(19)
(11)EP 2 672 923 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
02.11.2022 Bulletin 2022/44

(21)Application number: 12744260.6

(22)Date of filing:  10.02.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61C 7/34(2006.01)
A61C 7/28(2006.01)
A61C 7/16(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
A61C 7/285; A61C 7/287
(86)International application number:
PCT/CA2012/050077
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/106825 (16.08.2012 Gazette  2012/33)

(54)

ORTHODONTIC BRACKET

ORTHODONTISCHE KLAMMER

APPAREIL ORTHODONTIQUE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL 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 RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 11.02.2011 US 201161442047 P
11.02.2011 US 201161442053 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
18.12.2013 Bulletin 2013/51

(73)Proprietor: Orthoarm, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario M4P 1E4 (CA)

(72)Inventor:
  • VOUDOURIS, John
    Toronto, Ontario M4P1E4 (CA)

(74)Representative: Pfenning, Meinig & Partner mbB 
Patent- und Rechtsanwälte Joachimsthaler Straße 10-12
10719 Berlin
10719 Berlin (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 847 232
WO-A2-2005/096984
US-A- 5 913 680
US-A1- 2006 110 699
US-A1- 2009 170 049
WO-A2-2005/096984
WO-A2-2011/065774
US-A1- 2006 110 699
US-A1- 2009 136 889
US-B1- 6 168 428
  
      
    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

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention relates to the field of orthodontic brackets, and more particularly to an orthodontic bracket having a means for restricting undesired movement of an archwire.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Orthodontic treatment is effected by fixing small appliances often referred to as orthodontic brackets to a patient's teeth in an appropriate manner so as to correct malaligned teeth by applying an external force thereto through an archwire extending between the generally fixed orthodontic brackets. As to the structure of these orthodontic brackets, they are constructed of a body having small slots and are adhered directly on the labial or lingual sides of the teeth or welded to metal bands attached to the teeth by cementing or by some other method, as is generally known in the art.

    [0003] As the form of use of the orthodontic bracket constructed as described above, a flexible archwire, which is curved so as to conform to a dental arch, is placed in an archwire slot in the bracket, and the tooth can be shifted over time by the restoring force of the archwire so that the teeth become well aligned. With the orthodontic bracket, a force can be applied to the tooth in a desired direction to correct the direction in which the tooth is shifted, rotated, tipped or torqued. This is effected by the three-dimensional inclination of the slot formed in the bracket body or by the desired bending of the archwire.

    [0004] The conventional orthodontic bracket has tie wings, and a ligature wire or an elastomeric ligature ring is hooked on the tie wings so as to positively hold the archwire to prevent the archwire from coming out of the slot in the bracket. The dentition that should be treated is of malocclusion, in which the archwires are greatly deformed when engaged. Orthodontic treatment is accomplished by transmitting the restoring force of the archwires through brackets to the tooth roots. Generally, in an early period of the treatment, a thin, highly flexible round archwire is used, and an operation is required to loosen the ligature wire after ligating it such that the round wire freely slides within the slot (on a very low frictional basis). As treatment progresses, a thicker wire, a square ro rectangular wire, and a more highly rigid wire come to be used. When the alignment is nearly completed, they are held for a while to prevent relapse. At this time, there are cases where the tooth is strongly fastened by a ligature wire so that it practically does not shift.

    [0005] In the orthodontic treatment as described above, different archwires of many varieties are used in succession during the course of the treatment. During patient visits to the clinic, it is necessary to remove the ligature wire and adjust the bend of the archwire or replace it. This operation requires much chair time and imparts discomfort to the patients.

    [0006] The various problems due to the use of this type of a ligature wire can be overcome to some extent by using a lock-type orthodontic bracket. Namely, this lock-type orthodontic bracket has a structure which does not require the tie wire for ligation, and has a locking member incorporated into the bracket and capable of shifting for opening or closing the slot in the bracket. As the locking members, there are, for example, rotating-type and sliding-type locking members. Since the locking members are capable of shifting in open and/or closed positions whereby the retention of the archwire in the slot or disengagement of the archwire from the slot can be easily affected. One example of an orthodontic bracket as described above is shown in United States Patent No. 6,168,428 issued January 2, 2001 to Voudouris.

