(19)
(11)EP 3 481 331 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
30.10.2019 Bulletin 2019/44

(21)Application number: 18712597.6

(22)Date of filing:  21.03.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61C 19/06(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2018/057096
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/177832 (04.10.2018 Gazette  2018/40)

(54)

TEETH ILLUMINATION DEVICE

ZAHNBELEUCHTUNGSVORRICHTUNG

DISPOSITIF D'ÉCLAIRAGE DENTAIRE


(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: 27.03.2017 US 201762476916 P
02.06.2017 EP 17174209

(43)Date of publication of application:
15.05.2019 Bulletin 2019/20

(73)Proprietor: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • VERMEULEN, Olaf, Thomas, Johan, Antonie
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)
  • BLOEMEN, Pascal, Jean, Henri
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)

(74)Representative: van Oudheusden-Perset, Laure E. 
Philips International B.V. Intellectual Property & Standards High Tech Campus 5
5656 AE Eindhoven
5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-2006/020128
US-A1- 2016 271 415
US-A1- 2006 134 576
  
      
    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 invention relates to teeth illumination devices and to oral care or hygiene devices such as teeth whitening devices.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Oral care devices such as teeth whitening devices use light for illuminating the teeth. The light can be used for different purposes including teeth whitening in combination with a whitening gel or varnish, plaque or bacteria hygiene by use of disinfecting UV light or other purposes.

    [0003] WO 2016/066370 A1 discloses a smart lighting system for applying light to teeth in the context of tooth whitening. This particularly concerns teeth that have been provided with a light-curable whitening varnish. The system comprises a light-generating unit, a light-patterning unit, a mouth imaging unit, a mouth image sensing unit, and an image processing and control unit, and is adapted so as to allow the image processing and control unit to adjust the light- patterning unit on the basis of information obtained from the mouth image sensing unit. By doing so, prior to allowing the light-generating unit to emit light, it can be ensured that light emitted to assist tooth whitening, does not affect soft tissue US 2016/0271415 A1 discloses a further teeth whitening device.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0004] It would be advantageous to achieve an oral device capable of improving generation of a uniform light intensity at the teeth, alternatively or additionally capable of reducing heating of the teeth. The invention is defined by the independent claim. The dependent claims define advantageous embodiments.

    [0005] To better address one or more of these concerns, in a first aspect of the invention a mouthpiece for teeth illumination is presented that comprises:
    • first and second light sources, and
    • a first lens arranged to receive light from the first light source and a second lens arranged to receive light from the second light source, where the first and second lenses are arranged to project the received light onto a buccal side of the teeth, and where each of the first and second lenses has an asymmetrically shaped refraction surface shaped to change an intensity distribution of the received light asymmetrically on opposite sides of an optical axis of the respective light source along the dental arch of the teeth.


    [0006] Advantageously, the asymmetrically shaped refraction surfaces of the lenses makes is possible to achieve different intensity profiles on the left and right sides of the optical axis of the lenses. In this way, a range of overlap which receives light from both light sources can be established. Furthermore, the asymmetrically shaped refraction surfaces may be arbitrarily shaped as freeform lenses to achieve a desired intensity distribution in order to achieve a uniform intensity distribution at the teeth.

    [0007] The lenses are asymmetrical in the sense that the intensity of the received light is modified asymmetrically into the projected light on opposite sides of the optical axis of the light source along the dental arch of the teeth, i.e. in an occlusal plane of the mouthpiece.

    [0008] Advantageously, the use of projection lenses makes it possible to locate the light sources, e.g. light emitting diodes, at a distance from the teeth. Accordingly, radiation heat from the light sources causes less heating of the teeth and gums compared to light sources located close to the teeth. The lower heating makes it possible to use a higher light intensity without generating heat which could cause discomfort or even damage the pulp in the pulp chamber of the teeth.

    [0009] It is understood that the mouthpiece may comprise two or more light sources and two or more associated lenses. For practical reasons, the two or more lenses may be in the form of a one-piece body moulded or shaped from a single material. Accordingly, it is understood that two or more lenses formed as a single lens-component is equivalent to two or more separate lenses.

    [0010] According to an embodiment, the mouthpiece comprises a distance member arranged to contact a part of a mouth-region of the user, when in use, to establish a distance between the first and second lenses and the buccal side of the teeth as defined by the distance member. Advantageously, the distance member ensures the that distance from the lenses to the teeth are close to the optimal projection distance of the lenses required for obtaining the desired intensity profiles which the lenses have been designed to generate.

    [0011] According to an embodiment, the distance member is arranged so that the first and second light sources are located in front of the face of the user when the mouthpiece is used. Advantageously, due to the separation of the light sources from the face, heating of the teeth and mouth-region is reduced compared to a solution where the light sources are arranged closer to the teeth.

