Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ORTHODONTIC SETTLING RETAINER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/108359
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A dental retainer including one or more of a retaining body having a plurality of dental impressions to receive teeth, a pair of passthrough openings adapted to allow passage of one or more molars, premolars, and canines, and an aperture disposed adjacent the lingual surface of the incisors.

Inventors:
RICHTER, David, D. (2146 81st Ave, Greeley, CO, 80634, US)
Application Number:
US2018/059683
Publication Date:
June 06, 2019
Filing Date:
November 07, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
RICHTER ORTHODONTICS, P.C. (1813 61st Ave, Suite 100Greeley, CO, 80634, US)
International Classes:
A61C3/00; A61C7/08; B29C51/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILES, Craig, R. (CR Miles P.C, 405 Mason Court Suite 11, Fort Collins CO, 80524, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
V. CLAIMS

I claim:

1. A dental retainer, comprising:

a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

2. The dental retainer of claim 1, further comprising a passthrough periphery correspondingly defining each of said pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body, said passthrough periphery disposed a distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

3. The dental retainer of claim 2, wherein said distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars provides a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

4. The dental retainer of claim 3, wherein said passthrough periphery disposed on said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

5. The dental retainer of claim 1, further comprising an aperture in said retainer body disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

6. The dental retainer of claim 5, wherein said retainer body extends over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch terminating in an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch. 7. The dental retainer of claim 6, wherein a palatal portion of said retainer body extends to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

8. The dental retainer of claim 5, further comprising one or more tethers connected between a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

9. The dental retainer of claim 8, wherein in said tether comprises a pair of tethers correspondingly disposed between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

10. A dental retainer, comprising:

a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

an aperture in said retainer body disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

11. The dental retainer of claim 10, wherein said retainer body extends over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch terminating in an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch. 12. The dental retainer of claim 11, wherein a palatal portion of said retainer body extends to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

13. The dental retainer of claim 10, further comprising a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

14. The dental retainer of claim 13, further comprising a passthrough periphery correspondingly defining each of said pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body, said passthrough periphery disposed a distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch. 15. The dental retainer of claim 14, wherein said distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars provides a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

16. The dental retainer of claim 15, wherein said passthrough periphery disposed on said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

17. The dental retainer of claim 13, further comprising one or more tethers connected between said palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

18. The dental retainer of claim 17, wherein said tether comprises a pair of tethers correspondingly disposed between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

19. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

disposing a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising generating a passthrough periphery correspondingly defining each of said pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body, and disposing said passthrough periphery a distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising providing a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising disposing said passthrough periphery in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

23. The method of claim 19, further comprising disposing an aperture in said retainer body disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

24. The method of claim 23, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch; and terminating said retainer body at said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

25. The method of claim 24, further comprising extending a palatal portion of said retainer body to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

26. The method of claim 23, further comprising connecting one or more tethers between a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

28. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

disposing an aperture in said retainer body adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors. 29. The method of claim 28, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch; and terminating said retainer body at an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

30. The method of claim 29, further comprising extending a palatal portion of said retainer body to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

31. The method of claim 28, further comprising generating a passthrough periphery correspondingly defining each of said pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body, and disposing said passthrough periphery a distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

32. The method of claim 31, further comprising providing a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

33. The method of claim 32, further comprising disposing said passthrough periphery in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

34. The method of claim 31, further comprising connecting one or more tethers between a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

35. The method of claim 34, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

36. A method of using a dental retainer, comprising:

correspondingly disposing teeth of a dental arch in a plurality of dental impressions of a retainer body; and

correspondingly passing one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising correspondingly disposing a passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings a distance from a lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth disposed in said retainer body.

38. The method of claim 37, further comprising generating a gap between said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch disposed in said retainer body.

39. The method of claim 38, further comprising correspondingly disposing said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

40. The method of claim 36, further comprising disposing an aperture in said retainer body adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch said aperture located to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

41. The method of claim 40, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said retainer body terminating at said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

42. The method of claim 41, further comprising disposing an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

43. The method of claim 40, further comprising disposing a tether connecting a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch. 44. The method of claim 43, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers each connecting a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

45. A method of using a dental retainer, comprising:

correspondingly disposing teeth of a dental arch in a plurality of dental impressions of a retainer body; and

disposing an aperture in said retainer body adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture located to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

46. The method of claim 45, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said retainer body terminating at said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

47. The method of claim 46, further comprising disposing an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch. 48. The method of claim 45, further comprising generating a gap between said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch disposed in said retainer body.

49. The method of claim 48, further comprising correspondingly passing one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body.

50. The method of claim 49, further comprising correspondingly disposing a passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings a distance from a lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth disposed in said retainer body.

