(19)
(11)EP 2 331 036 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/45

(21)Application number: 09775649.8

(22)Date of filing:  06.07.2009
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61F 5/56  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/BE2009/000037
(87)International publication number:
WO 2010/003198 (14.01.2010 Gazette  2010/02)

(54)

DEVICE FOR TREATING NIGHT TIME BREATHING PROBLEMS

VORRICHTUNG ZUR BEHANDLUNG VON NÄCHTLICHEN ATEMBESCHWERDEN

DISPOSITIF UTILISABLE POUR LE TRAITEMENT DES APNÉES NOCTURNES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 07.07.2008 BE 200800374

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.06.2011 Bulletin 2011/24

(73)Proprietor: Nelissen, Jozef Frans
2560 Nijlen (BE)

(72)Inventor:
  • Nelissen, Jozef Frans
    2560 Nijlen (BE)

(74)Representative: D'Halleweyn, Nele Veerle Trees Gertrudis 
Arnold & Siedsma Bezuidenhoutseweg 57
2594 AC The Hague
2594 AC The Hague (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A- 1 516 604
WO-A-2005/013867
US-A1- 2007 283 967
EP-A1- 1 972 311
WO-A-2007/113465
US-B1- 7 007 697
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a device for treating breathing problems, comprising
    • a lower part mountable on the lower jaw and an upper part mountable on the upper jaw, which lower and upper parts are situated at least in the vicinity of the back teeth; and
    • left and right coupling means for coupling the lower part to the upper part close to the back teeth; wherein each of the left and right coupling means comprises an upper coupling element connected to the upper part and a lower coupling element connected to the lower part; which left and right coupling means are adapted to move the lower jaw forward in relation to the upper jaw.


    [0002] Night-time breathing problems, which can for instance result in snoring, sleep apnoea syndrome or other sleep disorders are a generally known problem. When a person sleeps, the rear part of the tongue may tend to slide backwards, whereby the pharyngeal airway is wholly or partially closed off. It is known to solve such breathing problems with a device which can be placed in the mouth and with which the lower jaw is placed further forward in relation to the upper jaw. The neck muscles are hereby forced into a tensioned position, whereby the tongue moves forward and the airway is left clear.

    [0003] Said devices placeable in the mouth are generally known and can be found in a number of different embodiments, including embodiments as described in the preamble which have been known since the 1990s. The known embodiments have the drawback that they allow too much freedom of movement during opening/closing of the mouth.

    [0004] US 2007/0283967 and WO 2007/113465 both describe oral appliances in which coupling means are provided between the lower and upper tooth arches. Such appliances prevent the tongue being in a position of rest and offer only limited possibilities for control.

    [0005] The invention has for its object to provide a device according to the preamble of claim 1, which is user-friendly and agreeable to wear, and allows a precise adjustment with a limited freedom of movement of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw.

    [0006] The invention is distinguished for this purpose by the features of the characterizing portion of claim 1. The upper coupling element is provided with a stop for co-action with a contact surface of the lower coupling element, such that when lower and upper jaw are moved towards each other a further closing of the mouth is prevented when the contact surface comes up against the stop. The left and right, upper and lower coupling elements are further connected to respectively the upper and lower part such that they are situated in the oral vestibule (vestibulum oris) in the position of the device placed in the mouth, i.e. the coupling elements are situated between the teeth and respectively the left and right cheek.

    [0007] In this way the freedom of movement of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw is also limited in vertical direction, i.e. in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of the lower jaw or upper jaw.

    [0008] According to an advantageous embodiment, at least one coupling element of the upper and the lower coupling elements is provided with vertical adjusting means for adjusting the vertical position of the stop/the contact surface in relation to the lower jaw in order to obtain an adjustable minimum distance between lower jaw and upper jaw.

    [0009] According to an aspect of the invention, the at least one coupling element comprises a contact portion and a base portion connected respectively to the upper or lower part, wherein vertical adjusting means are provided between the contact portion and the base portion for the purpose of adjusting the vertical position of the contact portion in relation to the base portion. By increasing the distance between the contact portion and the base portion the contact portion (on which the contact surface or the stop is situated) thus comes to lie further from respectively the upper part or the lower part, and the freedom of movement is thus further limited.