    [0012] According to an embodiment, the first and second light sources are arranged on either side of a facial midline, when the mouthpiece is used, where the facial midline defines a line between left and right incisors of the user. Advantageously, by arranging the light sources to the left and right of the facial midline, a larger number of teeth can be illuminated with uniform light.

    [0013] According to an embodiment, the first and second lenses are arranged to project the received light so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side of the teeth at the facial midline consist of light from the first and second light sources. Advantageously, by combining light from both light sources at a part of the dental range, the transition from teeth illumination from one light source to another light source can be made smooth.

    [0014] According to an embodiment, the first and second lenses are arranged to project the received light so that a part the buccal side of the teeth a distance away from the facial midline is illuminated only by light from one of the first and second light sources. Advantageously, due to the asymmetrical lighting, left and right sides of the dental arch can be illuminated individually by uniformly shaped light.

    [0015] According to an embodiment, the first and second lenses are arranged to project the received light so that the intensity of the projected light from each one of the first and second light sources gradually decreases along a dental arch towards the facial midline. Advantageously, due to the gradual decrease in light intensity the light from two neighbor light sources can be combined to generate a substantially uniform or constant light intensity.

    [0016] According to an embodiment, the mouthpiece comprises a third light source and a third lens arranged to receive light from the third light source, where the third light source is arranged between the first and second lenses to project the received light onto the buccal side of the teeth, where the third lens has a symmetrically shaped refraction surface. Advantageously, use of a third light source may facilitate one or more of generating higher light intensity, illuminating a larger number of teeth with uniform light and improving the uniformity of projected light.

    [0017] According to an embodiment, the first, second and third lenses are arranged to project light from the first, second and third light sources so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side of the teeth from the first and third light sources overlap at a first portion of the dental arch and so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side of the teeth from the second and third light sources overlap at a different second portion of the dental arch.

    [0018] According to an embodiment, the mouthpiece comprises a housing with a wall structure, where an end region of the wall structure comprises a contact part arranged to contact the gums of the user. Advantageously, the wall structure with the contact part provides a fixed distance between the mouth-region and the lenses so that that an optimal distance between teeth and lenses can be achieved for obtaining a uniform intensity.

    [0019] The wall structure may form a tube or funnel shaped wall with an at least partial empty interior. The wall structure may have openings to provide convection cooling. The wall structure may have the form a grid or other open structure. The wall structure may be formed by shells, pins, bars, meshed surfaces or combinations thereof and from materials like silicone, plastic, metal or other similar material.

    [0020] Advantageously, the wall shaped structure enables an open structure of the mouthpiece. The open structure may advantageously be used together with varnish substances on the teeth, e.g. for whitening purposes, since varnish substances does not require a sealing structure as may be required for holding teeth gels in place. Furthermore, the open structure improves heat dissipation so that higher intensity levels may be achieved.

    [0021] According to an embodiment, the mouthpiece comprises a sealing structure arranged for retaining an applied dental substance within a space defined by the sealing structure and the buccal side of the teeth, where the sealing structure comprises the contact part. Advantageously, the sealing structure is designed to help keeping the dental substance in place between the teeth and the transparent window of the mouthpiece. For example, the mouthpiece may be a teeth-whitening mouthpiece and the dental substance may be a teeth-whitening gel.

    [0022] According to an embodiment the housing comprises at least one through-hole arranged in the wall between the contact part and the at least one light source. Advantageously, holes in the housing improves heat dissipation.

    [0023] According to an embodiment, the mouthpiece comprises a holding member connected to the housing, where the holding member is arranged to enable the user to hold the mouthpiece by a force applied to the holding member via an occlusal surface of one or more of the teeth. Advantageously, the holding member enables holding of the mouthpiece only by use of the teeth so that the user is free to use her hands during the illumination process.

    [0024] According to an embodiment, the mouthpiece comprises an adjustable diaphragm arranged to adjust an extension of the projected light in a direction perpendicular to the occlusal plane of the mouthpiece. Advantageously, the diaphragm enables adjustment so that the projected light substantially only illuminates the teeth, but not the gums.

    [0025] A second aspect relates to the use of a mouthpiece according to the first aspect for teeth illumination which comprises the steps of:
    • arranging the mouthpiece so that a part of the mouthpiece contacts a part of a mouth-region of the user to establish a distance as defined by the mouthpiece between the first and second lenses and the buccal side of the teeth, and
    • illuminating the teeth by light projected by the first and second lenses onto the teeth of the user.


    [0026] An embodiment of the invention relates to a mouthpiece for illumination of teeth, e.g. for teeth whitening. The mouthpiece is configured with at least two freeform lenses shaped to cast light asymmetrical onto the teeth. The lenses are arranged one-to-one with associated light sources. The lenses are shaped so that the asymmetrical light from the at least two lenses combine over an area of the teeth, e.g. across first and second central incisors. In order to achieve uniform illumination over the dental arch, the lenses may project light which has a uniform intensity distribution at the left and right sides of the dental arch and which has a decreasing intensity towards the facial midline between the central incisors so that the combination of decreasing intensities combine to generate a uniform intensity over the range where the decreasing intensities overlap.

