knot to prevent loosening of the elastic band and resultant loss of corrective forces. This is no longer necessary with the elastic band of the present invention.
FIG. 4 illustrates the modified embodiment of the elastic band of the present invention wherein the nodules 10' are more closely spaced than in the embodiment of FIG. 3. Similar resultant effects are obtained when using the embodiment of FIG. 4 as with the embodiment of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 illustrates a further example of the present invention wherein the elastic band is formed of a plurality of adjacent nodules 11. The nodules 11 may be integrally formed with each other, for example by a molding technique, or may be individual nodules adhered together, for example by a heat treatment. The nodules 11 are made of an elastic material so that the resultant elastic band may be stretched between brackets 2 to provide tooth moving forces.
A modified embodiment, similar to that of FIG. 5, may have a saw-tooth outer peripheral configuration, and would provide similar resultant effects to the previously discussed embodiments.
FIG. 7 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention wherein the desired peripheral shape is achieved by twisting two strands 12 and 13 (see FIG. 7b) and heat treating the twisted strands so as to seal them together as illustrated in FIG. 7b and in order to provide an appropriate "set" to the material so that it retains its spiral configuration as shown in FIG. 7a. Experiments have shown that this embodiment is not quite as satisfactory as the embodiments discussed above, but by virtue of the undulating surface in any given plane which passes through the longitudinal axis of the elastic band, retention effects with the channels 6,7 (FIG. 2) and 15,16 (FIG. 10) of the brackets and when tying knots are still achieved to such a degree that the band is useful in accordance with the present invention. Again, the elastic band of FIGS. 7a and 7b is fabricated of an elastomeric material which can be stretched to provide tooth moving forces.
FIG. 8 shows another embodiment comprised of an elastic band 18 of rectangular cross-section with a plurality of spaced twists 19 formed therein. The twisted band is heat set to retain its twisted shape. The twisted areas 19 may comprise any number of twists sufficient to define the smaller dimension portions of the resulting band. The band 18 may also have a square or any other convenient starting shape which would result in smaller dimension portions 19 when twisted.
While in the above description embodiments of the invention are described wherein the widest portion of the elastic band, in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the band, are smaller than the width of the channels 6,7 in the bracket 2, it should be clear that the nodules or other widest portions of the elastic band may be larger than the width of the channels 6,7 defined by the bracket 2. When the widest portions are larger than the channels defined by the bracket, it is advantageous to use spaced protuberances or nodules which are interconnected by smaller strand portions, such as portions 9 or 9' of FIGS. 3 and 4, respectively, the strand portions 9,9' being of small enough dimension to easily fit within the channel 6,7 of the bracket. Also even, if the widest portions are larger than the channels 6,7, when they are elastomeric, as preferred, they reduce in size when stretched, thereby fitting in channels 6,7 or channels 15,16.
While the invention has been described above with respect to specific shapes, it should be clear that these shapes are given merely by way of example and are not limiting of the inventive concept. Moreover, while the embodiments of FIGS. 3-6 are shown to be symmetrical in a plane perpencidular to the longitudinal axis of the band, it should be clear that non-symmetrical arrangements, such as shown in FIG. 9, for example, may be provided. That is, the protuberances may be semi-circular in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the band, or any other desired off-set or irregular shape to provide undulating or varying peripheral shapes in the longitudinal direction of the elastic band.
It should be clear that various modifications and alterations may be made to the embodiments shown within the scope of the presnt inventive concept as set forth in the claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3174787 *||Oct 22, 1962||Mar 23, 1965||Kolman Irvin R||Adjustable tension straps|
|US3593421 *||Nov 15, 1967||Jul 20, 1971||Brader Allen C||Multihelical omniarch|
|U.S. Classification||433/18, 433/11|
|International Classification||A61C7/20, A61C7/12|