    [0007] One such prior art bracket 10 is shown in Figures 1 and 2, and includes a body 25 having a bonding base 30 for attachment to a tooth. The body includes an occlusal-gingivally extending opening 35, a lingual vertical slot 40, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings 50, and a pair of laterally spaced occlusal tie wings 45. The gingival 50 and occlusal tie wings 45 project from a labial surface 55 of the body 25, with the occlusal tie wings 45 defining one or more grooves 60 for receiving one or more arm members 65 of a locking shutter 70 through the occlusal tie wings 45. An archwire slot 95 is provided extending mesiodistally across the body 25 and between the gingival 50 and occlusal 45 tie wings at opposed mesial and distal sides of the body to accommodate an archwire 80. The locking shutter 70 is moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of the archwire is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of the archwire is inhibited (as illustrated). In the closed position, a retaining portion 85 of the locking shutter 70 is friction fit into a retaining groove 90 formed adjacent to the archwire slot 95, in each of the gingival tie wings 50. During normal use, when the locking shutter 70 is in the closed position, as shown in Figure 2A, the archwire 80 is pressed into, and seated entirely within the archwire slot 95. However, applicant has discovered that when an unexpected large external force is applied to the archwire 80, the archwire 80 can slip and enter the retaining groove 90, and become caught therein, as shown in Figure 2B. Figures 2A and 2B are illustrated with the retaining groove 90 shown in exaggerated proportion for illustrative purposes.

    [0008] In such a state, the archwire fails to shift smoothly inside the archwire slot where it belongs, resulting in a hindrance to and uneven tooth movement during the orthodontic treatment. To avoid such a state, it has been proposed to decrease the width W of the retaining groove, but if the width W is decreased, the functioning of the locking shutter, specifically with regards to its ability to press down wires ranging from the narrow round wires to full-size square wire, is impaired.

    [0009] In addition, there has been a problem in that when an unexpectedly large external force is applied to the archwire, a tip portion of the locking shutter may become deformed as the archwire is twisted, thereby rendering the archwire retention unstable so as to pull out of the archwire slot. In the structure disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,906,486, an arrangement is shown in which the position of the tip portion of the locking member is restricted in such a manner as to close both ends of the retaining groove. In such a structure, however, since the arrangement is provided so as to close both ends of the retaining groove, the width of the tip portion of the locking member must be inevitably made smaller than the length of the slot. Accordingly, there has been a drawback in that the tip portion of the locking member has insufficient rotational control since its length for holding the archwire is shortened. A second problem is that by making the locking shutter smaller, and therefore relatively weaker, there is less force to press against the archwire.

    [0010] There is therefore a need in the art for an orthodontic bracket having improved archwire retention, and that addresses one or more of the aforementioned problems with the prior art.

    [0011] Doucment EP 1 847 232 A1 describes an orthodontic bracket assembly. The bracket assembly may generally include a base defining an archwire slot and having an occlusal portion and a gingival portion, a pivot member supported by the occlusal portion and defining a pivot axis, and a locking member supported by the pivot member for pivoting movement between an open position, in which the locking member permits access to the archwire slot, and a closed position, in which the locking member inhibits access to the archwire slot. The locking member may generally include a labial portion having a compressible gingival end engageable with the gingival portion of the base to retain the locking member in the closed position and an occlusal end, and a looped portion connected to the occlusal end of the labial portion, the looped portion extending below and then at least partially around the pivot member to support the locking member on the pivot member.

    [0012] Doucment US 5 913 680 A describes a pre-engaging orthodontic bracket that includes a body having a lingual surface for attachment to a tooth, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings and a pair of laterally spaced occlusal tie wings. The gingival and occlusal tie wings project from a labial surface of the body. An archwire slot extends mesiodistally across the body and between the gingival and occlusal tie wings at opposed mesial and distal sides of the body to accommodate an archwire. A pivot pin extends between a pair of the tie wings at opposed mesial and distal sides of the body. A shutter is moveable relative to the body between an open position in which placement and removal of an archwire into the archwire slot is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of an archwire into the archwire slot is inhibited.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0013] The invention is defined in claim 1. Further aspects and preferred embodiments are defined in the dependent claims. Aspects, embodiments and examples of the present disclosure which do not fall under the scope of the appended claims do not form part of the invention and are merely provided for illustrative purposes. There is provided an orthodontic bracket for attaching an archwire to a tooth including a body including a base for attachment to the tooth, the base having an occlusal-gingivally extending opening, a lingual vertical slot, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings and a pair of laterally spaced occlusal tie wings, the gingival and occlusal tie wings projecting from a labial surface of the body. An archwire slot is provided extending mesdiodistally across the body and between the gingival and occlusal tie wings at opposed medial and distal sides of the body to accommodate the archwire. A locking shutter including at least one resilient arm member at one end and a retaining portion at another end is provided such that the locking shutter moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of the archwire is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of the archwire is inhibited. There is further provided a retaining groove formed in an occlusal wall of the gingival tie wings for releasably retaining a retaining portion of the locking shutter in the closed position and, a blocker for preventing movement of the archwire out of the archwire slot and into the retaining groove.