    [0010] According to a possible embodiment, the adjusting means comprise a substantially vertical adjusting screw with double screw thread for the up/downward adjustment of the contact portion in relation to the base portion, which adjusting screw co-acts at one outer end with a first threaded bore in the contact portion and co-acts at its other outer end with a second threaded bore in the base portion, wherein a rotation of the adjusting screw changes the distance between the first and second threaded bore. According to a further developed embodiment, the adjusting screw is provided substantially in the centre with an encircling flange with radially directed openings into which a rod fits for the purpose of rotating the adjusting screw by rotating the rod. In this way the vertical distance can be adjusted in convenient manner. Telescopically acting tubes between base portion and contact portion can further be provided on either side of the vertical adjusting screw so as to thus improve the stability of the device.

    [0011] According to another aspect of the invention, at least one coupling element of the upper and the lower coupling element comprises a fixed part which is connected to respectively the lower part or upper part, and a part which is displaceable relative to this fixed part substantially parallel to respectively the lower part or upper part. "Parallel to respectively the lower part or upper part" should be understood to mean substantially parallel to the plane of respectively the lower teeth or the upper teeth when the device is placed in the mouth. In this way the moving forward of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw can likewise be adjusted.

    [0012] According to a possible embodiment, the displaceable part comprises the contact portion such that both a horizontal and vertical displacement are possible. Horizontal should here be understood to mean substantially parallel to the plane of respectively the lower teeth or the upper teeth when the device is placed in the mouth, depending on whether the displaceable part is situated in respectively the upper or lower coupling element. Vertical should then be understood to mean substantially perpendicular to respectively the plane of the lower jaw or of the upper jaw.

    [0013] Each upper coupling element is provided with a substantially vertical portion with a concave or convex surface directed toward the front teeth, and each lower coupling element is provided with a substantially complementarily shaped surface, this such that the upper coupling element can engage in the lower coupling element and that rearward movement of the lower jaw is avoided. In this way the vertical movement of upper coupling element in relation to lower coupling element is further guided and limited, while a lateral movement of upper jaw in relation to lower jaw is a possibility, as will be further elucidated.

    [0014] According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the upper and lower coupling elements are designed such that a limited lateral or sideways movement of the lower part arranged on the lower jaw in relation to the upper part arranged on the upper jaw, i.e. a movement in the plane of the teeth and substantially perpendicularly of the back teeth, is possible. A limited lateral freedom of movement further increases the wearing comfort without having serious consequences for the accuracy of adjustment. According to a possible embodiment, the lower coupling element lies in lateral direction at a distance from the upper part in the position of the device placed in the mouth.

    [0015] Other features and advantages will become apparent from the description of a number of non-limitative exemplary embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
    • figure 1 shows a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a device according to the invention;
    • figures 2(A)-(F) show schematic side views of different variants of the embodiment of figure 1;
    • figure 3 (A) shows a perspective detail view of an upper coupling element of the embodiment of figure 1;
    • figure 3(B) shows a perspective detail view of a lower coupling element of the embodiment of figure 1;
    • figure 4 shows a top view of the upper and lower coupling element placed on an upper and lower jaw.


    [0016] In the drawings of the different embodiments equivalent components are designated with the same reference numerals, wherein a hundred is added at a time for each variant.

    [0017] Figure 1 and figures 3(A)&(B) and figure 4 illustrate a preferred embodiment of an oral apparatus 1 for treating breathing problems. This apparatus 1 comprises a lower part mountable on the lower jaw in the form of a shaped part 2 and an upper part mountable on the upper jaw in the form of a shaped part 3. The skilled person will understand that the lower and upper part may also be embodied differently and the term part is understood to mean for instance a brace with a palate plate as well as a flexible bite-block. The only requirement is that the lower and upper parts are situated at least in the vicinity of the back teeth such that coupling elements can there be mounted on the lower/upper part 2, 3.

    [0018] The apparatus further comprises left and right coupling means 4 (for the sake of simplicity only the left coupling means are shown in figure 1) for coupling lower part 2 to upper part 3 close to the back teeth. Each of the left and right coupling means 4 comprises an upper coupling element 6 connected to upper part 3 and a lower coupling element 5 connected to lower part 2. In the position of lower and upper part placed in the mouth these coupling means 4 are situated on the vestibular side of the tooth arch, i.e. between the cheek and the tooth arches. As will become further apparent, the left and right coupling means 4 are adapted to move the lower jaw forward in relation to the upper jaw, while the up/downward movement of the lower jaw in relation to upper jaw is also controlled.