    [0027] In general, the various aspects of the invention may be combined and coupled in any way possible within the scope of the invention. These and other aspects, features and/or advantages of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0028] Embodiments of the invention will be described, by way of example only, with reference to the drawings, in which

    Figs. 1A, 1B and 1C illustrate different views of an embodiment of a mouthpiece for use as a teeth illumination device,

    Fig. 2A shows a cross-sectional view of lenses used in the mouthpiece and light rays transmitted by the lenses to the dental arch,

    Fig. 2B shows left and right intensity profiles of the light projected by the respective left and right lenses onto the left and right sides of the dental arch,

    Fig. 3 shows the asymmetrically shaped refraction surface in a cross-sectional view of the lens in a plane parallel with the occlusal plane,

    Fig. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the mouthpiece comprising a housing with a solid optically transparent part, and

    Fig. 5 shows an embodiment of the mouthpiece which comprises an adjustable diaphragm.


    DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0029] Figs. 1A, 1B and 1C illustrate an embodiment of a mouthpiece 100 for use as a teeth illumination device. The teeth of a user may be illuminated for the purpose of teeth whitening, plaque or bacteria hygiene, or other oral hygiene or care uses. The mouthpiece may be a consumer product for home use or a professional product to be used by a professional, in both cases the user, i.e. the home user or the patient, is the person that receives the illumination from the device.

    [0030] The mouthpiece is illustrated in different views: a top view in Fig. 1A, a perspective view seen towards the opening in Fig. 1B, a front view in Fig. 1C.

    [0031] The embodiment of the mouthpiece shown in Fig. 1A comprises first and second light sources 101a-b and first and second lenses 102a-b arranged to project light from the respective first and second light sources 101a-b onto a buccal side 111 of the teeth 110. Thus, the first lens 102a is arranged to receive and project light from the first light source 101a and the second lens 102b is arranged to receive and project light from the second light source 101b. The first light source 101a and first lens 102a may be arranged on one side of the facial midline 120 (e.g. left of the facial midline) and the second light source 101b and the second lens 102b may be arranged on the opposite side of the facial midline 120 (e.g. right of the facial midline).

    [0032] The facial midline 120 defines a line between the left and right incisors as illustrated. For convenience, the facial midline 120 also defines a center line of the mouthpiece 100 as depicted which is substantially co-linear with the facial midline 120 when the mouthpiece is used and when tolerances of the placement of the mouthpiece is considered. The centerline 120 may be located in the occlusal plane 130, as shown in Fig. 1C. The occlusal plane 130 defines a plane of the mouthpiece which, when the mouthpiece is used, corresponds to the occlusal plane of the teeth.

    [0033] Other embodiments of the mouthpiece 100 can be configured with other numbers of light sources and lenses. For example, the mouthpiece 100 may have two light sources 101a-b arranged on either side of the facial midline 120 and one lens centered at the facial midline 120 and arranged to receive light from both light sources 101 and to project the light onto the teeth. In another example, the mouthpiece 100 has only one light source and only one lens centered at the facial midline 120 and arranged to receive light project the light onto the teeth 110. Preferred embodiments comprise two or more light sources and associated lenses in order to improve uniform illumination of the left and right sides of the dental arch.

    [0034] The lenses 102a-b have asymmetrically shaped refraction surfaces shaped to change the intensity distribution of the received light from the light sources 101a-b asymmetrically on opposite sides of an optical axis 121 of the respective light source in an occlusal plane 130 of the of the mouthpiece. For example, the lenses may be shaped to modify the intensity distribution to achieve a uniform intensity distribution along at least a part of the dental arch, e.g. from the second premolar 110e to the lateral incisor 110b.

    [0035] By change of the intensity distribution is meant that the far field intensity profile of one of the light sources 101a is modified by the associated lens 102a asymmetrically into a different far field intensity distribution. In comparison, a symmetrical lens, such as a spherical or aspherical lens, would modify the intensity distribution symmetrical with respect to the optical axis 121.

    [0036] The lenses 102a-b may be asymmetrically shaped to modify the intensity distribution so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110 at the facial midline 120 is provided by light from the first and second light sources. Additionally, the lenses may be arranged to shape the projected light so that a part the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110 at a distance away from the facial midline 120 (e.g. teeth on one side of the dental arch such as from the second premolar 110e to the lateral incisor 110b) is illuminated only by light from one of the first and second light sources 101a-b.

    [0037] In order to provide a uniform intensity over the central incisors 110a, it is necessary that the light from the first and second lenses 102a-b overlap over at least a portion of central incisors 110a. The uniform intensity across the overlap may be achieved by arranging the first and second lenses to project light so that the intensity of the projected light from each one of the first and second light sources gradually decreases along the dental arch towards and beyond the facial midline 120.