    [0014] According to one non-claimed aspect, the blocker is a blocking member on an outer surface of at least one of the gingival tie wings.

    [0015] According to another non-claimed aspect, the blocker a blocking member on an inner surface of at least one of the gingival tie wings.

    [0016] According to another aspect, the blocking member is a rectangular block.

    [0017] According to another aspect, the blocking member includes an elongate edge aligned with a gingival edge of the gingival tie wings, and a shorter edge aligned with a front edge of the gingival tie wings.

    [0018] There is there is provided an orthodontic bracket for attaching an archwire to a tooth including a body including a bonding base for attachment to the tooth, the body having an occlusal-gingivally extending opening, a lingual vertical slot, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings and a pair of laterally spaced occlusal tie wings, the gingival and occlusal tie wings projecting from a labial surface of the body. An archwire slot is provided extending mesdiodistally across the body and between the gingival and occlusal tie wings at opposed medial and distal sides of the body to accommodate the archwire. A locking shutter including at least one resilient arm member at one end and a retaining portion at another end is provided such that the locking shutter moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of the archwire is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of the archwire is inhibited. There is further provided a retaining groove formed in an occlusal wall of the gingival tie wings for releasably retaining a retaining portion of the locking shutter in the closed position and, a blocker for preventing movement of the archwire out of the archwire slot and into the retaining groove. Preferably, the blocker provides for an increased area of contact between the archwire and the bracket whereby the torque applied from the archwire onto the bracket is increased.

    [0019] According to another aspect, the blocking member includes a rectangular block-structure.

    [0020] According to another aspect, the blocking member extends beyond an outer edge of the archwire slot, and is sized and otherwise dimensioned to enclose the retaining groove.

    [0021] According to another aspect, the blocking member includes an elongate edge aligned with a gingival edge of the gingival tie wings, and a shorter edge aligned with a front edge of the gingival tie wings.

    [0022] According to an aspect of the present disclosure which does not form part of the invention, there is provided a method for preventing movement of an archwire out of an archwire slot and into a retaining groove of an orthodontic bracket, wherein the orthodontic bracket is one as herein described. The method includes blocking an end of the retaining groove to thereby prevent movement of the archwire from entering the retaining groove.

    [0023] According to another aspect of the present disclosure which does not form part of the invention, there is provided a method for increasing the torque and rotational control in the vertical and horizontal axes applied by an archwire onto an orthodontic bracket, wherein the orthodontic bracket is as herein described. The method includes extending an outer surface of the gingival tie wings to enclose the retaining groove and thereby provide an increased surface area on the gingival tie wings with which the archwire is in contact.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0024] The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the present invention, as to its structure, organization, use and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following drawings in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention will now be illustrated by way of example. It is expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. In the accompanying drawings:

    Figures 1A and 1B illustrate a prior art bracket.

    Figures 2A and 2B illustrate one problem with prior art brackets.

    Figures 3A and 3B illustrate one embodiment of a non-claimed orthodontic bracket.

    Figures 4A, 4B and 4C illustrate another embodiment of a non-claimed orthodontic bracket.

    Figures 5A and 5B illustrate another embodiment of a non-claimed orthodontic bracket.

    Figures 6A and 6B illustrate another embodiment of a non-claimed orthodontic bracket.

    Figures 7A and 7B illustrate embodiments a non-claimed orthodontic bracket during treatment.

    Figure 8 illustrates the improved rotational control.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0025] Referring now to Figures 3A-3B, there is shown one embodiment in which an orthodontic bracket 310 is illustrated as including a body 325 having a bonding base 330 for attachment to a tooth (not shown). The body 325 preferably includes an occlusal-gingivally extending opening 335 that is lingual to an archwire, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings 350, and a pair of laterally placed occlusal tie wings 345. The gingival 350 and occlusal 345 tie wings project from a labial surface 355 of the body 325, with the occlusal tie wings 345 defining a groove 360 for receiving arm member 365 of a locking shutter 370 through the occlusal tie wings 345. An archwire slot 395 is provided extending mesiodistally across the body 325 and between the gingival 350 and occlusal 345 tie wings at opposed mesial and distal sides of the body 325 to accommodate an archwire 380. The locking shutter 370 is moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of the archwire is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of the archwire is inhibited (as illustrated). In the closed position, a retaining portion 385 of the locking shutter 370 is compression fit (or otherwise) into a retaining groove 390 formed adjacent to the archwire slot 395, in each of the gingival tie wings 350. In some variations, the arm member 365 of the locking shutter 370 is made up of two arm members, such that only portions of the arm members sized and otherwise dimensioned to be in contact with the groove 360 of the occlusal tie wings 345 are present. It is understood that the design and shape of the arm member is to facilitate the locking and opening of the locking shutter in a friction fit, compression fit, or snap fit arrangement.