    [0019] In the embodiment of figure 1 lower coupling element 5 consists of three parts: a fixed part 9, a central part 8, and an upper part 7. Fixed part 9 is attached to lower part 2 and connected via horizontal adjusting means 11 to central part 8. Central part 8 is connected via vertical adjusting means 10 to upper part 7. Part 7 functions here as a contact portion with a contact surface 12 for the purpose of making contact with a stop 13 of upper coupling element 6 when the mouth is closed. Parts 8 and 9 can be seen as a base portion. Contact portion 7 can be moved upward/downward in relation to base portion 8, 9 using adjusting means 10.

    [0020] Central part 8 is further horizontally displaceable in relation to fixed part 9 via adjusting means 11, wherein horizontally is understood to mean substantially parallel to lower part 2. Parts 7 and 8 thus form a block which is horizontally displaceable in relation to fixed part 9. Parts 7, 8 and 9 with associated adjusting means thus allow adjustment of both the vertical and the horizontal position of contact surface 12 in order to obtain an adjustable minimum vertical and horizontal distance between lower jaw and upper jaw.

    [0021] Upper coupling element 6 is provided with a substantially vertical portion 14 with a concave surface 15 directed toward the front teeth, and contact portion 7 of lower coupling element 5 is provided with a substantially complementarily shaped surface 16. In this way the upper coupling element can engage in the lower coupling element and the vertical movement of lower jaw in relation to upper jaw is further guided and limited.

    [0022] According to the illustrated embodiment, the vertical and horizontal adjusting means 10, 11 consist in each case of a central adjusting screw 17, 18 with double screw thread for respectively up/downward and front/backward adjustment of contact portion 7 relative to fixed part 9. Arranged on either side of each central adjusting screw 17, 18 are telescopically acting tubes 22, 23 and 24, 25 parallel thereto (see in particular figure 3(B)). The central vertical adjusting screw 17 co-acts at one outer end with a first threaded bore in contact portion 7 and at its other outer end with a second threaded bore in central part 8, wherein a rotation of the adjusting screw changes the distance between the first and second threaded bore. The central horizontal adjusting screw 18 co-acts on one side with a threaded bore in central part 8 and on the other with a threaded bore in fixed part 9. Each adjusting screw 17, 18 is preferably provided substantially in the centre with an encircling flange 21 with radially directed openings 20 into which a rod fits for the purpose of rotating the adjusting screw by rotating the rod.

    [0023] Figure 3(A) shows upper coupling element 6 in detail. The dimensions of this element 6 can for instance be as follows:
    • width w1 between 5 and 10 mm, preferably about 8 mm;
    • height h1 between 10 and 20 mm, preferably about 15 mm;
    • length 11 between 10 and 20 mm, preferably about 15 mm. Figure 3(B) shows lower coupling element 5 in detail. The dimensions of this element 5 can for instance be as follows:
    • width w2 smaller than width w1, for instance between 4 and 9 mm, preferably about 2 mm smaller than w1 and so more preferably about 6 mm;
    • height h2 between 15 and 25 mm, preferably about 18 mm;
    • length 12 between 20 and 40 mm, preferably about 32 mm.


    [0024] According to an advantageous embodiment, each upper coupling element 6 can move laterally or sideways in limited manner (see arrow 30 in figure 4) in relation to the lower coupling element in a position of the oral apparatus placed in the mouth. In an advantageous embodiment shown in figure 4 the width w2 of upper coupling element 6 is for this purpose smaller than the width w1 of lower coupling element 5, and the lower coupling element is placed further outward (here over a distance w1-w2, although the skilled person will appreciate that this distance may also be to some extent smaller or greater). In this way lower coupling element 5 will be situated at a distance in lateral direction from the upper part when the device is placed in the mouth, and will thus allow a lateral movement of upper part in relation to lower part.

