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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PROPHY ANGLE WITH INTEGRATED PASTE DISPENSER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2009/140630
Kind Code:
A9
Abstract:
A disposable dental prophy angle having paste or polishing material preloaded (26) is provided. The paste is dispensed to the lower cup (10) by simply depressing a button (40) that ratchets downwardly to deliver paste.

Inventors:
BELLANTI LAKESHA (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2009/044198
Publication Date:
January 07, 2010
Filing Date:
May 15, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BELLANTI LAKESHA (US)
International Classes:
A61C17/00; A61C17/22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VIDAS, Scott (6640 Shady Oak RoadEden Prairie, MN, US)
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Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A dental prophy angle, comprising:

(a) a body having a first cylindrical portion and a second cylindrical head portion at an angle from a longitudinal axis of said first cylindrical portion;

(b) a drive shaft extending through the first cylinder portion having an engagement end for engaging with a rotating power source and a gear member end at the other end of said drive shaft;

(c) said second cylindrical head portion including a compartment housing therewithin for holding a supply of paste, said compartment housing including an exterior second gear for cooperation with said first gear to thereby cause rotation of said compartment housing when said drive shaft rotates;

(d) a prophy cup attached to a lower end of said compartment housing through which paste may pass via an exit port; and

(e) a ratchet mechanism for providing a controlled dispension of paste into said prophy cup, said ratchet mechanism including a ratchet plunger within a pawl sleeve, said plunger having a lower plunger face for pushing paste within said compartment housing toward said prophy cup, said pawl sleeve being spring loaded within said second cylindrical head portion and being in contact with an upper button member which when depressed causes said pawl sleeve to travel downwardly against a spring to thereby ratchet said plunger downward once per depression of said button.

2. An apparatus for cleaning teeth comprising:

(a) a prophy angle having a prophy cup attached thereto;

(b) a supply of paste disposed internally within said prophy angle;

(c) a spring loaded ratchet mechanism located above said supply of paste including a ratcheting plunger which is connected with a pawl sleeve that may be depressed downwardly against a spring by depressing a button in contact with said pawl sleeve to thereby force said ratcheting plunger down to push paste into said prophy cup.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said ratcheting plunger includes a plurality of spaced teeth against which said pawl sleeve abuts with depression of said pawl sleeve via

said button causing the ratcheting plunger to descend one tooth distance at a time, said pawl sleeve releasing from said tooth and returning to an original position via said spring such that said pawl sleeve is positioned to engage a different tooth on said ratcheting plunger to cause it to descend further.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said pawl sleeve includes at least one flexible inner projection for engaging with teeth on said ratcheting plunger.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said prophy angle includes a compartment housing above said prophy cup for holding a supply of paste, said compartment housing further including flexible inner projections to allow said ratcheting plunger to descend only into said compartment housing.

6. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said ratcheting plunger teeth are constructed and arranged with tooth stops against which said flexible inner projection abuts.

7. A dental prophy angle, comprising:

(a) a body having a first cylindrical portion and a second cylindrical head portion at a angle from a longitudinal axis of said first cylindrical portion;

(b) a drive shaft extending through the first cylinder portion having an engagement end for engaging with a rotating power source and a gear member end at the other end of said drive shaft;

(c) said second cylindrical head portion including a compartment housing therewithin for holding a supply of paste, said compartment housing including an exterior second gear for cooperation with said first gear to thereby cause rotation of said compartment housing when said drive shaft rotates;

(d) a prophy cup attached to a lower end of said compartment housing through which paste may pass via an exit port; and

(e) a ratchet mechanism including a plunger having a button on one end and a plunger face on the other end, said plunger extending through said cylindrical head portion and with its plunger face into said compartment housing.

8. The dental prophy angle of claim 7 wherein said compartment housing has a plurality of internal spaced circular ridges that each act as stop points for said plunger face as the plunger is depressed further into said compartment housing to eject paste into said prophy cup.