51. The method of claim 50, further comprising correspondingly disposing said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

52. The method of claim 49, further comprising further comprising disposing a tether connecting a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

53. The method of claim 52, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 25 March 2019 (25.03.2019)

1. A dental retainer, comprising:

a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body, each of said pair of passthrough openings defined by a passthrough periphery configured to provide a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

2. The dental retainer of claim 1, wherein said retainer body comprises a single material.

3. The dental retainer of claim 2, wherein said retainer body comprises a one-piece retainer body.

4. The dental retainer of claim 1, wherein said passthrough periphery configured to be disposed on said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

5. The dental retainer of claim 1, further comprising an aperture in said retainer body disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

6. The dental retainer of claim 5, wherein said retainer body extends over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch terminating in an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch. 7. The dental retainer of claim 6, wherein a palatal portion of said retainer body extends to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

8. The dental retainer of claim 5, further comprising one or more tethers connected between a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

9. The dental retainer of claim 8, wherein in said tether comprises a pair of tethers correspondingly disposed between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

10. A dental retainer, comprising:

A one-piece retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

an aperture in said retainer body disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

11. The dental retainer of claim 10, wherein said retainer body extends over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch terminating in an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

12. The dental retainer of claim 11, wherein a palatal portion of said retainer body extends to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

13. The dental retainer of claim 10, further comprising a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

14. The dental retainer of claim 13, further comprising a passthrough periphery correspondingly defining each of said pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body, said passthrough periphery disposed a distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

15. The dental retainer of claim 14, wherein said distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars provides a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

16. The dental retainer of claim 15, wherein said passthrough periphery configured to be disposed on said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

17. The dental retainer of claim 13, further comprising one or more tethers connected between said palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

18. The dental retainer of claim 17, wherein said tether comprises a pair of tethers correspondingly disposed between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

19. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and

disposing a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body, each of said pair of passthrough openings defined by a passthrough periphery configured to provide a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein said retainer body comprises a single material.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein said retainer body comprises a one-piece retainer body.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising configuring said passthrough periphery to be in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

23. The method of claim 19, further comprising disposing an aperture in said retainer body disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

24. The method of claim 23, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch; and terminating said retainer QHtZHTiri G'

WO 2019/108359 PCT/US2018/059683 body at said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

25. The method of claim 24, further comprising extending a palatal portion of said retainer body to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

26. The method of claim 23, further comprising connecting one or more tethers between a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

28. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a one-piece retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch; and disposing an aperture in said retainer body adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors.

29. The method of claim 28, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch; and terminating said retainer body at an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

30. The method of claim 29, further comprising extending a palatal portion of said retainer body to said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

31. The method of claim 28, further comprising generating a passthrough periphery correspondingly defining each of said pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body, and disposing said passthrough periphery a distance from said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch. QHtZHTiri G'

WO 2019/108359 PCT/US2018/059683

32. The method of claim 31, further comprising providing a gap between said passthrough periphery and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

33. The method of claim 32, further comprising configuring said passthrough periphery to be in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

34. The method of claim 31, further comprising connecting one or more tethers between a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body, said one or more tethers located between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch. 35. The method of claim 34, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

36. A method of using a dental retainer, comprising:

correspondingly disposing teeth of a dental arch in a plurality of dental impressions of a retainer body; and

correspondingly passing one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising correspondingly disposing a passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings a distance from a lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth disposed in said retainer body. 38. The method of claim 37, further comprising generating a gap between said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch disposed in said retainer body.

39. The method of claim 38, further comprising correspondingly disposing said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

40. The method of claim 36, further comprising disposing an aperture in said retainer body adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch said aperture located to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors. QHtZHTiri G'

WO 2019/108359 PCT/US2018/059683

41. The method of claim 40, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said retainer body terminating at said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch. 42. The method of claim 41, further comprising disposing an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

43. The method of claim 40, further comprising disposing a tether connecting a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

44. The method of claim 43, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers each connecting a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

45. A method of using a dental retainer, comprising:

correspondingly disposing teeth of a dental arch in a plurality of dental impressions of a retainer body; and

disposing an aperture in said retainer body adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said aperture located to allow corresponding lower incisors to contact said lingual surface of said upper incisors. 46. The method of claim 45, further comprising extending said retainer body over incisal surfaces of said upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch, said retainer body terminating at said aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

47. The method of claim 46, further comprising disposing an aperture periphery of said aperture disposed adjacent said lingual surface of upper incisors of said teeth in said dental arch.

48. The method of claim 45, further comprising generating a gap between said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings and said lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch disposed in said retainer body. QHtZHTiri G'

WO 2019/108359 PCT/US2018/059683

49. The method of claim 48, further comprising correspondingly passing one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body.

50. The method of claim 49, further comprising correspondingly disposing a passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings a distance from a lingual surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth disposed in said retainer body.

51. The method of claim 50, further comprising correspondingly disposing said passthrough periphery of said pair of passthrough openings in contact with said labial surface of said one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch.

52. The method of claim 49, further comprising further comprising disposing a tether connecting a palatal portion and a facial portion of said retainer body between a pair of said teeth in said dental arch.

53. The method of claim 52, further comprising correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers between said premolars and said canines of said teeth.