    [0025] A number of variants will now be described with reference to the schematic side views shown in figures 2(A)-(E), in which for the sake of clarity the lower and upper parts are not shown.

    [0026] In the variant of figure 2(A) no horizontal adjusting means are provided and lower coupling element 105 consists of two parts: a base portion 109 and a contact portion 107. Contact portion 107 has a contact surface 112, the height of which is adjustable using vertical adjusting means 110. Figure 2(B) shows an equivalent variant wherein base portion 209 and the vertically adjustable contact portion 207 are provided in upper coupling element 206 and stop 213 is situated on the bottom of contact portion 207, while contact surface 212 is provided on lower coupling element 205.

    [0027] The variant of figure 2(C) largely corresponds with the embodiment of figure 1, so that reference can be made to the description above of figure 1. Figure 2(D) shows a reverse variant in which parts 307, 308 and 309 with associated vertical and horizontal adjusting means 310, 311 are received in upper coupling element 306. Lower coupling element 305 is provided here with a vertical portion 314 with a convex surface 315 and contact portion 307 is formed with a complementarily formed surface 316.

    [0028] Figure 2(E) shows a variant in which the upper coupling element is provided with a vertical portion 414 with a convex surface 415 directed toward the front teeth 440. This convex surface thus forms on one side a stop 413 for contact portion 407 which prevents the closing movement and on the other a guide surface for guiding and limiting the vertical movement of part 407 which is provided with a complementary surface 412/416. Finally, figure 2(F) shows a variant in which the horizontal adjusting means 511 are provided in upper coupling element 506 between a fixed part 508 mounted on the upper part and a stop part with a vertical portion 514 and with a stop 513. The vertical adjusting means 510 are provided in lower coupling element 505 between a contact portion 507 and a fixed part 509.

    [0029] The skilled person will appreciate that the figures are not limitative and that measures of one variant may be added to another variant without departing from the scope of the invention. The design of element 513, 514 on the one hand and element 507 on the other of the embodiment of figure 2F, can for instance thus be modified and be for instance analogous to the design of element 13, 14 on the one hand and element 7 on the other of the embodiment of figure 1.

    [0030] The invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiments illustrated above and the skilled person will understand that many modifications can be envisaged without departing from the scope of the invention, this scope being defined solely by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. Device for treating breathing problems, comprising

    - a lower part (2) mountable on the lower jaw and an upper part (3) mountable on the upper jaw, which lower and upper parts are adapted to be situated at least in the vicinity of the back teeth; and

    - left and right coupling means (4) for coupling the lower part to the upper part close to the back teeth; wherein each of the left and right coupling means comprises an upper coupling element (6) connected to the upper part and a lower coupling element connected to the lower part (5); which left and right coupling means are adapted to move the lower jaw forward in relation to the upper jaw; wherein the upper coupling element is provided with a stop (13) for co-action with a contact surface (12) of the lower coupling element; and wherein each upper coupling element (5, 6) is provided with a portion with a concave or convex surface (15) directed toward the front teeth, and that each lower coupling element is provided with a complementarily shaped surface (16), this such that the upper coupling element can engage in the lower coupling element and that rearward movement of the lower jaw is avoided; characterized in that the upper and lower coupling elements (5, 6) are connected to respectively the upper and lower part such that these upper and lower coupling elements are situated in the oral vestibule in the position of the device placed in the mouth, and in that said stop (13) and said contact surface (12) are located in the oral vestibule, on the vestibular side of the tooth arch, in the position of the device placed in the mouth, such that when lower jaw and upper jaw are moved toward each other a further closing of the mouth is prevented when the contact surface comes up against the stop.


     
    2. Device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that at least one coupling element of the upper and the lower coupling element is provided with vertical adjusting means (10) for adjusting the vertical position of the contact surface/stop in relation to the lower jaw in order to obtain an adjustable minimum distance between lower jaw and upper jaw.
     
    3. Device as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the at least one coupling element of the upper and the lower coupling element comprises a contact portion (7) and a base portion (8, 9) connected to the upper or lower part, and that the vertical adjusting means (10) are provided between the contact portion and the base portion for the purpose of adjusting the vertical position of the contact portion in relation to the base portion.
     