Description:

PROPHY ANGLE WITH INTEGRATED PASTE DISPENSER

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

United States provisional patent application number 61/127968 filed May 16, 2008.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a dental prophy angle with an integrated paste dispenser that is pre-filled and provides for incremental, controlled dispensing of paste. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A prophy angle is an instrument used for dental cleaning and polishing. It incorporates a spinning brush or cup or brush within a cup, and rotation is imparted to the brush from a remote motor via a mechanism for translating rotational motion. In typical prophy angles, the rotational axis of the brush is perpendicular to the rotational axis of the motor, so shafts and gearing are provided to translate the rotation of the motor to the cup or brush.

The prophy angle is typically used in conjunction with paste or polish. The operator typically manually dips the prophy angle into a supply of paste and then applies the prophy angle to the teeth. When the paste is used up, the operator must stop operation, remove the angle from the teeth, and again obtain a supply of paste. During a typical polishing operation, the operator must stop many times, slowing the process and taking up more of the patient's and dental office time.

The art described in this section is not intended to constitute an admission that any patent, publication or other information referred to herein is "prior art" with respect to this invention, unless specifically designated as such. In addition, this section

should not be construed to mean that a search has been made or that no other pertinent information as defined in 37 CF. R. ยง 1.56(a) exists.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a prophy angle that eliminates the need for the operator to stop polishing a patient's teeth to get additional paste. The prophy angle is preloaded with paste and is simply attached to the existing power connection in the dental office and used until the cleaning and polishing is completed. At that time, a new prophy angle is attached to the power connection. The used prophy angle may be used one time only or may be cleaned, sterilized and re-loaded with paste for a later use. The prophy angle of the invention is very easy to use in that a simple depression on the upper button causes a predetermined amount of paste to be inserted into the cup for polishing. This is repeated throughout the procedure until the polishing is completed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A detailed description of the invention is hereafter described with specific reference being made to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle in its fully loaded position; FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle depressed down and the button down;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle depressed and the button back up;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle depressed further and the button down;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle depressed further and the button back up;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle depressed further yet and the button down; FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle depressed further yet

and the button back up;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle fully emptied of paste with the button down;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the prophy angle fully emptied of paste with the button back up; FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the prophy angle;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view through lines A-A of Fig. 15;

FIG. 12 is a top view of the prophy angle;

FIG. 13 is a side perspective view of the prophy angle;

FIG. 14 is a side view of the prophy angle.; FIG. 15 is an end view of the prophy angle;

FIG. 16 is a bottom view of the prophy angle;

FIG. 17 is a back end view of the prophy angle;

FIG. 18 is a view of a cartridge loaded in a prophy angle;

FIG. 18a shows a typical paste filled cartridge; FIG. 19 shows an alternative embodiment for the ratcheting mechanism;

FIG. 20 shows another embodiment for the ratcheting mechanism;

FIG. 21 shows the lower portion of the prophy angle of FIGS. 19 and 20; and

FIG.22 is a bottom view of the prophy angle of FIG. 21.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present inventive prophy angle eliminates the need to stop to apply paste to the prophy angle and thus is more convenient for the operator and leads to a speedier process. The present invention is a prophy angle 1 with a compartment 5 for storing prophy paste and structure for incrementally dispensing the paste. Further the prophy angle 1 incorporates the paste storage and dispenser with motion translation shafts and gears to spin a brush- like member along an axis at a right angle to the axis of rotation of the motor that drives the prophy angle.

The prophy angle 1 of the present invention includes a paste storage compartment 5 having an exit portion 6 adjacent the rotatable cup or brush or brush within the cup 10. A ratcheted plunger 20, having a ratchet teeth 25 at one end and a plunger face 26 at its opposite end, is movable within the compartment from a first proximal position (when the storage compartment is filled and before paste is dispensed), as shown in Fig. 1, to a second distal position (when the storage compartment is emptied and all paste has been dispensed), as shown in Figs. 8 & 9. Stopping at one or more intermediate positions therebetween Figs. 2 - 7 is facilitated through the ratchet teeth 25 on the plunger shaft.