    [0038] Fig. 2A shows a cross-sectional view of the first and second lenses 102a-b in a plane parallel with the occlusal plane 130. Fig. 2A shows the light rays projected by the lenses onto a part of the dental arch 201 at the teeth 110. As shown light rays from both lenses 102a-b illuminates a part of the dental arch 201 which includes the facial midline. For example, the lenses 102a-b may project light onto both the left and right central incisors 110a. A part of the light rays from the first lens 102a only illuminates a part of the dental arch 201 to the left of the central part of the dental arch illuminated by both light sources 101a-b, and a part of the light rays from the second lens 102b only illuminates a part of the dental arch 201 to the right of the central part of the dental arch.

    [0039] Fig. 2B shows left and right intensity I profiles 202, 203 of the light projected by the respective left and right lenses 102a-b onto the left (L) and right (R) dental sides. As shown, the intensity I is constant or substantially constant along the dental sides (L, R) away from the central part (C) of the dental arch. Furthermore, the intensity I of projected light from each of the lenses 102a-b gradually decreases from one side of the dental arch across the facial midline 120 to an intensity of zero or substantially zero on the other side of the dental arch a distance away from the facial midline 120. At the central part (C) of the dental arch, the intensities I of the projected light from the two lenses 102a-b add to the same or substantially the same intensity I of projected light on the left and right dental sides.

    [0040] The lenses may be arranged to change the intensity I over the central part C linearly or according to other profile shapes.

    [0041] In practice, it may not be possible to achieve a constant intensity I along the left, central and right sides of the dental arch. Therefore, in practice, the intensity may vary along the dental arch, e.g. within a band of +/- 10 percent. For teeth whitening applications, the intensity variations should be small enough to avoid clearly visible variations in the whitening effect.

    [0042] Fig. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of the second light source 101b and the second lens 102b in a plane parallel with the occlusal plane 130. Fig. 3 shows that the lens 102b has an asymmetrically shaped refraction surface 301. In this example, the lens is asymmetrically shaped to so that all light rays received on the right side of the optical axis 121 is bent away from the optical axis in the right direction, whereas some light rays received on the left side of the optical axis 121 is bent towards the optical axis in the right direction. In this way, the asymmetric shaped refraction surface 301 is configured to generate the desired intensity profile 202, 203.

    [0043] The lenses 102a-b may configured in other ways. For example, each lens may have one or more asymmetrically shaped refraction surfaces. In addition, the input refraction surface of the lens may be asymmetrically shaped instead of the output surface.

    [0044] Referring again to Fig. 1, the light sources 101a, 101b may be light emitting light sources (LEDs), but other light sources may be used as well. The lenses 102a, 102b are made from a transparent material such as glass, polycarbonate or other plastic material.

    [0045] The mouthpiece 100 comprises a distance member 109 which is principally illustrated by the dotted line 109 in Fig. 1A. The function of the distance member 109 is to establish a distance between the first and second lenses 102a-b and the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110. The purpose of establishing the distance, which is defined by the distance member, is to ensure that the lenses 102a-b has the correct distance from the teeth. Since the lenses 102a-b are designed to provide the desired intensity profiles 202, 203 when they have a specific location and thereby a specific distance relative to the teeth it is advantageous to configure the mouthpiece 100 with such distance member. The distance member is intended to contact a part of a mouth-region of the user when the mouthpiece is in use. The part of the mouth-region may be the gums, teeth or other.

    [0046] Fig. 1 shows a distance member 109 in the form of a structure 103 which comprises a bite-bar 131, e.g. in the form of a flat plastic shape, intended to be located between the bite surfaces (occlusal surfaces) of pairs of upper and lower teeth, when the mouthpiece 100 is used. For example, the bite-bar 131 may be intended to be placed between the bite surfaces of the upper and lower second premolars 110e so that well defined distance is established when the distance member 109 is used.

    [0047] Additionally or alternatively to function as a distance member 109, the structure 103 may embody a holding member 108 which has the function to enable the user to hold the mouthpiece by a force applied to a part of the holding member 108, e.g. to the bite-bar 131, via the occlusal surfaces of one or more of the teeth, i.e. the upper and lower second premolars 110e. The structure 103 is connected to the housing 105, e.g. to the distal end region.

    [0048] Fig. 1 shows that the mouthpiece 101 comprises a housing 105 with a wall structure. The wall structure may have the shape of a funnel or a tube, e.g. a shape having a proximal end region with an opening circumscribed by a contact part 104 and a distal end region which may be closed or tapered and configured internally to fixate the light sources 101a-b and lenses 102a-b. The contact part 104 is arranged to contact the gums of the user or other mouth-region.

    [0049] Since the housing 105 together with the contact part 104 establishes a well-defined distance between the first and second lenses 102a-b and the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110 when the contact part 104 is in contact with the mouth-region, the distance member 109 may be embodied by the housing 105 together with the contact part 104. Clearly, the housing 105 functioning as a distance member 109 may be combined with the structure 103 functioning as a holding member 108 and/or a distance member 109.