    4. Device as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the adjusting means (10) comprise a substantially vertical adjusting screw with double screw thread for the up/downward adjustment of the contact portion in relation to the base portion, which adjusting screw co-acts at one outer end with a first threaded bore in the contact portion and co-acts at its other outer end with a second threaded bore in the base portion, wherein a rotation of the adjusting screw changes the distance between the first and second threaded bore.
     
    5. Device as claimed in claim 4, characterized in that the adjusting screw is provided substantially in the centre with an encircling flange with radially directed openings into which a rod fits for the purpose of rotating the adjusting screw by rotating the rod.
     
    6. Device as claimed in claim 4 or 5, characterized in that telescopically acting tubes between base portion and contact portion are provided on either side of the vertical adjusting screw.
     
    7. Device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that at least one coupling element of the upper and the lower coupling element comprises a fixed part (9) which is connected to respectively the lower part or upper part, and a part (7, 8) which is displaceable relative to this fixed part parallel to respectively the lower part or upper part.
     
    8. Device as claimed in claim 7, characterized in that the displaceable part (7, 8) comprises the contact surface (12).
     
    9. Device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that each lower coupling element has in lateral direction a width differing from the associated upper coupling element such that a lateral clearance is obtained which allows a lateral movement of the lower jaw in relation to the upper jaw, wherein a limited lateral or sideways movement of the lower part arranged on the lower jaw in relation to the upper part arranged on the upper jaw, i.e. a movement in the plane of the teeth and substantially perpendicularly of the back teeth, is possible.
     
    10. Device as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, characterized in that both for the left and the right coupling means, one coupling element of the upper and lower coupling element is situated in lateral direction at a distance from the opposite lower or upper part in the position of the device placed in the mouth.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung zum Behandeln von Atembeschwerden, die aufweist

    - einen unteren Teil (2), der am unteren Kiefer befestigbar ist, und einen oberen Teil (3), der am oberen Kiefer befestigbar ist, wobei der untere und der obere Teil dazu ausgelegt sind, wenigstens in der Nähe der Backenzähne angeordnet zu sein; und