54. The dental retainer of claim 10, wherein said retainer body comprises a single material.

55. A dental retainer, comprising:

a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch, said lingual surface joined to said labial surface about each of a left and right rearmost molar; and

a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

56. A dental retainer, comprising:

a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch;

a palatal portion extending from said lingual surface configured to overlay substantially the entirety of the palate; and QHtZHTiri G'

WO 2019/108359 PCT/US2018/059683 a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

57. A dental retainer, comprising:

a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch, wherein said retainer body comprises a single material; and

a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

58. The method of claim 32, wherein said retainer body comprises a single material.

59. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch, said lingual surface joined to said labial surface about each of a left and right rearmost molar; and

adapting a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

60. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch;

configuring a palatal portion to extend from said lingual surface to overlay substantially the entirety of the palate; and

adapting a pair of passthrough openings in said retainer body to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

61. A method of making a dental retainer, comprising:

producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions including a labial surface opposite a lingual surface to receive respective teeth in a dental arch, wherein said retainer body comprises a single material; and adapting a pair of passthrough opening in said retainer body to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars and canines of said teeth in said dental arch through said retainer body.

Description:
ORTHODONTIC SETTLING RETAINER

This International Patent Cooperation Treaty Patent Application is a continuation of ETnited States Non-Provisional Patent Application No. 15/828,064, filed November 30, 2017, hereby incorporated by reference herein.

I. TECHNICAL FIELD

A dental retainer including one or more of a retaining body having a plurality of dental impressions to receive teeth, a pair of passthrough openings adapted to allow passage of one or more molars, premolars, and canines, and an aperture disposed adjacent the lingual surface of the incisors.

II. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

A broad object of the present invention is to provide a dental retainer having one or more of a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions to receive respective teeth in a dental arch, a pair of passthrough openings in the retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars, and canines through the retainer body, and an aperture in the retainer body disposed adjacent the lingual surface of the incisors.

Another broad object of the present invention is to provide a method of making a dental retainer including one or more of producing a retainer body having a plurality of dental impressions to receive respective teeth in a dental arch, disposing a pair of passthrough openings in the retainer body adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars, premolars, and canines through the retainer body, and disposing an aperture in the retainer body adjacent the lingual surface of the incisors.

Another broad object of the present invention is to provide a method of using a dental retainer including one or more of correspondingly disposing teeth of a dental arch in a plurality of dental impressions of a retainer body, correspondingly passing one or more molars, premolars, and canines in the dental arch through a pair of passthrough openings in the retainer body, and disposing an aperture adjacent the lingual surface of the incisors.

Naturally, further objects of the invention are disclosed throughout other areas of the specification, drawings, photographs, and claims.

III. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure l is a side perspective view of a particular embodiments of a dental retainer for a maxillary dental arch.

Figure 2 is a back perspective view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer for a maxillary dental arch.

Figure 3 is a bottom view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer for a maxillary dental arch.

Figure 4 is a side perspective view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer disposed on a maxillary dental arch.

Figure 5 is a back perspective view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer disposed on a maxillary dental arch.

Figure 6 is a bottom view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer disposed on a maxillary dental arch.

Figure 7 is a schematic of particular methods of making a dental retainer.

Figure 8 is a top view of another particular embodiment of a dental retainer for a mandibular dental arch.

Figure 9 is a back perspective view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer for a mandibular dental arch.

Figure 10 is a side perspective view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer disposed on a mandibular dental arch.

Figure 11 is a side perspective view of a particular embodiment of a dental retainer for a mandibular dental arch.

IV. MODE(S) FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Referring generally to Figures 1 through 11, a dental retainer (1) and methods of making a dental retainer (1) can include producing a retainer body (2) configured to receive the entirety or a portion of the dentition (3) of a dental arch (4). For purposes of this description, reference will first be made to a retainer body (2) produced to receive the dentition (3) of the maxillary dental arch (4 A). However, the method of making a dental retainer (1) can, but need not necessarily, further apply to producing a retainer body (2) to receive the dentition (3) of the mandibular dental arch (4B).

Again, referring generally to Figures 1 through 7, with primary reference to Figure 7 in particular embodiments, the method can include making a negative impression (5) of the dentition (3) (also referred to as“teeth”) of the maxillary dental arch (4A) in a dental impression material. The negative impression (5) provides a negative imprint of the dentition (3) of the maxillary dental arch (4A) and surrounding soft tissues in the mouth. An example of a dental impression material useful in embodiments of the method can include or consist of polyvinyl siloxane. The method can further include, producing a dental cast (6) or positive reproduction of the maxillary dental arch (4A) and the surrounding soft tissues can be made from the negative impression (5) of the maxillary dental arch (4A).

Again, referring primarily to Figure 7, in particular embodiments, the retainer body (2) can be produced by disposing a formable or thermoformable plastic (7) on the dental cast (6). The formable or thermoformable plastic (7) can be formed about the dental cast (6), and as to particular embodiments, one or more of heat (H), vacuum (V) or pressure (P) can be applied to the formable or thermoformable plastic (7) to allow or assist in forming the formable or thermoformable plastic (7) to the configuration of the dental cast (6). In particular embodiments, as the formable or thermoformed plastic (7) sets on the dental cast (6), rapid cooling can, but need not necessarily, be achieved by applying a coolant (C) to the retainer body (2), such as a flow of cool air or water.

