News Column

Patent Issued for Dental Implant

September 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Health & Medicine Week -- A patent by the inventor Adams, Curtis (Flemington, NJ), filed on May 17, 2013, was published online on August 26, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx correspondents (see also CH Scientific, LLC).

Patent number 8814570 is assigned to CH Scientific, LLC (Flemington, NJ).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention disclosed herein relates generally to dental implants for fixed and removable prosthetic devices and to fixed and removable prosthetic devices including such implants, and for other devices such as orthodontic devices, for example.

"Implant dentistry dates back at least to the 1970s. See, e.g., Principles and Practice of Implant Dentistry, by Charles M. Weiss and Adam Weiss, Mosby Inc., 2001."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The invention provides dental implants for fixed and removable prosthetic devices, and for other applications such as orthodontics, and to fixed and removable prosthetic devices including such implants, and has application to, but is not limited to, one or more of the following: single tooth replacement, e.g., caps and crowns; multiple tooth replacement using one or more implants, e.g., bridges; and multiple implants for full and partial prosthetic devices. Embodiments of dental implants incorporating the invention may be installed in single or multiple root teeth locations.

"Dental implants according to embodiments of the invention comprise a post or posts inserted into the jawbone extending therefrom towards the opposing jawbone, and a base or stabilizer that is loaded, in the general area of the gum line, against the jawbone. According to embodiments of the invention, the base or stabilizer is loaded against the jawbone along a portion facing the opposing jawbone in contact therewith. This jawbone portion extends generally parallel to the tongue. So as not to confuse the base or stabilizer with an endodontic procedure, or a temporary stabilizer for prior art implantology procedures, the base or stabilizer is referred to below simply as a 'base,' which may comprise a base plate or platform or other structure.

"There is a major distinction between mechanically loading an element at the time of installation prior to use and loading that occurs after installation during use. The loading of the base against the jawbone according to some embodiments of the invention occurs at the time of installation (which may take place at one time, e.g., during one session, or over a period of time, e.g., during a plurality of sessions which take place over the period of time), and continues without the application of any external force after installation is completed, which is completely different from the loading that occurs after installation, e.g., during chewing. (Such loading of the base against the jawbone at installation is actually 'preloading' the base.) Throughout the application, reference is made to loading of the base against the jawbone, and such loading refers to the loading (or preloading) that takes place during installation.

"The term loaded (or loading or loadable, etc.) against the jawbone is meant in a broad sense and encompasses loading of the base against the jawbone in direct contact therewith. According to some embodiments, the base is loaded against a portion of the jawbone that faces the opposite jawbone. For example, in a mouth of a person standing and looking straight ahead, the bottom of the upper jawbone faces the top of the lower jawbone, and the top of the lower jawbone faces the bottom of the upper jawbone. Thus, loading the base against a jawbone portion facing an opposing jawbone encompasses loading against the bottom or top of a jawbone. With reference to a base having opposed major sides, according to some embodiments, the base is loaded against the jawbone along a major side of the base. According to some embodiments, the base is loaded against the jawbone by a force or forces derived from anchoring of the post or posts in the jawbone. For example, the base may be urged in compression against the jawbone via a tensile force applied to the post or posts, e.g., clamped against the jawbone. According to some embodiments, loading the base against the jawbone also loads the post or posts in tension with respect to the jawbone.

"According to some embodiments of the invention, a recess or cut-out is provided in the jawbone portion facing the opposed jawbone to receive the base therein, e.g., along a major side of the base. The recess is provided entirely in hard bone tissue (cortical bone tissue) and does not extend to the soft bone tissue (gingival bone tissue), i.e., the recess extends and ends in the cortical bone tissue. In these embodiments, the base contacts and is loaded along a major side thereof against hard bone tissue in the recess portion that faces the opposing jawbone.