    [0026] It will be understood that the terms occlusal tie wings and gingival tie wings may be readily interchanged with each other depending upon the relative positioning of the bracket on the patient's tooth. That is, when the bracket is placed on the bottom of a user's mouth, the gingival tie wings are those located on the bottom of the bracket closest to the gums, and when the bracket is placed on the top of a user's mouth, the gingival tie wings are those located on the top of the bracket closest to the gums. The orthodontic bracket as herein described could thus have those elements and features described with respect to the gingival tie wings appear on the occlusal tie wings, and vice versa.

    [0027] While the locking shutter 370 functions to lock the archwire 380 generally within the bracket, and particularly within the retraining groove 390, under disproportionate loading situations, the tension in the archwire 380 may be sufficiently high to cause the locking shutter 370 to be displaced slightly, and thus allow the archwire 380 to slip into the retaining groove 390. Accordingly, the invention provides a means for preventing movement of the archwire 380 out of the archwire slot 395 and into the retaining groove 390. In the embodiment of Figures 3A and 3B, the means for preventing includes a blocking member 305 rigidly connected to one or both of the respective outer surfaces 355 of the gingival tie wings 350. The blocking member 305 is connected to the outer surfaces 355 with a threaded fastener (not shown) that engages a thread on the gingival tie wing 350. With this arrangement, the blocking member 305 may be retrofitted onto existing orthodontic brackets, or otherwise added on and/or removed depending on whether it is required given a particular size and shape of archwire 380.

    [0028] As illustrated, blocking member 305 is preferably a generally rectangular-block shaped member having an elongate edge 307 aligned with a gingival edge 352 of the gingival tie wings 350, and a shorter edge 309 aligned with a front or labial edge 354 of the gingival tie wings 350. In a preferred embodiment, the edges of the blocking member 305 extend mesial or distal from the gingival tie wings 350 and are rounded, chamfered, or otherwise smoothed to avoid any sharp edges associated with the orthodontic bracket. Accordingly, it will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that the archwire 380 is now altogether prevented from entering the retaining groove 390, as any tension on the archwire in a direction towards the retaining groove 390 will be restrained by the portion of the blocking member 305 proximate the retaining groove 390. An additional surprising benefit of this arrangement is that the archwire 380 is supported at a further distance away from a centre point of the archwire slot 395 within the bracket, therefore resulting in a higher moment and torque for more effective movement being applied onto the orthodontic bracket, and improving efficacy of the orthodontic tooth leveling, derotation and torque control. In addition, the broader, wider distance away from the centre of the locking shutter prevents a sharp bend in the archwire to prevent notching or bonding of the archwire during early tooth movement and sliding of teeth during mid-term treatment tooth movement.

    [0029] Referring now to Figures 6 and 7, there is shown the orthodontic bracket during treatment. In Figure 6, the archwire 380 generally follows a consistent curvature around the teeth and does not experience any sudden shifts or changes in direction. This would be the case where treatment is required for teeth being offset rotationally or labially. In Figure 7, one tooth 755 rests lower than the adjacent teeth 750 in a gingival direction. To accommodate this, while still providing effective orthodontic treatment, the orthodontic bracket 710 rests lower than the brackets 650, and accordingly, the archwire 380 dips into an approximate "U" shape. By providing the blocking member 305 as herein described, the bottom portion of the "U" is made longer resulting in a larger portion of the archwire 380 on which forces from the orthodontic bracket 710 would act, and accordingly a lower pressure being applied on the archwire over the region at which the archwire 380 dips into the approximate "U" shape and is in contact with portions of the orthodontic bracket. This results in less wear on the archwire 310 during treatment periods, and also reduces the possibility of damage, wear or deformation such as wire notching that would bind the bracket against the notched archwire resisting tooth movement when the orthodontic device is being applied to a patient by an orthodontist.