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 through 3 and 7, the resulting retainer body (2) includes a labial surface (8) opposite a lingual surface (9). For purposes of this invention, the term“lingual” refers to a surface abutting or adjacent to (or direction towards) the tongue. For purposes of this invention, the term“labial” refers to a surface opposite the lingual surface adjacent to (or the direction towards) the inside of the cheek or lip. The retainer body (2) can have an outer surface (12) facing the mouth cavity and an inner surface (13) that is adjacent to, abuts or faces the dentition (3) of the dental arch (4) and having a plurality of dental impressions (10) to receive the respective teeth (3) in a dental arch (4). The resulting retainer body (2) can have a depth (14) defined by a distance between the outer surface (12) of the retainer body (2) disposed over the crowns (15) of the teeth (3) and the peripheral edge (18) of the retainer body (2) disposed over a portion of the gums (17) of the patient (as shown in the example of Figure 1). In particular embodiments, the resulting retainer body (2) can be trimmed to establish the peripheral edge (18) while maintaining a peripheral margin (16) which contacts the gums (17) and a portion of the palate when the teeth (10) are received in the retainer body (2) (as shown in the examples of Figures 4 through 6) and extends to the peripheral edge (18), which in part traverses the palate to afford a palatal portion (55) of the retainer body (2), which overlays substantially the entirety of the palate (as shown by broken line“PM” depicted in Figure 1) or overlays a portion of the palate (as shown in the example of Figures 4 through 6).

Again, referring primarily to Figures 1 through 7, the method of making a dental retainer (1) can further include disposing at least one of a pair of passthrough openings (19) in the retainer body (2) (as shown in the illustrative examples of Figures 1 through 3), each of the pair of passthrough openings (19) can be adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more molars (20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch through the retainer body (2) (as shown in the example of Figures 4 through 6). The pair of passthrough openings (19) can include a first passthrough opening (23) adapted to allow passage of one or more of the left maxillary molars (24), premolars (25) and canines (26). The pair of passthrough openings (19) can include a second passthrough opening (27) adapted to allow passage of one or more of the right maxillary molars (28), premolars (29) and canines (30). Particular embodiments can include only a first or only a second passthrough opening (23) or (27).

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 and 7, in particular embodiments, the method can further include excising a first coronal portion (31) of the retainer body (2) overlaying one or more of the left maxillary molars (24), premolars (25), and canines (26) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4) to generate a first passthrough periphery (32) which defines the first passthrough opening (23). In particular embodiments, the method can further include excising a second coronal portion (33) of the retainer body (2) overlaying one or more of the right maxillary molars (28), premolars (29), and canines (30) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4) to generate a second passthrough periphery (34) which defines the second passthrough opening (27). A first and second passthrough periphery (32)(34) correspondingly defines the open area each of the pair of passthrough openings (19) in the retainer body (2); however, in particular embodiments, only the first coronal portion (31) may be excised to provide the first passthrough periphery (32) defining the first passthrough opening (23) or only the second coronal portion (33) may be excised to provide the second passthrough periphery (34) defining the second passthrough opening (27).

Now referring primarily to Figures 4 through 6, each of the first and second passthrough peripheries (32)(34) can have a labial passthrough periphery (35) and a lingual passthrough periphery (36). In particular embodiments, the labial passthrough periphery (35) can, but need not necessarily, be disposed in contact with labial surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4 A) which pass through the corresponding first or second passthrough opening (23)(27). The lingual passthrough periphery (36) can, but need not necessarily, be disposed to contact the lingual surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4A) which pass through the corresponding first or second passthrough opening (23)(27). In particular embodiments, the labial passthrough periphery (35) or the lingual passthrough periphery (36), or both, can be disposed at the gum line (37) separating the gums (17) from the coronal part (38) of the teeth (10). In particular embodiments, the labial passthrough periphery (35) or the lingual passthrough periphery (36), or both, can be disposed a distance (39) from the gum line (37) to provide a gap (40) between the labial passthrough periphery (35) or the lingual passthrough periphery (36) and the corresponding labial surface or lingual surface of the one or more molars

(20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4 A) which pass through the first or second passthrough opening (23)(27).

As one illustrative example, with reference to Figure 4, an embodiment can dispose the labial passthrough periphery (35) on the labial surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars

(21), and canines (22) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4A) which pass through the corresponding first or second passthrough opening (23)(27) to correspondingly overlay a passthrough periphery margin (41) over the labial surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4A).

Now referring primarily to Figure 6, the lingual passthrough periphery (36) can be disposed a distance (39) from the gum line (37) to provide a gap (40) between the lingual passthrough periphery (36) and the corresponding lingual surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4A). As an illustrative example, the gap (40) can be sufficient to generally prohibit contact of the lingual passthrough periphery (36) from contacting the lingual surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars (21), and canines (22) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4A).

Again, referring primarily to Figures 1 through 7, particular methods of making a dental retainer (1) can include disposing an aperture (42) in the retainer body (2) to expose a portion of one or more of the upper incisors (43) (right maxillary lateral incisor (44), right maxillary central incisor (45), left maxillary central incisor (46), left maxillary lateral incisor (47)). The aperture (42) can be formed by excising a third coronal portion (48) of the retainer body (2). The third coronal portion (48) can be defined as a portion of the retainer body (2) overlaying in whole or in part the labial or lingual surfaces of the upper incisors (43) (or both the labial and lingual surfaces of the upper incisors). The excision of the third coronal portion (48) results in the configuration of an aperture periphery (49) which defines the aperture (42). The aperture periphery (49) can have a labial aperture periphery (50) and a lingual aperture periphery (51). In particular embodiments, the labial aperture periphery (50) can be disposed to contact the labial surface of the upper incisors (43) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4 A) or the lingual aperture periphery (51) can be disposed to contact the lingual surface (9) of the upper incisors (43) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4A), or both. In further particular embodiments, the labial aperture periphery (50) can be disposed at or adjacent the gum line (37) of the labial surface of one or more upper incisors (43) or the lingual aperture periphery (51) can be disposed at or adjacent the gum line (37) of the lingual surface (9) of the one or more upper incisors (43), or both.

