The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "a. Field of the Invention
"The current invention relates to dental partials.
"b. Background of the Invention
"Many people will lose a tooth for one reason or another, and people with one or more missing teeth will often resort to prosthetic teeth for aesthetic and functional purposes. A missing tooth is often visible, and can impart an image that many people find undesirable, such as an unsophisticated or ruffian image. Food is typically chewed between opposing upper and lower teeth, but a missing tooth leaves a gap that interferes with chewing and biting actions.
"There are many ways to secure a prosthetic tooth in a person's mouth. If one single tooth is missing, and there are stable teeth on either side of the missing tooth, a bridge can be used. The bridge secures the prosthetic tooth to the adjoining stable teeth. A bridge is generally a permanent attachment, such that an individual cannot remove the prosthetic tooth at will. Dentures are often used where all of a person's teeth are missing, or at least all of either the top teeth or the bottom teeth. With dentures, the prosthetic teeth are secured to a base that fits the contours of the person's mouth. Dentures are often removable, so the user can take them out every night or as needed for cleaning, comfort, or other reasons. However, permanent dentures are also available.
"A removable partial denture, referred to as just a partial in this description, is a removable replacement missing natural teeth, gingival tissue, and/or supporting bone when one or more natural teeth still remain. A partial is a device with one or more prosthetic teeth secured to a base, where the base is usually either metallic or polymeric, and the prosthetic teeth are permanently secured to the base. The base is typically secured to remaining natural teeth, but the attachment is usually temporary. The person can remove the partial by hand, and then re-position the partial in their mouth when desired. There are other types of partial dentures that can be permanently installed.
"The prosthetic teeth are typically made of a hard material that will withstand chewing. In many cases, a prosthetic tooth is sized, shaped, and colored to match a person's natural teeth, so others will not notice the tooth is prosthetic. In other cases, a prosthetic tooth will not match the natural teeth, such as when the tooth is positioned out of sight with the person's mouth, or when the user desires a prosthetic tooth that stands out, such as a gold tooth.
"Prosthetic teeth are made from many different materials. Ivory, porcelain, and metals have been used historically, and can still be used today. Acrylic resins and ceramics are also used for prosthetic teeth, and it is possible to use other materials. The prosthetic tooth should be strong enough to withstand chewing, and durable enough to last for an extended period.
"Prosthetic teeth can be secured to a base in several different ways. Holes or cavities can be formed in the bottom of the prosthetic tooth, where the base contacts the prosthetic tooth, and the material of the base can be formed into that hole or cavity to secure the prosthetic tooth to the base. Other known methods can be used to secure the prosthetic tooth to the base using known techniques.
"In many cases, the connection between the prosthetic tooth and the base can be a challenge. For example, in cases where the patient's upper and lower bite are close together, there is very little room for all the components of the partial, such as the prosthetic tooth, framework, and/or base material. In these cases, it can be difficult to anchor the prosthetic tooth in place during the extreme forces of mastication. In patients with normal bites, the prosthetic tooth can be affixed via conventional methods of acrylic bonding to the prosthetic tooth surface, or through the use of 'diatoric' holes for added retention. The attachment needs to be durable, because a prosthetic tooth is often used on a daily basis for an extended period, such as several years. Time, effort, and money are required to attach an anchor to a prosthetic tooth, and any attachment has the potential to fail. The prosthetic tooth and the anchor are typically made from different materials, and connections between different materials can be susceptible to special considerations, such as thermal stress and/or increased corrosion rates at the connection."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "A dental partial includes a prosthetic tooth with an anchor extending from the tooth, where the anchor and the tooth are a single unitary structure. The anchor is embedded in a base of the dental partial, where the base conforms to the shape of a patient's mouth. The prosthetic tooth has a lingual surface and a facial surface, and the anchor extends from at least one of the lingual and/or facial surfaces of the prosthetic tooth.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dental partial positioned over a person's mouth, where the partial is ready to be inserted into place.
"FIG. 2 is an upper perspective view of one embodiment of a prosthetic tooth with unitary anchors.
"FIG. 3 is a lower perspective view of one embodiment of a prosthetic tooth with unitary anchors.
"FIG. 4 is a side sectional view of a prosthetic tooth an anchor encased in a base."
For more information, see this patent application:
Keywords for this news article include: Dentistry,
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