    [0050] In general, the distance member 109 is arranged so that the first and second light sources 101a-b and also the first and second lenses 102a-b are located in front of the face of the user when the mouthpiece is used. Accordingly, the mouthpiece 100 is configured with light sources 101a-b located at a specific distance to the mouth-region.

    [0051] As shown in Fig. 1B, the housing 105 may be configured with at least one through-hole opening 150 arranged in the wall between the contact part 104 and the at least one light source 101a. The holes provides ventilation to the chamber of the mouthpiece 100 so that heat increase due to waste heat from the light sources can be reduced.

    [0052] The embodiments described in connection with Fig. 1, Fig. 2A and 2B comprise two light sources and two associated lenses. According to another embodiment (not illustrated), the mouthpiece may be configured with an additional third light source and a third lens arranged to receive light from the third light source. For example, the third light source and the third lens may be arranged between the first and second lenses in order to project the light onto the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110. For example, the third light source and the third lens may be arranged on the center line 120 of the mouthpiece and in the same plane as the first and second lenses and light sources 101a-b, 102a-b, e.g. on a plane which is substantially parallel with the occlusal plane 130 when the mouthpiece is used.

    [0053] The third lens may have a symmetrically shaped refraction surfaces in order to illuminate the center teeth, e.g. the central incisors 110a, symmetrically with respect to the facial midline 120.

    [0054] According to this embodiment, the first, second and third lenses may be arranged to project light from the first, second and third light sources so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110 from the first and third light sources overlap at a first portion of the dental arch and so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110 from the second and third light sources overlap at a different second portion of the dental arch. For example, light from the first and third light sources may overlap at a range of the dental arch located to the left of the facial midline 120, and light from the first and third light sources may overlap at a range of the dental arch located to the right of the facial midline 120. Preferably, the intensity of light at the overlapping ranges and ranges only illuminated by light from one lens should be substantially constant in the sense described above.

    [0055] The mouthpiece 100 may comprise a sealing structure which has the function of retaining an applied dental substance within a space defined by the sealing structure and the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110. For example, the dental substance may be in the form of a whitening gel which is applied to the teeth 110 or a surface of the sealing structure.

    [0056] According to an embodiment the sealing structure comprises the contact part 104. For example, the contact part 104 may constitute a rim, e.g. a closed annular rim, arranged to contact the upper and lower gums and teeth in the transition between the upper and lower gums.

    [0057] Fig. 4 illustrates an embodiment of the mouthpiece 100 which has features equivalent to the features of the mouthpiece in Fig. 1 as illustrated by the repeated reference numbers. The housing 105 of the mouthpiece in Fig. 4 further comprises a solid optically transparent part 401. The solid optically transparent part 401 is located behind the contact part 104 so that there is a distance between the contact part 104 and the solid optically transparent part 401. The solid optically transparent part is arranged to transmit light from the light sources towards the teeth.

    [0058] The solid optically transparent part 401 may be in the form of a wall extending between the side walls of the housing, e.g. a wall extending along the dotted line as illustrated. The wall may be thin or may extend e.g. up to the lenses 102a-b. Alternatively, the solid optically transparent part 401 may fill a larger part of the housing 105, e.g. so that the light sources 101a-b and/or the lenses 102a-b is embedded in the solid optically transparent part 401.

    [0059] The space created by the distance between the contact part 104 and the solid optically transparent part 401 may be used for housing the applied dental substance. Accordingly, the space of the sealing structure may be defined by the optically transparent part 401, the contact part 104, and the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110.

    [0060] The at least one through-hole 150 shown in Fig. 1B may also be formed in the wall structure of the housing 105 of the mouthpiece in Fig. 4, e.g. in the wall of the housing 105 between the optically transparent part 401 and the light sources 101.

    [0061] Fig. 5 shows an embodiment of the mouthpiece 100 which comprises an adjustable diaphragm 510 in a cross sectional view in a plane perpendicular to the occlusal plane 130. For convenience, not all components of the mouthpiece 100 are shown. The diaphragm 510 is opaque or semi-opaque and prevents rays from contacting the gums of the user 501, 502. The design of the lenses 102a-b may result in that some rays are transmitted at a large angle to the occlusal plane 130 and may therefore cause illumination and heating of the gums. To prevent discomfort associated with heating, rays other than those which will hit the buccal side 111 of the teeth 110 can be blocked. The diaphragm 510 may have a fixed opening, i.e. with a fixed distance between the upper and lower diaphragm parts. Alternatively, the diaphragm 510 may be adjustable to provide an adjustable size of the opening, i.e. an adjustable distance between the upper and lower diaphragm parts. Accordingly, the diaphragm 510 may be arranged to adjust the extension, i.e. the height, of the projected light in a direction perpendicular to the occlusal plane of the mouthpiece. In this way the diaphragm may be fitted according to teeth and gums of individuals.