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 through 6, in particular embodiments, the retainer body (2) can, but need not necessarily, be configured to overlay the labial and incisal surfaces (52) of the upper incisors (43) of the teeth (3) (as shown in the examples of Figures 4 through 6). This can be achieved by excising the third coronal portion (48) (as shown in the example of Figure 1) to dispose the aperture (42) over the lingual surface of the upper incisors (43) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4A). The excision of the third coronal portion (48) defines a third coronal cap periphery (53) which correspondingly defines the aperture periphery (49) that can include a lingual aperture periphery (51) which can approach the gum line (17) or can contact the lingual surface of the upper incisors (43) and a labial aperture periphery (50) which disposes the retainer body (2) at or over the incisal surfaces (52) of the upper incisors (43) of the teeth (3).

In particular embodiments, the aperture (42) can be adapted to allow corresponding lower incisors (7l)(as shown in the example of Figure 11) to contact the lingual surface of the upper incisors (43).

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 through 3 and 7, in particular embodiments, the method of making a dental retainer (1) can further include trimming the retainer peripheral edge (18) to afford a palatal portion (55) of the retainer body (2) adapted to overlay substantially the entirety of the palate (as shown by broken line PM) or a part of the palate of the mouth as shown in solid object line. As shown in the illustrative example of Figures 1 through 3, the palatal portion (55) of the retainer body (2) can extend from the retainer peripheral edge (18) or (PM) to the aperture periphery (49) disposed on or adjacent the lingual surface of the one or more upper incisors (43) in the dental arch (4A). Now referring generally to Figures 1 through 7, particular methods of making a dental retainer (1) can include connecting one or more tethers (56) between a palatal portion (55) and a facial portion (58) of the retainer body (2). The palatal portion (55) can be defined as that portion of the retainer body (2) configured to abut or lie adjacent the palate of the mouth. The facial portion (58) can be defined as the portion of the retainer body (2) which abuts or is adjacent to the cheeks and lips. The one or more tethers (56) can, but need not necessarily, be disposed interproximal, or on or proximate the line angle or junction of adjacent teeth (10) in the dental arch (4A). In the illustrative example of Figures 3 through 6, the method includes disposing a pair of tethers (56) on or proximate the line angle or junction of the premolars (21) and the canines (22) of the teeth (3).

In particular embodiments, the tether (56) can be an integral component of a one piece retainer body (2) remaining after excision of the coronal portions (3 l)(33)(48) of the retainer body (2) as above described, or be discrete components molded into the retainer body (2) by disposing the one or more tethers (56) over the dental cast (6) in a desired location prior to forming the plastic (7) of the retainer body (2), or the tether (56) can be a discrete component attached or adhered to the retainer body (2) after the coronal portions (3 l)(33)(48) have been excised from the retainer body (2). The one or more tethers (56) can comprise or consist of: a fiber, a plastic, a metal, a laminate, a composite material or combinations thereof. In the illustrative embodiment of Figures 3 through 6, the one or more tethers (56) comprises a metal wire having opposed ends adhered respectively to the palatal portion (55) and a facial portion (58) of the retainer body (2) with an amount of adhesive, such as a thermoplastic resin.

Now referring primarily to Figure 7, in particular embodiments, the method of making a dental retainer (1) can include disposing a layer of polymer (65) over a dental cast (6) and the one or more tethers (56). In particular embodiments, the one or more tethers (56) can be disposed over the dental cast (6) in a desired location. The one or more tethers (56) can comprise a metal wire having opposed ends. The opposed ends of the one more tethers (56) can be disposed respectively on the palatal portion (55) and on the facial portion (58) of the dental cast (6). A layer of curable polymer (65) can be disposed over the dental cast (6) and the one or more tethers (56) to form the retainer body (2). After curing, the retainer body (2) can be disengaged from the dental cast (6). One or more of the first coronal portion (31), second coronal portion (33), and the third coronal portion (48) can be excised from the retainer body (2) to dispose the first passthrough periphery (32), second passthrough periphery (34), and aperture (42), respectively, those elements being previously described. The resulting retainer body (2) can further be trimmed to afford the retainer peripheral edge (18)

Again, referring generally to Figures 1 through 7, with primary reference to Figure 7, in particular embodiments, the method of making a dental retainer (1) can include three-dimensional scanning or imaging (66) of the dental arch (4) using optical technologies such as: confocal laser microscopy, active wavefront sampling, accordion fringe inferometry, and optical coherent tomography to generate a digital model (59) of a dental arch (4A) or (4B).