    [0030] Referring now to Figures 4A-4C, an orthodontic bracket 410 is illustrated as including a body 425 having a bonding base 430 for attachment to a tooth (not shown). The body 425 includes an occlusal-gingivally extending opening 435 located lingual to an archwire slot, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings 450, and a pair of laterally placed occlusal tie wings 445. The gingival 450 and occlusal 445 tie wings project from a labial surface 455 of the body 425. An archwire slot 495 (shown in Figure 4C) is provided extending mesiodistally across the body 425 and between the gingival 450 and occlusal 445 tie wings at opposed mesial and distal sides of the body 425 to accommodate an archwire 480. A locking shutter 470 is moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of the archwire is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of the archwire is inhibited (as illustrated). In the closed position, retaining portions 485 of the locking shutter 470 are compression fit (or otherwise) into a retaining groove 490 formed adjacent to the archwire slot 495, in each of the gingival tie wings 450. Arm member 465 of the locking shutter 470 is sized and otherwise dimensioned to be in contact with a lock portion 460 in the bracket body. The design and shape of the arm member is to facilitate the locking and opening of the locking shutter in a friction fit, compression fit, or snap fit arrangement. The locking shutter may thus be made solid to provide a greater compression fit into the retaining groove, as shown in the Figures.

    [0031] In this embodiment, the gingival tie wings 450 are sized, shaped and otherwise dimensioned to themselves provide for a means for preventing the archwire 480 from moving out of the archwire slot 495 and into the retaining groove 490. The novel gingival tie wings 450 according to the invention preferably include a tie wing body 452 extending from the body 425 of the orthodontic bracket, in a direction away from the tooth, and a labially curved portion 454 extends from the tie wing body 452. A retaining groove 490 in the tie wing body 452 is formed adjacent to the archwire slot 495 of the body 425. There is further provided a blocking portion 456 formed integrally with, and extending mesiodontally away from the tie wing body 452. The blocking portion 456 extends beyond a surface of the gingival tie wing 450 at which the retaining groove 490 ends, such that the retaining groove 490 extends through the body 425 of the orthodontic bracket, but does not extend through the external blocking portion 456 of the gingival tie wing 450.

    [0032] Referring now to Figures 5A and 5B, there is shown means for preventing movement of the archwire from the archwire slot into the retaining groove includes a blocking member 505 provided on one or both of the inner surfaces 555 of the gingival tie wings 550. The blocking member 505 is preferably formed of a corresponding shape and size as the blocking member 305 described with respect to Figures 3A and 3B. The benefit provided by providing blocking member 505 on the internal surfaces 555 of the gingival tie wings 550 is that the blocking member 505 is positioned entirely within a protected area of the orthodontic bracket 510, such that a patient's tongue will not feel any difference in the orthodontic bracket 510 during a treatment period. In any event, as will be evident from the figures and the description, the blocking member 505 on the internal surfaces 555 of one or both of the gingival tie wings 550 prevents the archwire 580 from entering the retaining groove 590.

    [0033] As shown in Figures 6A and 6B, there is provided an orthodontic bracket 610 having a body 625 with a bonding base 630 for attachment to a tooth (not shown). The body 625 includes an occlusal-gingivally extending opening 635, a pair of laterally spaced gingival tie wings 650, and a pair of laterally placed occlusal tie wings 645. The gingival 650 and occlusal 645 tie wings project from a labial surface 655 of the body 625, with the occlusal tie wings 645 defining a groove 660 for receiving arm member 665 of a locking shutter 670 through the occlusal tie wings 645. An archwire slot 695 is provided extending mesiodistally across the body 625 and between the gingival 650 and occlusal 645 tie wings at opposed mesial and distal sides of the body 625 to accommodate an archwire 680. The locking shutter 670 is moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of the archwire is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of the archwire is inhibited (as illustrated). In the closed position, a retaining portion 685 of the locking shutter 670 is compression fit into a retaining groove 690 formed adjacent to the archwire slot 695, in each of the gingival tie wings 650.

    [0034] In this embodiment, the gingival tie wings 650 are sized, shaped and otherwise dimensioned to themselves provide for a means for preventing the archwire 680 from moving out of the archwire slot 695 and into the retaining groove 690. The novel gingival tie wings 650 according to the invention preferably include a tie wing body 652 extending from the body 625 of the orthodontic bracket, in a direction away from the tooth, and a labially curved portion 654 extends from the tie wing body 652. A retaining groove 690 in the tie wing body 652 is formed adjacent to the archwire slot 695 of the body 625. There is further provided a blocking portion 656 formed integrally with, and extending mesiodontally away from the tie wing body 652. The blocking portion 656 extends beyond a surface of the gingival tie wing 650 at which the retaining groove 690 ends, such that the retaining groove 690 extends through the body 625 of the orthodontic bracket, but does not extend through the blocking portion 656 of the gingival tie wing 650. With this arrangement, a full width of the locking shutter 670 as is provided in the prior art may still be used, and no modifications would be required to the locking shutter 670, as illustrated. Preferably, the edges of the gingival tie wings 550 according to this embodiment are rounded, or otherwise smoothed.