    [0062] While the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, such illustration and description are to be considered illustrative or exemplary and not restrictive; the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. Other variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected by those skilled in the art in practicing the claimed invention, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims. In the claims, the word "comprising" does not exclude other elements or steps, and the indefinite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope.


    Claims

    1. A mouthpiece (100) for illumination of teeth (110) of a user, the mouthpiece comprising:

    - first and second light sources (101a-b), and

    - a first lens (102a) arranged to receive light from the first light source (101a) and a second lens (102b) arranged to receive light from the second light source (101b), where the first and second lenses are arranged to project the received light onto a buccal side (111) of the teeth (110), characterized in that each of the first and second lenses has an asymmetrically shaped refraction surface (301) shaped to change an intensity distribution of the received light asymmetrically on opposite sides of an optical axis (121) of the respective light source along the dental arch (201) of the teeth.


     
    2. A mouthpiece according to claim 1, further comprising a distance member (109) arranged to contact a part of a mouth-region of the user, when in use, to establish a distance between the first and second lenses (102a-b) and the buccal side of the teeth as defined by the distance member (109).
     
    3. A mouthpiece according to claim 2, wherein the distance member (109) is arranged so that the first and second light sources (101a-b) are located in front of the face of the user when the mouthpiece is used.
     
    4. A mouthpiece according to claim 1, where the first and second light sources (101a-b) are arranged on either side of a facial midline (120), when the mouthpiece is used, where the facial midline defines a line between left and right central incisors (101a) of the user.
     
    5. A mouthpiece according to claim 4, where the first and second lenses (102a-b) are arranged to project the received light so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side (111) of the teeth (110) at the facial midline (120) consist of light from the first and second light sources (101a-b).
     
    6. A mouthpiece according to claim 4, where the first and second lenses (102a-b) are arranged to project the received light so that a part the buccal side (111) of the teeth (110) a distance away from the facial midline (120) is illuminated only by light from one of the first and second light sources (101a-b).
     
    7. A mouthpiece according to claim 4, where the first and second lenses (102a-b) are arranged to project the received light so that the intensity of the projected light from each one of the first and second light sources (101a-b) gradually decreases along a dental arch towards the facial midline (120).
     
    8. A mouthpiece according to claim 1, comprising a third light source and a third lens arranged to receive light from the third light source, where the third light source is arranged between the first and second lenses (102a-b) to project the received light onto the buccal side (111) of the teeth (110), where the third lens has a symmetrically shaped refraction surface (301).
     
    9. A mouthpiece according to claim 8, where the first, second and third lenses are arranged to project light from the first, second and third light sources so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side (111) of the teeth (110) from the first and third light sources overlap at a first portion of the dental arch and so that the intensity of the projected light at the buccal side of the teeth from the second and third light sources overlap at a different second portion of the dental arch.
     
    10. A mouthpiece according to claim 1, comprising a housing (105) with a wall structure, where an end region of the wall structure comprises a contact part (104) arranged to contact the gums (501, 502) of the user.
     
    11. A mouthpiece according to claim 10, comprising a sealing structure arranged for retaining an applied dental substance within a space defined by the sealing structure and the buccal side (111) of the teeth (110), where the sealing structure comprises the contact part (104).
     
    12. A mouthpiece according to claim 10, where the housing (105) comprises at least one through-hole 150) arranged in the wall between the contact part (104) and the at least one light source (101a-b).
     
    13. A mouthpiece according to claim 10-12, comprising a holding member (108) connected to the housing, where the holding member is arranged to enable the user to hold the mouthpiece (100) by a force applied to the holding member via an occlusal surface of one or more of the teeth (110).
     
    14. A mouthpiece according to claim 1, comprising an adjustable diaphragm (501) arranged to adjust an extension of the projected light in a direction perpendicular to the occlusal plane (130) of the mouthpiece.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Mundstück (100) zur Beleuchtung von Zähnen (110) eines Benutzers, wobei das Mundstück umfasst:

    - erste und zweite Lichtquellen (101a-b), und

    - eine erste Linse (102a), die angeordnet ist, um Licht von der ersten Lichtquelle (101a) zu empfangen, und eine zweite Linse (102b), die angeordnet ist, um Licht von der zweiten Lichtquelle (101b) zu empfangen, wobei die erste und die zweite Linse angeordnet sind, um das empfangene Licht auf die Backenseite (111) der Zähne (110) zu projizieren, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede der ersten und der zweiten Linse eine asymmetrisch geformte Refraktionsoberfläche (301) aufweist, die geformt ist, um eine Intensitätsverteilung des empfangenen Lichts asymmetrisch an gegenüberliegenden Seiten einer optischen Achse (121) der jeweiligen Lichtquelle entlang des Zahnbogens (201) der Zähne zu ändern.


