The patent's inventors are Bulard, Ronald A. (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates to an improved dental implant, to an improved keeper cap, and to the use of the improved implant and keeper cap for fixed or removable prosthetic applications.
"The use of combinations of O-ring abutments and standard dental implants is well known in the art. Previously, these have not been integrated into a single device. Instead, the conventional practice has been to set one or more standard dental implant bodies, i.e., without the O-ring abutments. Thereafter, the O-ring abutments have been mounted onto the dental implant bodies, generally by screwing the O-ring abutment into the implant bodies. Then, fixed or removable prostheses have been mounted onto the combinations of the O-ring abutments and the dental implant bodies according to a variety of procedures well known in the art.
"A problem with these types of fixtures is that the connections between the O-ring abutments and the dental implant bodies can loosen over time. Another problem is that these types of fixtures exhibit bacteria and ionic microleakage at the joints. It would be beneficial to have the means to avoid these problems.
"A third problem is that the standard implant bodies typically are large in diameter, and this causes problems in setting these implant bodies in the bone. Specifically, surgical intervention is required, which translates to multiple office visits and increased costs, which increases both the physical and financial discomfort to the patient. This problem is addressed in the earlier U.S. Pat. No. 5,749,732, which issued on
"The solution to this third problem as outlined in the earlier patent was to provide 1) a mini-dental implant of small diameter and strong composition, such as titanium or an alloy thereof, and 2) a non-surgical method of placing the implants comprising setting the implants directly through both gum and bone, thereby avoiding the need for surgery to incise and flap open the gum to expose the underlying bone as done previously. Because surgery was avoided, both the implants and the denture could be mounted in a single office visit, thereby reducing the cost and incidence of pain to the patient.
"According to the teachings of the earlier patent, the dental implant described therein comprises a non-circular abutment, preferably of square, triangular, hexagonal or any other shape that permits threaded advance of the shaft by fingers or tools. See, the earlier patent at column 2, lines 58-60.
"Therefore, it was an object of the present invention to overcome the problems associated with the conventional combinations of distinct O-ring abutments and dental implants, while at the same time provide advantages similar to those described in the earlier patent.
"Further, the use of keeper caps fitted with O-ring-shaped inserts, plastic inserts, metal inserts or any other material capable of flexibly engaging with an O-ring abutment in order to removably fix a denture to an O-ring abutment is also well known. Previously, the flexibility to use either the O-ring-shaped insert or the plastic insert has not been enjoyed. Since the keeper caps are usually firmly adhered to the denture, switching from keeper caps containing O-ring-shaped inserts to those containing plastic inserts or vice versa conventionally has not been done. This is undesirable because the O-ring-shaped inserts are conventionally made of rubber, and, thus, are more gentle, and therefore have their greatest usefulness early on in the treatment when the patient's comfort level is low. However, as time passes, and the patient's comfort level rises, the use of the more rigid plastic inserts may become desirable.
"Therefore, it was another object of the present invention to provide a means that would allow the practitioner to 'switch' from the use of O-ring-shaped inserts to the use of plastic inserts or vice versa without having to remove the keeper cap from the denture or to form a new denture around new keeper caps."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "These and other objects were met by present invention, which relates in a first embodiment to a one-piece dental implant extending between a first end and a second end, the one-piece dental implant comprising the following distinct regions integrated into one piece: a) a threaded shaft tapering to a point at the first end; b) a head at said second end; and c) optionally a non-circular abutment positioned between said threaded shaft and said head.
"The present invention relates in a second embodiment to a keeper cap adapted to be secured to the dental implant of the invention via an O-ring-shaped insert or a plastic insert retained in said keeper cap, wherein, in the event the keeper cap is to be removably attached to a dental implant having a ball-shaped head, said keeper cap has the structure generally of first and second joined cylinders having first and second diameters, respectively, the keeper cap is closed on one end thereof, and wherein said first diameter is selected to accept and retain said O-ring-shaped insert, and said second diameter is selected to accept and retain said plastic insert.
"The present invention relates in a third embodiment to a kit comprising the inventive one-piece dental implant. The kit may additionally comprise: a) a keeper cap adapted to be secured to said dental implant via an O-ring-shaped insert or a plastic insert retained in said keeper cap, wherein, in the event the keeper cap is to be removably attached to a dental implant having a ball-shaped head, said keeper cap has the structure generally of first and second joined cylinders having first and second diameters, respectively, the keeper cap is closed on one end thereof, and wherein said first diameter is selected to accept and retain said O-ring-shaped insert, and said second diameter is selected to accept and retain said plastic insert; b) an O-ring-shaped insert adapted to be accepted and retained in said keeper cap and removably attached to said dental implant; and/or c) a plastic insert adapted to be accepted and retained in said keeper cap and removably attached to said dental implant.
"The present invention relates in a fourth embodiment to a method of forming a removable prosthesis comprising: a) providing the inventive kit; b) inserting said dental implant into the jaw-bone of a patient; and c) forming said removable prosthesis around said ball-shaped or other than ball-shaped head.
"In the event that a keeper cap containing said O-ring-shaped insert or said plastic insert is used, then the fourth embodiment may additionally comprise forming the removable prosthesis around said keeper cap; and securing said removable prosthesis to the jaw bone of the patient by attaching the keeper cap via said O-ring-shaped insert or said plastic insert to said dental implant.
"The invention relates in a fifth embodiment to a method of forming a fixed prosthesis onto a combination of an O-ring abutment screwed into a dental implant body, comprising forming the fixed prosthesis onto the inventive one-piece dental implant."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Bulard, Ronald A.; Hadwin, Stephen J.. One Piece Dental Implant and Use Thereof in Prostodontic and Orthodontic Applications. U.S. Patent Number 8651866, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Surgery, Dentistry, Orthodontics,
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