    [0035] The invention is chiefly applicable to orthodontic brackets of the type known in the art as "siamese twin brackets" that include the vertical space described above between each of the tie wings. Brackets of this type (as opposed to mono-block or single brackets) are prone to the problem as herein discussed, and accordingly, the invention solves the problem as associated with these siamese twin brackets. Mono-block or single brackets do not have the tie wings as herein described, and accordingly have a longer surface of contact within the retaining groove, thereby permitting easier modifications to be made to the locking shutter. As is known in the art, however, mono-block or single brackets suffer from other deficiencies in orthodontic treatment such as derotation of teeth. Accordingly, and based on the general shape of these mono-block brackets, the invention is generally not applicable to these types of brackets and particularly to the embodiments having the internal blocking member.

    [0036] As described earlier, one other advantage of certain embodiments of the invention as herein described, aside from preventing movement of the archwire out of the archwire slot and into the retaining groove for retaining the locking shutter is the provision of an increased contact surface area between the archwire and the combination of the archwire slot and the blocking member (or the blocking portion of the gingival tie wings in some embodiments). This increased contact surface area and longer line of contact between the archwire and the orthodontic bracket itself results in a higher moment arm than prior art siamese twin-type brackets, and accordingly, a more effective orthodontic treatment can be provided as higher forces can be placed on the tooth with relatively less tension in the archwire itself, or alternatively, a thinner archwire being used. In addition, the broader locking shutter prevents a sharp bend in the archwire to prevent notching or bonding of the archwire during early tooth movement and sliding of teeth during mid-term treatment tooth movement.

    [0037] Furthermore, the orthodontic bracket as herein described provides for increased vertical rotational forces about an axis in a plane parallel to the front surface of the tooth. The increase in vertical rotational forces aids in the orthodontic effect of the bracket 710 with respect to adjusting the angle of each teeth on which the bracket 710 is positioned. Furthermore, in the non-claimed embodiments embodiments where the blocking member is positioned on the external surface of the gingival tie wings, or is formed integrally with the gingival tie wings, the blocking member aids in the vertical leveling ability and vertical rotation control (as shown in Figure 8) by providing an increased distance between the points of contact of the archwire wire 380 with the blocking members. An analogous advantage becomes available due to increased horizontal rotational forces.

    [0038] Examples of the other siamese twin brackets having the vertical space between the gingival tie wings, materials used therein and other details of constructions to which the invention may be applied are described in United States Patent 6,368,105 issued April 9, 2002 to Voudouris et al., and in United States Patent 6,168,428 to Voudouris issued January 2, 2001.

    [0039] For clarity, applicant provides the following definitions for terms used throughout the description and claims. References to a "locking shutter" refer to the portion of the orthodontic bracket that is capable of shutting, closing, making secure, or preventing displacement of the archwire. References to a "retaining groove" refer to an indentation or small hollow that permits engagement by a portion of the locking shutter to fix the locking shutter in place.


    Claims

    1. An orthodontic bracket for attaching an archwire (380) to a tooth comprising:

    a body (325) including a base (330) for attachment to the tooth, the body (325) having an occlusal-gingivally extending opening (335), a mesial gingival tie wing (350), a distal gingival tie wing, and at least one occlusal tie wing (345), said gingival and occlusal tie wings (350, 345) projecting from a labial surface of said body, said mesial gingival tie wing (350) and said distal gingival tie wing (350) having a thread;

    an archwire slot (395) extending mesiodistally across said body (325) and between the gingival and occlusal tie wings (350, 345) at opposed mesial and distal sides of said body (325) to accommodate the archwire (380);

    a locking shutter (370) including at least one resilient arm member (365) at one end and a retaining portion (385) at another end, said locking shutter (370) moveable between an open position in which placement and removal of said archwire (380) is facilitated and a closed position in which placement and removal of said archwire (380) is inhibited;

    a retaining groove (390):

    formed in an occlusal wall of said gingival tie wings; and

    extending mesiodistally through the body (325), for releasably retaining said retaining portion (385) of said locking shutter (370) in said closed position; and

    a mesial blocking member (305) projecting mesially from a mesial face of said mesial gingival tie wing (350), and a distal blocking member (305) projecting distally from a distal face of said distal gingival tie wing, the mesial and distal blocking members (305) extending labial-lingually across respective mesial and distal ends of said retaining groove, said mesial blocking member (305) having a threaded fastener that engages said thread of said mesial gingival tie wing (350) and said distal blocking member (305) having a threaded fastener that engages said thread of said distal gingival tie wing (350).