A button 40 engages the plunger 20, such that depressing or clicking the button 40 advances the plunger 20 one increment and expresses a predetermined fraction of the paste stored in the storage compartment 5. The button 40 is spring-biased 50 so that the after plunger 20 has been advanced, the button 40 returns to its neutral, undepressed position as pictured in Figs. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9.

Depression of button 40 causes a pawl sleeve 62 to move downwardly. Pawl sleeve 62 has flexible inner projections 64 that bear against the teeth 25 of ratcheted plunger portion 72.

The cylindrical housing 72 has a rotating shaft 80 passing axially therethrough. The shaft 80 rotates a first gear 82 which in turn rotates a second gear 84 which is on the exterior of compartment housing 90. Compartment housing 90 has a lower end 92 to which the cup 10 is attached. Cup 10 rotates by virtue of its attachment to compartment housing 90, which rotates due to engagement of its gear 84 with shaft 80 gear 82. As shown, compartment housing 90 may further include a flexible inner projection 98 that bear against teeth 25 of plunger 20 to further align the plunger 20 and to engage against teeth 25 to limit backward travel. In a preferred embodiment the prophy angle is pre-filled with paste. To maintain the freshness of the paste, the exit port 6 may be sealed by a removable air- impermeable seal 60, Fig. 10 that adheres to the distal end of the prophy angle, i.e., adjacent the cup 10.

Fig. 18 shows a form of the prophy angle 1 in which rather than pre- loading paste within compartment 5, a cartridge 100 loaded with paste 102 may be

inserted into the prophy angle 1 by either removing the lower cup 10 or alternative methods such as by hinging portion 74 so it can break open to insert cartridge 100. The cartridge may be formed from any compatible material, including cardboard paper or plastic. Seals at each end during shipping and storage would be removed prior to inserting the cartridge into the prophy angle. FIGS. 19-22 show alternative embodiments in which the ratcheting mechanism is varied. In the embodiment of FIG. 19, the lower compartment housing includes a plurality of spaced, concentric rings or ribs 110. The plunger 112 includes an upper operator button 114 and causes a lower plunger face 116 to move downwardly one ring 110 at a time within the paste filled compartment housing. In FIG. 20, the lower portion of the prophy angle is similar to FIG. 19, but it also includes a ratcheting via plunger 120 which includes teeth 122, a pawl sleeve 124 and a spring 126. As shown in FIGS. 21 and 22, the prophy angle may be filled with paste 102 and sealed with a seal 126. A variety of configurations may be made in the actual prophy cup 10 including ribs up the sides of the cup or triangular fins at the bottom of the cup. The prophy angle 1 may be formed from a wide variety of materials that are used in dental prophy angles. Disposable prophy angles may be made of plastics and reusable forms of the invention would be made of metals and plastics that are suitable with sterilizing and cleaning solutions in the dental industry.

In operation, a prophy angle 1 pre-filled with paste is attached to the dental office drive system such that shaft 80 may be rotated on demand by the operator. Cover 60 is removed from cup 10 and the operator depresses button 40 forcing pawl sleeve 62 to press down against a stop 66 on plunger teeth 25 which causes the plunger to move down one notch. The spring 50 causes button 40 and pawl sleeve 62 to return upwardly while plunger 20 remains in the position just depressed. The operator repeats the depression cycle to force paste into cup 10 and continues depressing button 40 as needed during the patient's teeth polishing as needed to ensure that the correct amount of paste is within cup 10 during the procedure. At no time is the operator required to remove the prophy angle 1 from the patient's teeth to get more paste in the cup 10.

While this invention may be embodied in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and described in detail herein specific preferred embodiments of

the invention. The present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular embodiments illustrated.

This completes the description of the preferred and alternate embodiments of the invention. Those skilled in the art may recognize other equivalents to the specific embodiment described herein which equivalents are intended to be encompassed by the claims attached hereto.