"Implants according to the embodiments of the invention incorporating bases disclosed herein provide sufficient supporting surface area for a prosthetic device even though the size of the post(s) is relatively small. Implants according to some embodiments of the invention comprise a plurality of posts and a base loaded against the jawbone according to embodiments of the invention, which allow for the use of posts of smaller diameter. Implants according to some embodiments of the invention comprise one post and a base loaded against the jawbone according to various embodiments of the invention, which allow for the use of a small diameter post, e.g., as used in current mini-implants (but without a base). Loading the base against the jawbone in accordance with various embodiments of the invention provides improved performance and benefits while using small diameter posts, as described herein, e.g., such loading provides improved support for a prosthetic device (or other device) of the same size used previously at a particular tooth or implant location. According to various embodiments, the size of the post or posts depends upon tooth or implant location (incisor, canine, etc.,) and patient characteristics. The base loaded against the jawbone according to various embodiments of the invention provides improved support and resistance to a load presented by a prosthetic device (or other device) attached to the implant, and improves distribution of the load.

"According to some embodiments of the invention, implants are constructed so that loading from a prosthetic device is transmitted to the base with no appreciable loading transmitted to a post or posts. In some embodiments, virtually all of the loading is transferred to the base. In turn, such loading of the base from a prosthetic device is transmitted to the hard tissue of the jawbone over the surface area of the base contacting the jawbone portion facing the opposing jawbone, e.g., along a major side of the base, with no appreciable loading being transferred to the post(s). According to some embodiments of the invention, the surface area of the base, e.g., along a major side thereof, is sufficiently large, e.g., extending along the top or bottom surface of the jawbone (for the lower and upper jawbone, respectively) as presented by the surface area of the base, and the base is sufficiently loaded against the jawbone to distribute loading from a prosthetic device over a wider area of the jawbone than is possible where prosthetic device loading is transferred to the jawbone by other arrangements. According to some embodiments of the invention, the force loading the base against the jawbone is substantial.

"Also, loading the base against the jawbone promotes bone growth and improves or provides for bonding of the base to the jawbone.

"According to some embodiments, the base is configured to fit snugly (similar to the fitting of adjacent teeth) between existing teeth into the implant location at the gum line, so as to be loadable against the jawbone. For example, the base is configured to fit in a space or cavity at the concerned implant location in the mouth, e.g., in a space between teeth, created by the absence of a tooth, or otherwise, loaded against the jawbone at the gum line. The term tooth location is meant in a broad sense and corresponds at least generally to the location of a tooth formerly in the mouth. For example, according to some embodiments of the invention, the implant may be centered more or less in the location formerly occupied by a tooth, although the implant location may be offset from the center of the location of a tooth formerly in the mouth, e.g., where the space or cavity formerly occupied by the tooth is large or the implant is to be inserted where two or more adjacent teeth were formerly in the mouth. Where there is a large toothless area in the mouth, the implant location need not correspond to that where a tooth was formerly located, but may depend upon patient characteristics. In some embodiments, an implant with an attached prosthetic device is approximately the size of a tooth, but in some embodiments can be larger or smaller depending upon patient characteristics.

"Various configurations of bases may be used. According to some embodiments of the invention, the configuration corresponds generally to a cross-sectional slice of the tooth formerly at the tooth location, e.g., such that the base occupies a substantial surface area, e.g., all or most of the surface area, formerly occupied by the tooth at the gum line at the implant location. According to some embodiments of the invention, the base is configured to be received within the width of the jawbone (e.g., the transverse dimension of the jawbone) at the implant location. In some embodiments, the width of the base is approximately the width of or approximately not wider than the width of the jawbone (e.g., the base may be slightly larger than the jawbone) at the implant location. In some embodiments of the invention, the cross-sectional surface area of the base is approximately that of the space or cavity in the implant location at the gum line, i.e., the cross-sectional surface area of the tooth formerly at the implant location at the gum line. According to some embodiments, the length of the base (e.g., the dimension extending along the jawbone) corresponds generally to that of a tooth formerly at the tooth location, but may be longer (or possibly shorter) depending upon patient characteristics and/or the particular tooth or teeth replacement involved or the particular dental application or the particular patient.