     
    2. An orthodontic bracket according to claim 1, wherein said blocking member (305) comprises a rectangular block.
     
    3. An orthodontic bracket according to claim 1, wherein said gingival tie wings (450) comprise a tie wing body (452), a labially curved portion (454) extending from said tie wing body (452) and a blocking portion (456) formed integrally with and extending away from said tie wing body (452); wherein said blocking portion (456) forms means for preventing movement of said archwire (480) out of said archwire slot (495) and into said retaining groove (490).
     
    4. An orthodontic bracket according to claim 1, wherein said blocker (305) comprises an elongate edge (307) aligned with a gingival edge of said gingival tie wings (350), and a shorter edge (309) aligned with a labial edge of said gingival tie wings (350).
     
    5. An orthodontic bracket according to claim 1, wherein said at least one resilient arm member (365) of said locking shutter is one of: compression fit, snap fit, and friction fit into a groove defined by said at least one occlusal tie wing (345).
     
    6. An orthodontic bracket according to claim 3, wherein said elongated edge (307) and said shorter edge (309) of said blocker (305) is one of: rounded, chamfered, and smoothed.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Orthodontische Klammer zum Anbringen eines Bogendrahts (380) an einem Zahn, umfassend:

    einen Körper (325) mit einer Basis (330) zum Anbringen am Zahn, wobei der Körper (325) eine sich okklusal-gingival erstreckende Öffnung (335), einen mesial gingivalen Bindeflügel (350), einen distal gingivalen Bindeflügel und mindestens einen okklusalen Bindeflügel (345), wobei die gingivalen und okklusalen Bindeflügel (350, 345) von einer labialen Oberfläche des Körpers vorstehen, wobei der mesial gingivale Bindeflügel (350) und der distal gingivale Bindeflügel (350) ein Gewinde aufweisen;

    einen Bogendrahtschlitz (395), der sich mesiodistal über den Körper (325) und zwischen den gingivalen und dem okklusalen Bindeflügel (350, 345) an gegenüberliegenden mesialen und distalen Seiten des Körpers (325) erstreckt, um den Bogendraht (380) aufzunehmen;

    eine Sperrblende (370), die mindestens ein elastisches Armelement (365) an einem Ende und einen Halteabschnitt (385) an einem anderen Ende aufweist, wobei die Sperrblende (370) zwischen einer offenen Position, in der das Platzieren und Entfernen des Bogendrahts (380) erleichtert ist, und einer geschlossenen Position, in der das Platzieren und Entfernen des Bindedrahts (380) verhindert ist, bewegbar ist;

    eine Haltenut (390):

    ausgebildet in einer okklusalen Wand der gingivalen Bindeflügel; und

    sich mesiodistal durch den Körper (325) erstreckend, um den Halteabschnitt (385) der Sperrblende (370) lösbar in der geschlossenen Position zu halten; und

    ein mesiales Blockierelement (305), das mesial von einer mesialen Fläche des mesial gingivalen Bindeflügels (350) vorsteht, und ein distales Blockierelement (305), das distal von einer distalen Fläche des distal gingivalen Bindeflügels vorsteht, wobei sich das mesiale und distale Blockierelement (305) labial-lingual über entsprechende mesiale und distale Enden der Haltenut erstrecken, wobei das mesiale Blockierelement (305) ein mit einem Gewinde versehenes Befestigungselement aufweist, das in das Gewinde des mesial gingivalen Bindeflügels (350) eingreift, und das distale Blockierelement (305) ein mit einem Gewinde versehenes Befestigungselement aufweist, das in das Gewinde des distal gingivalen Bindeflügels (350) eingreift.


     
    2. Orthodontische Klammer nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Blockierelement (305) einen rechteckigen Block umfasst.
     
    3. Orthodontische Klammer nach Anspruch 1, wobei die gingivalen Bindeflügel (450) einen Bindeflügelkörper (452), einen sich von dem Bindeflügelkörper (452) erstreckenden, labial gekrümmten Abschnitt (454) und einen einstückig mit dem Bindeflügelkörper (452) ausgebildeten und sich von diesem erstreckenden Blockierabschnitt (456) aufweist; wobei der Blockierabschnitt (456) Mittel zum Verhindern von Bewegung des Bogendrahts (480) aus dem Bogendrahtschlitz (495) und in die Haltenut (490) umfasst.
     
    4. Orthodontische Klammer nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Blockierer (305) eine längliche Kante (307), die auf eine gingivale Kante der gingivalen Bindeflügel (350) ausgerichtet ist, und eine kürzere Kante (309), die auf die labiale Kante der gingivalen Bindeflügel (350) ausgerichtet ist, umfasst.
     