In particular embodiments, the method can further include use of an additive build up process, to produce a replica model (60) of a dental arch (4A)(4B) which can be utilized as, or in substitution or replacement of, the dental cast (6), above described, followed by disposing thermoformable plastic (7) or by applying a layer of polymer (65) on the replica model (60) to form embodiments of the retainer body (2), as previously described. The term“additive build up process” for the purposes of this invention means any process of layering one or more materials to produce a three-dimensional object, and without limiting the breadth of the foregoing, particular embodiments of the additive build up process can, but need not necessarily, include the conventional process referred to as three-dimensional printing (“3D printing”) in which the three- dimensional object can be created from a digital model (59) using a three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61), such as a three-dimensional printer, laying down successive layers of a build material (64).

The term“three dimensional object” for the purposes of this invention means any configuration of a three-dimensional object and without limiting the breadth of the forgoing includes replica models (60) of a dental arch (4A)(4B) or embodiments of the dental retainer (1), as above described.

Again, referring primarily to Figure 7, particular embodiments can include a digital model (59), a three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus or materials printer (61), a materials deposition apparatus controller (62), and a dental retainer (1). The digital model (59) obtained by three-dimensional scanning or imaging (66) of the dental arch (4) provides a data representation of the dental arch (4) to be rendered in tangible form or from which the dental retainer (1) can be directly rendered in tangible form by operation of the three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61) or materials printer.

Again, referring primarily to Figure 7, as to particular embodiments of the invention, a materials deposition apparatus controller (62) can run a three-dimensional object production application (63) which reads the digital model files, accepts parameter and preference input from the user, performs a series of detailed calculations and transmits to the three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61) (which as to particular embodiments can be a three dimensional printer such as a Form 2350 ® available from Formlabs, Inc., or a three dimensional printer assembly as described in United States Patent No. 7,037,382, hereby incorporated by reference herein, or similar apparatus) commands and provides information needed to produce embodiments of the replica model (60) or embodiments of the dental retainer (1).

In particular, the three-dimensional object production application (63) may allow the user to arrange one or more digital models (59) in a virtual volume representing the actual fabrication space within the three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61). The three-dimensional object production application (63) can then slice the array of digital models (59) into a plurality of layers, each of a predetermined thickness, which are transmitted to control electronics housed within the three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61).

Particular embodiments of the three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61) can, but need not necessarily, comprise a three-dimensional printer (61) having an array of jet type print heads which deposit a binder liquid (67) onto successive layers of a build material (64). Where the binder liquid (67) combines with the build material (64), the powder reacts and hardens. By controlling the placement of binder liquid (67) from these print heads, the configuration of the replica model (60) or dental retainer (1) can be physically reproduced by an additive build up process. Further details of binding a build material (64) with a binder liquid (67) to form a replica model (60) or dental retainer (1) are disclosed in United States Patent Nos. 5,340,656 and 5,387,380, hereby incorporated by reference herein.

In particular embodiments, the build material (64) can comprise methacrylic acid esters, or a combination of methacrylic acid esters and phosphine oxides as a photoinitiator which exposed to ultraviolet light initiates hardening of the methacrylic acid esters, for example, Dental SG Resin liquid available from Formlabs, Inc. A three-dimensional object of the present invention, including embodiments of the replica model (60) of dental arch (4), or embodiments of the dental retainer (1), may be built using these build materials (64) deposited in successive layers using a three-dimensional printing system similar to various embodiments of United States Patent Nos. 6,658,314, 7,604,768 or 7,500,846, each hereby incorporated by reference herein.

In particular embodiments, the build material (64) can comprise a plastic filament. The plastic filament can, for example, comprise acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polylactic acid (PLA) provided as strands of filament of about one millimeter to about three millimeters in diameter that unwind from a coil or spool. The three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61) can comprise a fused deposition modeling (FDM) or, more generally, fused filament fabrication (FFF) printer. The plastic filament can be supplied to a print head with an extrusion nozzle, such as a gear which pulls the plastic filament off the spool and into the extrusion nozzle. The extrusion nozzle can be adapted to regulate flow between on and off. The extrusion nozzle (or an upstream portion of the print head) is heated to melt the plastic filament as it is passed into, or through, the extrusion nozzle so that it liquefies. The pointed extrusion nozzle deposits the liquefied material in lines (for example, in lines that are about 0.1 millimeters across).

As to particular embodiments, the build material(s) (64) used in the additive build up process of embodiments of the replica model (60) or dental retainer (1), when cured, can, but need not necessarily, have Shore A or Shore D hardness which falls in a wide range of hardnesses. The Shore A hardness can, as an example, be between about 40 to about 100 or a Shore D harness of between about 0 and about 90. However, the above illustrative Shore A or Shore D hardness or the resulting tensile strength is not intended to preclude embodiments which fall outside of these ranges.