"According to some embodiments of the invention, the thickness of the base is sufficient to withstand the compressive force(s) that load the base against the jawbone and to stabilize and support a prosthetic device or other device attached to the implant. Also, according to some embodiments of the invention, the prosthesis or other device extends over the base, which should have sufficient thickness to permit this.

"In some applications of the invention, an implant or implants may be used to attach a device in the mouth other than a prosthetic device, for example a device used in orthodontics. Depending upon the application, an implant may be inserted into the jawbone in any location suitable for the application. For example, an implant used to anchor an orthodontic device may not be inserted into the jawbone at a location occupied or formerly occupied by a tooth. Those of skill in the art can determine suitable locations for such implants.

"In some embodiments of the invention, a fastener system operates to provide or assist in providing loading of the base and/or post or posts. Examples of fastener systems comprise systems which operate to attach or engage the post or posts and the base before, during or after insertion of the post or posts into the jawbone.

"In embodiments in which the post(s) and the base are engaged or attached after insertion of the post(s) into the jawbone, the post(s) are inserted into the jawbone and operation of a fastener system attaches or engages the base and the inserted post(s), directly or through engagement of the base with the jawbone, and loads the base and/or post(s).

"In embodiments in which the post(s) and the base are attached or engaged during insertion of the post(s) into the jawbone, operation of a fastener system attaches or engages the base and the post(s) during insertion of the post(s), directly or indirectly through engagement of the base with the jawbone, and the base and/or post(s) are loaded during insertion of the post(s) into the jawbone.

"In embodiments in which the post(s) and the base are attached or engaged before insertion of the post(s) into the jawbone, the base and the post(s) may be attached or engaged together in any suitable manner to form a unit (e.g., by a fastener system) but such that tightening of the fastener system functions to insert the post(s) into the jawbone and load the base against the jawbone.

"In some embodiments, the base includes a hole for each post, and a respective post is received in a respective hole. In some embodiments, a respective post passes through a respective hole.

"In some embodiments, the post or posts comprise screw threads by means of which the post or posts can be secured to the jawbone. In various embodiments, the threaded post(s) may be attached to or engage the base before, during or after insertion of the post(s), as described above. However, in embodiments in which a threaded post and base are fixed together prior to insertion, depending upon the manner of attachment, e.g., screwing the post into the jawbone, and insertion, it may not be possible to load the base against the jawbone and/or employ more than one post.

"A dental implant according to some embodiments of the invention comprises: at least one post which is inserted into a patient's jawbone extending towards the opposing jawbone; and a base including a hole in the base for each post of the dental implant. The implant also includes a fastener system as described herein.

"Any suitable post and any suitable insertion methodology may be used. For example, in the illustrated embodiments, each post includes a screw thread extending along at least the portion of the post which is to be threaded into the jawbone. In some embodiments, the threaded portion is circular in cross section, and the post diameter may be tapered. In these embodiments in which a post includes screw threads for inserting the post, each such post is secured to the jawbone at least using the screw thread thereof with an end of the respective post extending from the jawbone attached to or engaged with the base.

"In some embodiments of the invention, self-tapping posts with screw threads are employed. In some embodiments, a guide hole in the jawbone may be drilled, and the post screwed into the guide hole in a self-tapping manner. In some embodiments, a self-tapping post is screwed directly into the jawbone without a guide hole. In some embodiments, a hole is drilled in the jawbone and tapped, and a threaded posted screwed into the tapped hole.

"In some embodiments, the base comprises a platform or base plate that includes opposed parallel major sides and at least one minor side transverse to the major sides, e.g., may have a generally solid rectangular, trapezoidal or other suitable configuration. The base may be rectangular or trapezoidal in cross section, or may have other suitable cross-sectional shapes, e.g., circular, oval, triangular. In some embodiments of the base that comprise at least one hole, in the installed condition of the implant, the at least one post is received in the at least one hole, and in some embodiments passes through the at least one hole with the free end of the post extending beyond an adjacent major side of the base. A fastener system operates to engage or attach each post and the base, as described herein.