    - linke und rechte Kopplungsmittel (4), um den unteren Teil mit dem oberen Teil in der Nähe der Backenzähne zu koppeln; wobei ein jedes von den linken und rechten Kopplungsmitteln ein oberes Kopplungselement (6) aufweist, das mit dem oberen Teil verbunden ist, und ein unteres Kopplungselement, das mit dem unteren Teil (5) verbunden ist; wobei die linken und rechten Kopplungsmittel dazu ausgelegt sind, den unteren Kiefer im Bezug zum oberen Kiefer nach vorne zu bewegen; wobei das obere Kopplungselement mit einem Stopp (13) zum Mit-Wirken mit einer Kontaktfläche (12) des unteren Kopplungselements vorgesehen ist; und wobei ein jedes obere Kopplungselement (5, 6) mit einem Bereich mit einer konkaven oder konvexen Fläche (15) vorgesehen ist, die in Richtung der Vorderzähne ausgerichtet ist, und ein jedes untere Kopplungselement mit einer komplementär geformten Fläche (16) vorgesehen ist, was dergestalt ist, dass das obere Kopplungselement in das untere Kopplungselement eingreifen kann und dass eine Bewegung des unteren Kiefers nach hinten vermieden wird;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    die oberen und unteren Kopplungselemente (5, 6) jeweils mit dem oberen und unteren Teil verbunden sind, sodass diese oberen und unteren Kopplungselemente sich in der Position der im Mund angeordneten Vorrichtung im Mundhöhlenvorhof befinden, und darin, dass der Stopp (13) und die Kontaktfläche (12) sich im Mundhöhlenvorhof in der Position der im Mund angeordneten Vorrichtung an der vestibulären Seite des Zahnbogens befinden, sodass, wenn der untere Kiefer und der obere Kiefer zueinander bewegt werden, ein weiteres Schließen des Munds verhindert wird, wenn die Kontaktfläche gegen den Stopp trifft.
     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass wenigstens ein Kopplungselement von dem oberen und dem unteren Kopplungselement mit einem vertikalen Einstellungsmittel (10) vorgesehen ist, um die vertikale Position der Kontaktfläche/des Stopps in Bezug zum unteren Kiefer einzustellen, um einen einstellbaren Mindestabstand zwischen dem unterem Kiefer und dem oberen Kiefer zu erhalten.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass wenigstens ein Kopplungselement von dem oberen und dem unteren Kopplungselement einen Kontaktbereich (7) und einem Basisbereich (8, 9) aufweist, der mit dem oberen oder dem unteren Teil verbunden ist, und dass die vertikalen Anpassungsmittel (10) zwischen dem Kontaktbereich und dem Basisbereich zum Zwecke des Einstellens der vertikalen Position des Kontaktbereichs im Bezug zum Basisbereich vorgesehen sind.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Einstellungsmittel (10) eine im Wesentlichen vertikale Einstellschraube mit einem doppelten Schraubgewinde für die Anpassung des Kontaktbereichs in Bezug zum Basisbereich nach oben und unten aufweisen, wobei das Einstellen der Schraube an einem äußeren Ende mit einer ersten Gewindebohrung im Kontaktbereich zusammenwirkt, und am äußeren Ende mit einer zweiten Gewindebohrung im Basisbereich zusammenwirkt, wobei eine Rotation der Einstellschraube den Abstand zwischen der ersten und zweiten Gewindebohrung verändert.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Einstellschraube im Wesentlichen im Mittelpunkt mit einem umschließenden Flansch mit radial ausgerichteten Öffnungen vorgesehen ist, in die eine Stange zum Zwecke des Rotierens der Einstellschraube durch Rotieren der Stange passt.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 4 oder 5,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass teleskopartig fungierende Röhren zwischen dem Basisbereich und dem Kontaktbereich an beiden Seiten der vertikalen Einstellschraube vorgesehen sind.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass wenigstens ein Kopplungselement von dem oberen und dem unteren Kopplungselement ein fixiertes Teil (9) aufweist, das jeweils mit dem unteren Teil oder dem oberen Teil verbunden ist, und ein Teil (7, 8), das bezüglich des fixierten Teils parallel jeweils zum unteren Teil oder oberen Teil versetzbar ist.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 7, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das versetzbare Teil (7, 8) die Kontaktfläche (12) aufweist.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass ein jedes von dem unteren Kopplungselement in der Seitenrichtung eine Breite hat, die sich von dem zugehörigen oberen Kopplungselement unterscheidet, sodass ein seitlicher Abstand erhalten wird, der eine seitliche Bewegung des unteren Kiefers in Bezug zum oberen Kiefer ermöglicht, wobei eine begrenzte seitliche oder Seitwärtsbewegung des am unteren Kiefer angeordneten unteren Teils in Bezug zu dem am oberen Kiefer angeordneten oberen Teil, d. h. eine Bewegung in der Ebene der Zähne und im Wesentlichen senkrecht zu den Backenzähnen möglich ist.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sowohl für das linke und das rechte Kopplungsmittel ein Kopplungselement von dem oberen und unteren Kopplungselement sich in der Position der im Mund angeordneten Vorrichtung in einer seitlichen Richtung in einem Abstand vom gegenüberliegenden oberen oder unteren Teil befindet.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de traitement des problèmes d'apnée, comprenant

    - une partie inférieure (2) pouvant être montée sur la mâchoire inférieure et une partie supérieure (3) pouvant être montée sur la mâchoire supérieure, lesquelles parties inférieure et supérieure sont adaptées pour être situées au moins dans le voisinage des dents du fond ; et