Now referring generally to Figures 4 through 6, methods of using a dental retainer (1) can include one or more of correspondingly disposing the teeth (3) of a dental arch (4 A) in a plurality of dental impressions (10) of a retainer body (2), and correspondingly passing one or more molars (20), premolars (21) and canines (22) of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4A)(4B) through one or a pair of passthrough openings (19) in the retainer body (2). The methods can, but need not necessarily, include correspondingly disposing a first or second passthrough periphery (32)(34) of one or the pair of passthrough openings (19) a distance from a lingual surface of the one or more molars (20), premolars (21) and canines (22) of the teeth (3) disposed in the retainer body (2). The method can, but need not necessarily, include disposing an aperture (42) in the retainer body (2) over the lingual surface of upper incisors (43) of the teeth (3) in the maxillary dental arch (4A), the aperture (42) located to allow corresponding lower incisors (43) to contact the lingual surface of the upper incisors (43). The method can, but need not necessarily, include disposing a tether (56) connecting a palatal portion (55) and a facial portion (58) of the retainer body (2) between a pair of the teeth (3) in the dental arch (4)(4A)(4B). In yet further embodiments, methods of using the dental retainer (1) can include correspondingly disposing a pair of tethers (56) each connecting a palatal portion (55) and a facial portion (58) of the retainer body (2) between the premolars (21) and canines (22) of the teeth (3). Now referring generally to Figures 8 through 11, the above methods of making a dental retainer (1) can be applied to the production of a retainer body (2) to receive the dentition (3) of the mandibular dental arch (4B). Again, referring primarily to Figure 7, the method of making a dental retainer (1) for the mandibular dental arch (4B) can include making a negative impression (5) of the dentition (3) of the mandibular dental arch (4B) and disposing formable plastic (7) over the dental cast (6) of the negative impression (5), as that process has been previously described herein.

Again, referring primarily to Figures 8 through 11, the resulting retainer body (2) can have an outer surface (12) facing the mouth cavity and an inner surface (13) that is adjacent to, abuts or faces the dentition (3) of the dental arch (4). The resulting retainer body (2) can have a depth (14) (similar to the illustrative example of Figure 1) defined by a distance between the outer surface (12) of the retainer body (2) disposed over the crowns (15) of the teeth (10) and the peripheral edge (18) of the retainer body (2) disposed over a portion of the gums (17). In particular embodiments, the resulting retainer body (2) can be trimmed to provide a peripheral edge (18) which contacts the gums (17) and a portion of the floor of the mouth below the tongue when the teeth (3) of the mandibular arch (4B) are received in the retainer body (2) and extends to a peripheral edge (18).

Again referring to Figures 8 through 11, the method of making a retainer body (2) for the mandibular dental arch (4B) can further include disposing a pair of passthrough openings (19) in the retainer body (2), each of the pair of passthrough openings (19) can be adapted to correspondingly allow passage of one or more mandibular molars (68), premolars (69), and canines (70) of the teeth (3) in the mandibular dental arch (4B) through the retainer body (2). The pair of passthrough openings (19) can include a first passthrough opening (23) adapted to allow passage of one or more of the molars (68), premolars (69) and canines (70) on the left side of the mandibular dental arch (4B). The pair of passthrough openings (19) can include a second passthrough opening (27) adapted to allow passage of one or more of the mandibular molars (68), premolars (69) and canines (70) of the right mandibular dental arch (4B). Particular embodiments can include only a first or a second passthrough opening (23)(27). A detailed description of the first or second passthrough opening (23)(27) has been provided above, and that description can be applied to the retainer body (2) for the mandibular dental arch (4B).

Again, referring primarily to Figures 8 through 11, particular methods of making a dental retainer (1) for the mandibular dental arch (4B) can further include disposing an aperture (42) in the retainer body (2) to expose a portion of one or more of the lower incisors (71). The aperture (42) can be formed by excising a third coronal portion (48) of the retainer body (2). The third coronal portion (48) can be defined as that portion of the retainer body (2) overlaying the labial and lingual surfaces of the lower incisors (71). The excision of the third coronal portion (48) results in the configuration of an aperture periphery (49) which defines the aperture (42). The aperture periphery (49) can have a labial aperture periphery (50) and a lingual aperture periphery (51). In particular embodiments, the labial aperture periphery (50) can be in contact with the labial surface of the lower incisors (68) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4B) or the lingual aperture periphery (51) can be in contact with the lingual surface of the lower incisors (68) of the teeth (10) in the dental arch (4B), or both. In further particular embodiments, the labial aperture periphery (50) can be disposed at or adjacent the gum line (37) of the labial surface of one or more lower incisors (71) or the lingual aperture periphery (51) can be disposed at or adjacent the gum line (37) of the lingual surface (9) of the one or more lower incisors (68), or both. In particular embodiments, the aperture (42) can be adapted to allow corresponding upper incisors

(43) to contact the lingual surface of the lower incisors (71). A detailed description of the aperture (42) has been provided above, and that description can be applied to the retainer body (2) for the mandibular dental arch (4B).

Particular methods of making a dental retainer (1) for a mandibular dental arch (4B) can further include connecting one or more tethers (56) between a palatal portion (55) and a facial portion (58) of the retainer body (2). The one or more tethers (56) can, but need not necessarily, be disposed interproximal, on or proximate the line angle or junction of adjacent teeth (3) in the dental arch (4B). In the illustrative example of Figures 3 through 6 the method includes disposing a pair of tethers (56) between the premolars (69) and the canines (70) of the teeth (3). A detailed description of the tether (56) has been provided above, and that description can be applied to the retainer body (2) for the mandibular dental arch (4B).