    5. Orthodontische Klammer nach Anspruch 1, wobei das mindestens eine elastische Armelement (365) der Sperrblende eines ist von: im Presssitz, in Rastung und im Reibungssitz in eine Nut, definiert durch den mindestens einen okklusalen Bindeflügel (345), eingesetzt.
     
    6. Orthodontische Klammer nach Anspruch 3, wobei die längliche Kante (307) und die kürzere Kante (309) des Blockierers (305) eines ist von: abgerundet, gefast und geglättet.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil de bague orthodontique pour lier un fil métallique pour arc dentaire (380) sur une dent, comprenant :

    un corps (325) qui inclut une base (330) qui est destinée à être liée sur la dent, le corps (325) comportant une ouverture étendue de façon occlusale et gingivale (335), une aile d'ancrage gingivale mésiale (350), une aile d'ancrage gingivale distale et au moins une aile d'ancrage occlusale (345), lesdites ailes d'ancrage gingivales et occlusale (350, 345) faisant saillie depuis une surface labiale dudit corps, ladite aile d'ancrage gingivale mésiale (350) et ladite aile d'ancrage gingivale distale (350) comportant un filet ;

    une fente pour fil métallique pour arc dentaire (395) qui est étendue de façon mésio-distale au travers dudit corps (325) et entre les ailes d'ancrage gingivales et occlusale (350, 345), au niveau de côtés mésial et distal opposés dudit corps (325) pour recevoir le fil métallique pour arc dentaire (380) ;

    un volet de verrouillage (370) qui inclut au moins un élément de bras élastique (365) au niveau d'une extrémité et une partie de retenue (385) au niveau d'une autre extrémité, ledit volet de verrouillage (370) pouvant être déplacé entre une position ouverte dans laquelle le positionnement et l'enlèvement dudit fil métallique pour arc dentaire (380) sont facilités et une position fermée dans laquelle le positionnement et l'enlèvement dudit fil métallique pour arc dentaire (380) sont inhibés ;

    une gorge de retenue (390) :

    qui est formée dans une paroi occlusale desdites ailes d'ancrage gingivales ; et

    qui est étendue de façon mésio-distale au travers du corps (325), pour retenir de façon libérable ladite partie de retenue (385) dudit volet de verrouillage (370) dans ladite position fermée ; et

    un élément de blocage mésial (305) qui fait saillie de façon mésiale depuis une face mésiale de ladite aile d'ancrage gingivale mésiale (350), et un élément de blocage distal (305) qui fait saillie de façon distale depuis une face distale de ladite aile d'ancrage gingivale distale, les éléments de blocage mésial et distal (305) étant étendus de façon labio-linguale au travers d'extrémités mésiale et distale respectives de ladite gorge de retenue, ledit élément de blocage mésial (305) comportant un moyen de fixation à filet qui engage ledit filet de ladite aile d'ancrage gingivale mésiale (350) et ledit élément de blocage distal (305) comportant un moyen de fixation à filet qui engage ledit filet de ladite aile d'ancrage gingivale distale (350).


     
    2. Appareil de bague orthodontique selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit élément de blocage mésial (305) comprend un bloc rectangulaire.
     
    3. Appareil de bague orthodontique selon la revendication 1, dans lequel lesdites ailes d'ancrage gingivales (450) comprennent un corps d'aile d'ancrage (452), une partie incurvée de façon labiale (454) qui est étendue depuis ledit corps d'aile d'ancrage (452) et une partie de blocage (456) qui est formée d'un seul tenant avec ledit corps d'aile d'ancrage (452) et qui est étendue à distance de ce même dit corps d'aile d'ancrage ; et dans lequel ladite partie de blocage (456) forme un moyen pour empêcher un déplacement dudit fil métallique pour arc dentaire (480) en dehors de ladite fente pour fil métallique pour arc dentaire (495) et à l'intérieur de ladite gorge de retenue (490).
     
    4. Appareil de bague orthodontique selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit élément de blocage mésial (305) comprend un bord allongé (307) qui est aligné avec un bord gingival desdites ailes d'ancrage gingivales (350), et un bord plus court (309) qui est aligné avec un bord labial desdites ailes d'ancrage gingivales (350).
     
    5. Appareil de bague orthodontique selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit au moins un élément de bras élastique (365) dudit volet de verrouillage est dans un état pris parmi : comprimé, encliqueté et ancré par frottement à l'intérieur d'une gorge qui est définie par ladite au moins une aile d'ancrage occlusale (345).
     
    6. Appareil de bague orthodontique selon la revendication 3, dans lequel ledit bord allongé (307) et ledit bord plus court (309) dudit élément de blocage mésial (305) sont des bords d'une conformation prise parmi : arrondie, chanfreinée et à surface lisse.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description