    - des moyens d'accouplement gauche et droit (4) pour coupler la partie inférieure à la partie supérieure à proximité des dents du fond ; dans lequel chacun des moyens d'accouplement gauche et droit comprend un élément d'accouplement supérieur (6) relié à la partie supérieure et un élément d'accouplement inférieur relié à la partie inférieure (5) ; lesquels moyens d'accouplement gauche et droit sont adaptés pour déplacer la mâchoire inférieure vers l'avant par rapport à la mâchoire supérieure ; dans lequel l'élément d'accouplement supérieur est doté d'une butée (13) pour la coaction avec une surface de contact (12) de l'élément d'accouplement inférieur ; et dans lequel chaque élément d'accouplement supérieur (5, 6) est doté d'une portion avec une surface concave ou convexe (15) dirigée en direction des dents avant, et en ce que chaque élément d'accouplement inférieur est doté d'une surface de forme complémentaire (16), de telle sorte que l'élément d'accouplement supérieur puisse se mettre en prise dans l'élément d'accouplement inférieur et qu'un mouvement vers l'arrière de la mâchoire inférieure soit évité ; caractérisé en ce que les éléments d'accouplement supérieur et inférieur (5, 6) sont reliés respectivement à la partie supérieure et inférieure de telle sorte que ces éléments d'accouplement supérieur et inférieur sont situés dans le vestibule de la bouche dans la position du dispositif placé dans la bouche, et en ce que ladite butée (13) et ladite surface de contact (12) sont situées dans le vestibule de la bouche, sur le côté vestibulaire de l'arc dentaire, dans la position du dispositif placé dans la bouche, de telle sorte que lorsque la mâchoire inférieure et la mâchoire supérieure sont déplacées l'une en direction de l'autre une fermeture supplémentaire de la bouche est empêchée lorsque la surface de contact se heurte contre la butée.


     
    2. Dispositif selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce qu'au moins un élément d'accouplement des éléments d'accouplement supérieur et inférieur est doté d'un moyen d'ajustement vertical (10) pour ajuster la position verticale de la surface de contact/butée par rapport à la mâchoire inférieure de manière à obtenir une distance minimale ajustable entre la mâchoire inférieure et la mâchoire supérieure.
     
    3. Dispositif selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que l'au moins un élément d'accouplement des éléments d'accouplement supérieur et inférieur comprend une portion de contact (7) et une portion de base (8, 9) reliées à la partie supérieure ou inférieure, et en ce que le moyen d'ajustement vertical (10) est prévu entre la portion de contact et la portion de base pour ajuster la position verticale de la portion de contact par rapport à la portion de base.
     
    4. Dispositif selon la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce que le moyen d'ajustement (10) comprend une vis d'ajustement sensiblement verticale avec un filetage à double pas pour l'ajustement vers le haut/bas de la portion de contact par rapport à la portion de base, laquelle vis d'ajustement co-agit au niveau d'une extrémité extérieure avec un premier alésage fileté dans la portion de contact et co-agit au niveau de son autre extrémité extérieure avec un second alésage fileté dans la portion de base, dans lequel une rotation de la vis d'ajustement modifie la distance entre les premier et second alésages filetés.
     
    5. Dispositif selon la revendication 4, caractérisé en ce que la vis d'ajustement est dotée sensiblement au centre d'une bride périphérique avec des ouvertures dirigées radialement dans lesquelles une tige s'ajuste pour entraîner la vis d'ajustement en rotation par mise en rotation de la tige.
     
    6. Dispositif selon la revendication 4 ou 5, caractérisé en ce que des tubes à action télescopique entre la portion de base et la portion de contact sont fournis sur l'un ou l'autre côté de la vis d'ajustement verticale.
     
    7. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'au moins un élément d'accouplement des éléments d'accouplement supérieur et inférieur comprend une partie fixe (9) qui est reliée respectivement à la partie inférieure ou à la partie supérieure, et une partie (7, 8) qui peut être déplacée relativement à cette partie fixe parallèle respectivement à la partie inférieure ou à la partie supérieure.
     
    8. Dispositif selon la revendication 7, caractérisé en ce que la partie déplaçable (7, 8) comprend la surface de contact (12).
     
    9. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que chaque élément d'accouplement inférieur a dans sa direction latérale une largeur différant de l'élément d'accouplement supérieur associé de telle sorte qu'un espace libre latéral est obtenu qui permet un mouvement latéral de la mâchoire inférieure par rapport à la mâchoire supérieure, dans lequel un mouvement latéral ou de côté limité de la partie inférieure agencée sur la mâchoire inférieure par rapport à la partie supérieure agencée sur la mâchoire supérieure, en d'autres termes un mouvement dans le plan des dents et sensiblement perpendiculaire aux dents du fond, est possible.
     
    10. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'à la fois pour les moyens d'accouplement gauche et droit, un élément d'accouplement des éléments d'accouplement supérieur et inférieur est situé dans une direction latérale à une distance de la partie inférieure ou supérieure opposée dans la position du dispositif placé dans la bouche.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description