Particular methods of making a dental retainer (1) for a mandibular dental arch (4B) can further include three-dimensional scanning or imaging (66) of the dental arch (4) using optical technologies such as: confocal laser microscopy, active wavefront sampling, accordion fringe inferometry, and optical coherent tomography to generate a digital model (59) of the mandibular dental arch (4B). The method can, but need not necessarily, further include use of an additive build up process, to produce a replica model (60) of a mandibular dental arch (4B) which can be utilized as, or in substitution or replacement of, the dental cast (6) above described followed by disposing formable plastic (7) on the replica model (60) to form embodiments of the retainer body (2), the process being described above. Further particular embodiments can include a digital model (59), a three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61) or materials printer, a materials deposition apparatus controller (62), and a dental retainer (1). The digital model (59), obtained by three-dimensional scanning or imaging (66) of the mandibular dental arch (4B), provides a data representation of the dental arch (4B) to be rendered in tangible form or from which the dental retainer (1) can be directly rendered in tangible form by operation of the three-dimensional materials deposition apparatus (61) or materials printer, the process being described above.

As can be easily understood from the foregoing, the basic concepts of the present invention may be embodied in a variety of ways. The invention involves numerous and varied embodiments of a dental retainer and methods for making and using such dental retainer including the best mode.

As such, the particular embodiments or elements of the invention disclosed by the description or shown in the figures or tables accompanying this application are not intended to be limiting, but rather exemplary of the numerous and varied embodiments generically encompassed by the invention or equivalents encompassed with respect to any particular element thereof. In addition, the specific description of a single embodiment or element of the invention may not explicitly describe all embodiments or elements possible; many alternatives are implicitly disclosed by the description and figures.

It should be understood that each element of an apparatus or each step of a method may be described by an apparatus term or method term. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. As but one example, it should be understood that all steps of a method may be disclosed as an action, a means for taking that action, or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each element of an apparatus may be disclosed as the physical element or the action which that physical element facilitates. As but one example, the disclosure of a“retainer” should be understood to encompass disclosure of the act of“retaining”— whether explicitly discussed or not— and, conversely, were there effectively disclosure of the act of“retaining”, such a disclosure should be understood to encompass disclosure of a“retainer” and even a“means for retaining.” Such alternative terms for each element or step are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.

In addition, as to each term used it should be understood that unless its utilization in this application is inconsistent with such interpretation, common dictionary definitions should be understood to be included in the description for each term as contained in the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, second edition, each definition hereby incorporated by reference.

All numeric values herein are assumed to be modified by the term“about”, whether or not explicitly indicated. For the purposes of the present invention, ranges may be expressed as from "about" one particular value to "about" another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value to the other particular value. The recitation of numerical ranges by endpoints includes all the numeric values subsumed within that range. A numerical range of one to five includes for example the numeric values 1, 1.5, 2, 2.75, 3, 3.80, 4, 5, and so forth. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint, and independently of the other endpoint. When a value is expressed as an approximation by use of the antecedent "about," it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment. The term“about” generally refers to a range of numeric values that one of skill in the art would consider equivalent to the recited numeric value or having the same function or result. Similarly, the antecedent “substantially” means largely, but not wholly, the same form, manner or degree and the particular element will have a range of configurations as a person of ordinary skill in the art would consider as having the same function or result. When a particular element is expressed as an approximation by use of the antecedent "substantially," it will be understood that the particular element forms another embodiment.

Moreover, for the purposes of the present invention, the term“a” or“an” entity refers to one or more of that entity unless otherwise limited. As such, the terms“a” or“an”,“one or more” and“at least one” can be used interchangeably herein.

Thus, the applicant(s) should be understood to claim at least: i) each of the dental retainers herein disclosed and described, ii) the related methods disclosed and described, iii) similar, equivalent, and even implicit variations of each of these devices and methods, iv) those alternative embodiments which accomplish each of the functions shown, disclosed, or described, v) those alternative designs and methods which accomplish each of the functions shown as are implicit to accomplish that which is disclosed and described, vi) each feature, component, and step shown as separate and independent inventions, vii) the applications enhanced by the various systems or components disclosed, viii) the resulting products produced by such systems or components, ix) methods and apparatuses substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to any of the accompanying examples, x) the various combinations and permutations of each of the previous elements disclosed. The background section of this patent application provides a statement of the field of endeavor to which the invention pertains. This section may also incorporate or contain paraphrasing of certain United States patents, patent applications, publications, or subject matter of the claimed invention useful in relating information, problems, or concerns about the state of technology to which the invention is drawn toward. It is not intended that any United States patent, patent application, publication, statement or other information cited or incorporated herein be interpreted, construed or deemed to be admitted as prior art with respect to the invention.

All publications, patents and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety by reference into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein by reference. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention.

The claims set forth in this specification, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this description of the invention, and the applicant expressly reserves the right to use all of or a portion of such incorporated content of such claims as additional description to support any of or all of the claims or any element or component thereof, and the applicant further expressly reserves the right to move any portion of or all of the incorporated content of such claims or any element or component thereof from the description into the claims or vice-versa as necessary to define the matter for which protection is sought by this application or by any subsequent application or continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof, or to obtain any benefit of, reduction in fees pursuant to, or to comply with the patent laws, rules, or regulations of any country or treaty, and such content incorporated by reference shall survive during the entire pendency of this application including any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof or any reissue or extension thereon.

Additionally, the claims set forth in this specification, if any, are further intended to describe the metes and bounds of a limited number of the preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as the broadest embodiment of the invention or a complete listing of embodiments of the invention that may be claimed. The applicant does not waive any right to develop further claims based upon the description set forth above as a part of any continuation, division, or continuation-in-part, or similar application.