     
    2. Mundstück nach Anspruch 1, weiter umfassend ein Abstandselement (109), das angeordnet ist, um in Verwendung mit einem Teil einer Mundregion des Benutzers in Berührung zu sein, um einen Abstand zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Linse (102a-b) und der Backenseite der Zähne, wie er vom Abstandselement (109) definiert ist, festzulegen.
     
    3. Mundstück nach Anspruch 2, wobei das Abstandselement (109) so angeordnet ist, dass die erste und die zweite Lichtquelle (101a-b) vor dem Gesicht des Benutzers positioniert sind, wenn das Mundstück verwendet wird.
     
    4. Mundstück nach Anspruch 1, wobei, wenn das Mundstück verwendet wird, die erste und die zweite Lichtquelle (101a-b) an beiden Seiten einer Gesichtsmittellinie (120) angeordnet sind, wobei die Gesichtsmittellinie eine Linie zwischen linken und rechten mittleren Schneidezähnen (101a) des Benutzers definiert.
     
    5. Mundstück nach Anspruch 4, wobei die erste und die zweite Linse (102a-b) angeordnet sind, um das empfangene Licht so zu projizieren, dass die Intensität des projizierten Lichts an der Backenseite (111) der Zähne (110) an der Gesichtsmittellinie (120) aus Licht von der ersten und der zweiten Lichtquelle (101a-b) besteht.
     
    6. Mundstück nach Anspruch 4, wobei die erste und die zweite Linse (102a-b) angeordnet sind, um das empfangene Licht so zu projizieren, dass ein Teil der Backenseite (111) der Zähne (110) einen Abstand von der Gesichtsmittellinie (120) entfernt nur von Licht von einer der ersten und der zweiten Lichtquelle (101a-b) beleuchtet wird.
     
    7. Mundstück nach Anspruch 4, wobei die erste und die zweite Linse (102a-b) angeordnet sind, um das empfangene Licht so zu projizieren, dass die Intensität des projizierten Lichts von jeder der ersten und der zweiten Lichtquelle (101 a-b) entlang eines Zahnbogens in Richtung zur Gesichtsmittellinie (120) schrittweise abnimmt.
     
    8. Mundstück nach Anspruch 1, umfassend eine dritte Lichtquelle und eine dritte Linse, die angeordnet ist, um Licht von der dritten Lichtquelle zu empfangen, wobei die dritte Lichtquelle zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Linse (102a-b) angeordnet ist, um das empfangene Licht auf die Backenseite (111) der Zähne (110) zu projizieren, wobei die dritte Linse eine symmetrisch geformte Refraktionsoberfläche (301) aufweist.
     
    9. Mundstück nach Anspruch 8, wobei die erste, die zweite und die dritte Linse angeordnet sind, um Licht von der ersten, der zweiten und der dritten Lichtquellen so zu projizieren, dass die Intensität des projizierten Lichts an der Backenseite (111) der Zähne (110) von der ersten und der dritten Lichtquellen an einem ersten Abschnitt des Zahnbogens überlappen, und so dass die Intensität des projizierten Lichts an der Backenseite der Zähne von der zweiten und der dritten Lichtquellen an einem unterschiedlichen zweiten Abschnitt des Zahnbogens überlappen.
     
    10. Mundstück nach Anspruch 1, umfassend ein Gehäuse (105) mit einer Wandstruktur, wobei ein Endbereich der Wandstruktur einen Berührungsteil (104) umfasst, der angeordnet ist, um das Zahnfleisch (501, 502) des Benutzers zu berühren.
     
    11. Mundstück nach Anspruch 10, umfassend eine Abdichtungsstruktur, die angeordnet ist, um eine angewendete Dentalmasse innerhalb eines Raums zurückzuhalten, der von der Abdichtungsstruktur und der Backenseite (111) der Zähne (110) definiert ist, wobei die Abdichtungsstruktur den Berührungsteil (104) umfasst.
     
    12. Mundstück nach Anspruch 10, wobei das Gehäuse (105) mindestens eine Durchgangsöffnung (150) umfasst, die in der Wand zwischen dem Berührungsteil (104) und der mindestens einen Lichtquelle (101a-b) angeordnet ist.
     
    13. Mundstück nach Anspruch 10-12, umfassend ein Halteelement (108), das mit dem Gehäuse verbunden ist, wobei das Halteelement angeordnet ist, um es dem Benutzer zu ermöglichen, das Mundstück (100) durch eine über eine okklusale Oberfläche auf einem oder mehreren der Zähne (110) auf das Halteelement angelegte Kraft zu halten.
     
    14. Mundstück nach Anspruch 1, umfassend eine regulierbare Blende (501), die angeordnet ist, um eine Ausdehnung des projizierten Lichts in eine Richtung in rechtem Winkel zur okklusalen Ebene (130) des Mundstücks zu regulieren.
     