"In some embodiments, a base receives a core to which, at least partially, a prosthetic device or other device is attached. In some embodiments, the core is built-up and in some embodiments, the core is pre-formed, e.g., the core material is preformed to form a preformed core, or the core comprises a cap. In some embodiments, the cap is fixed to the base. In embodiments in which a post and/or fastener system part projects from the base, the core may be used to cover the post and/or fastener part, and at least assist in securing a prosthetic device to the base. In some embodiments, the core is adapted to receive and support a prosthetic device replacing at least one tooth and is supported by the base so that no appreciable loading is transferred to the post(s). In some embodiments, the core transfers virtually all of the loading to the base.

"In some embodiments, the implant includes at least one anchor which is attached to the implant projecting from the base and adapted to assist in securing a prosthetic device to the dental implant.

"In some embodiments in which the core comprises a pre-formed cap, the cap and the base each are configured such that in the installed condition of the implant the cap entirely overlays the base. In another embodiment, the cap and the base each are configured such that in the installed condition of the implant the cap overlays a first portion of the base and does not overlay a second portion of the base. In some embodiments, the prosthetic device is attached to the cap and is configured to entirely overlay the cap, and in some embodiments to entirely overlay the cap and to also overlay the second portion of the base.

"Dental implants according to some embodiments of the invention may be installed at locations formerly occupied by teeth having one root or a plurality of roots. Generally, a post is inserted for each root at that location. However, in some embodiments, a post may not be provided for each root. For example, at a tooth location formerly occupied by a tooth having three or more roots, an embodiment may provide for only two posts.

"A method according to an embodiment of the invention for installing a dental implant of the type disclosed herein comprises providing a hole or guide hole in a jawbone for each post of the implant positioned to be aligned with each post of the implant in the installed condition of the implant. (In self-tapping embodiments in which a posted is screwed directly into the jawbone, a hole or guide hole is not needed.) In some embodiments in which the post(s) are inserted prior to attachment or engagement with the base, the base includes a hole for each post and each hole in the jawbone is positioned to be alignable with a hole in the base. Each post is inserted with an end thereof facing the opposing jawbone. In some embodiments, a post or posts extends from a respective jawbone hole toward the opposing jawbone a distance sufficient to enter a respective hole in the base or to be attached to or engaged with the base such that the base contacts the jawbone at the gum line or in a recess in the cortical jawbone and, upon tightening of the fastener system, is loaded against the jawbone. In the case of a self-tapping post that screws directly into the jawbone without a pre-drilled hole, no hole or guide hole need be provided, and the post(s) are inserted into the jawbone to be in proper alignment with a hole or holes in the base. A template may be used to properly locate the post(s), which in some embodiments may comprise the base.

"In some embodiments in which the base and post(s) are attached prior to or during insertion of the post(s), the post(s), prior to and during insertion thereof, are movable relative to the base, e.g., are moveably received in holes in the base. As the post(s) are inserted into the jawbone, they engage the base and load the base as described above.

"In embodiments in which the base and post(s) are attached or engaged prior to insertion of the post(s), each post is inserted into the jawbone (with the base and post(s) attached or engaged), where the base is loaded against the jawbone by operation of a fastener system.

"In embodiments in which the base is to be installed in direct contact with the jawbone, the gum at the gum line may be cut away to expose the jawbone and provide access thereto for the base to directly contact the jawbone. In embodiments employing a gum line cut, the base is mounted with each post received in a respective hole in the base or attached thereto or engaged therewith and the base in contact with jawbone at the gum line, and the base is loaded against the jawbone, e.g., by operation of a fastener system. In the some embodiments, the jawbone may be cut away to from a recess extending and ending in the cortical bone to receive the base in direct contact with cortical bone in the jawbone along the portion thereof facing the opposing jawbone, e.g., a major side of the base contacts a top or bottom of a jawbone."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Adams, Curtis. Dental Implant. U.S. Patent Number 8814570, filed May 17, 2013, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8814570.PN.&OS=PN/8814570RS=PN/8814570

Keywords for this news article include: Bone Research, CH Scientific, CH Scientific LLC, Dentistry, Orthodontics.

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Source: Health & Medicine Week


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