    Revendications

    1. Embout buccal (100) pour l'éclairage de dents (110) d'un utilisateur, l'embout buccal comprenant :

    - une première et une deuxième source de lumière (101a-b), et

    - une première lentille (102a) agencée pour recevoir de la lumière de la première source de lumière (101a) et une deuxième lentille (102b) agencée pour recevoir de la lumière de la deuxième source de lumière (101b), où la première et la deuxième lentilles sont agencées pour projeter la lumière reçue sur un côté buccal (111) des dents (110), caractérisé en ce que chacune des première et deuxième lentilles a une surface de réfraction de forme asymétrique (301) formée pour changer une distribution d'intensité de la lumière reçue de façon asymétrique sur des côtés opposés d'un axe optique (121) de la source de lumière respective le long de l'arcade dentaire (201) des dents.


     
    2. Embout buccal selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un élément de distance (109) agencé pour venir en contact avec une partie d'une région buccale de l'utilisateur lorsqu'elle est en service, pour établir une distance entre la première et la deuxième lentille (102a-b) et le côté buccal des dents tel que défini par l'élément de distance (109).
     
    3. Embout buccal selon la revendication 2, dans lequel l'élément de distance (109) est agencé de sorte que la première et la deuxième source de lumière (101a-b) soient situées devant le visage de l'utilisateur lorsque l'embout buccal est utilisée.
     
    4. Embout buccal selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la première et la deuxième source de lumière (101a-b) sont agencées sur l'un et l'autre côté d'un axe facial (120), lorsque l'embout buccal est utilisée, où l'axe facial définit une ligne entre les incisives centrales de gauche et de droite (101a) de l'utilisateur.
     
    5. Embout buccal selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la première et la deuxième lentille (102a-b) sont agencées pour projeter la lumière reçue de sorte que l'intensité de la lumière projetée sur le côté buccal (111) des dents (110) dans l'axe facial (120) soit constituée de lumière provenant de la première et de la deuxième source de lumière (101a-b).
     
    6. Embout buccal selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la première et la deuxième lentille (102a-b) sont agencées pour projeter la lumière reçue de sorte qu'une partie du côté buccal (111) des dents (110) situées à distance de l'axe facial (120) soit éclairée uniquement par de la lumière provenant de l'une de la première et de la deuxième source de lumière (101a-b).
     
    7. Embout buccal selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la première et la deuxième lentille (102a-b) sont agencées pour projeter la lumière reçue de sorte que l'intensité de la lumière projetée de chacune des première et deuxième sources de lumière (101a-b) diminue graduellement le long d'une arcade dentaire vers l'axe facial (120).
     
    8. Embout buccal selon la revendication 1, comprenant une troisième source de lumière et une troisième lentille agencée pour recevoir de la lumière de la troisième source de lumière, dans lequel la troisième source de lumière est agencée entre la première et la deuxième lentille (102a-b) pour projeter la lumière reçue sur le côté buccal (111) des dents (110), où la troisième lentille a une surface de réfraction de forme symétrique (301).
     
    9. Embout buccal selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la première, la deuxième et la troisième lentille sont agencées pour projeter de la lumière de la première, de la deuxième et de la troisième source de lumière de sorte que l'intensité de la lumière projetée sur le côté buccal (111) des dents (110) par la première et la troisième source de lumière chevauche une première partie de l'arcade dentaire et de sorte que l'intensité de la lumière projetée sur le côté buccal des dents par la deuxième et la troisième source de lumière chevauche une deuxième partie différente de l'arcade dentaire.
     
    10. Embout buccal selon la revendication 1, comprenant un boîtier (105) avec une structure de paroi, dans lequel une région d'extrémité de la structure de paroi comprend une partie de contact (104) agencée pour venir en contact avec les gencives (501, 502) de l'utilisateur.
     
    11. Embout buccal selon la revendication 10, comprenant une structure d'étanchéité agencée pour retenir une substance dentaire appliquée dans un espace défini par la structure d'étanchéité et le côté buccal (111) des dents (110), dans lequel la structure d'étanchéité comprend la partie de contact (104).
     
    12. Embout buccal selon la revendication 10, dans lequel le boîtier (105) comprend au moins un trou traversant (150) agencé dans la paroi entre la partie de contact (104) et la au moins une source de lumière (101a-b).
     
    13. Embout buccal selon la revendication 10 à 12, comprenant un élément d'appui (108) raccordé au boîtier, dans lequel l'élément d'appui est agencé pour permettre à l'utilisateur de contenir l'embout buccal (100) par une force appliquée à l'élément d'appui via une surface occlusale d'une ou plusieurs des dents (110).
     
    14. Embout buccal selon la revendication 1, comprenant un diaphragme réglable (501) agencé pour ajuster une extension de la lumière projetée dans une direction perpendiculaire au plan occlusal (130) de l'embout buccal.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description