WO2005107636A1 - Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gum - Google Patents

Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gum Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2005107636A1
WO2005107636A1 PCT/EP2004/005029 EP2004005029W WO2005107636A1 WO 2005107636 A1 WO2005107636 A1 WO 2005107636A1 EP 2004005029 W EP2004005029 W EP 2004005029W WO 2005107636 A1 WO2005107636 A1 WO 2005107636A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
means
insert
device
according
use
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2004/005029
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Michael Williams
Original Assignee
Remedent Nv
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Remedent Nv filed Critical Remedent Nv
Priority to PCT/EP2004/005029 priority Critical patent/WO2005107636A1/en
Priority claimed from EP20050716108 external-priority patent/EP1744700A1/en
Priority claimed from AU2005239796A external-priority patent/AU2005239796A1/en
Publication of WO2005107636A1 publication Critical patent/WO2005107636A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C19/00Dental auxiliary appliances
    • A61C19/06Implements for therapeutic treatment
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C19/00Dental auxiliary appliances
    • A61C19/06Implements for therapeutic treatment
    • A61C19/063Medicament applicators for teeth or gums, e.g. treatment with fluorides
    • A61C19/066Bleaching devices; Whitening agent applicators for teeth, e.g. trays or strips
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C17/00Devices for cleaning, polishing, rinsing or drying teeth, teeth cavities or prostheses; Saliva removers; Dental appliances for receiving spittle
    • A61C17/16Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices
    • A61C17/22Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices with brushes, cushions, cups, or the like
    • A61C17/228Self-contained intraoral toothbrush, e.g. mouth-guard toothbrush without handle

Abstract

The present invention relates to an autonomous device comprising a trough, shaped for the immersion of teeth and/or gums of a dental arch, one or more means to provide physical stimulation and optionally one or more means to provide heat. It further relates to methods for cleaning teeth, relieving pain, treating bacteria, treating bad breath, loosening plaque and healing. It further relates to inserts for use in said device.

Description

METHOD AND DEVICE FOR ENHANCING THE TREATMENT OF TEETH AND GUM

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Treatments such as teeth cleaning, plaque removal and treatment of bacteria (e.g. bacterial infections, bad breath) often require the subject to be present in the dental chair and a dental professional to manually apply a treatment.

Dental procedures require a subject to remain open-mouthed while the practitioner performs a therapy. This causes a subject discomfort due to breathing and swallowing difficulties, excessive salivation and sometimes 'white coat anxiety'. Furthermore, treatments by dental professions are expensive for a subject in terms of cost and time.

Home treatments for cleaning teeth, plaque removal and bad breath are often not as effective as those available in a dental surgery, because the concentration of active agent is reduced for home use. Therefore, treatment may take longer or may not be capable of effectively treating teeth.

In view of the prior art, there is a need for a device and method for reducing the time required and discomfort associated with cleaning, plaque removal from teeth and gums, and treatment of bacteria by a dental professional. There is also a need for a device and method for home treatment which is able to enhance the action of active agents present in low doses for over- the counter use.

Some dental interventions cause wounds, operational openings and swellings in the gums, which eventually heal over time. Before healing has completed, however, discomfort in a mouth of a subject may affect breathing, eating, and speech. Pain associated with dental arches can be intense. Prescription pain killers are usually required to manage the pain, which may not be suitable for a subject. Similarly, orthodontal treatments cause lesions in the gums. Such lesions typically take a long time to heal particularly where a removable or adjustable brace is applied. There is, therefore, a need in the prior art to increase the rate of healing after dental interventions. Dental pain associated with the dental arch, gums, teeth and nerves of a subject, is often intensely uncomfortable. In managing the pain, prescription medicines are typically prescribed and orally administered. However, these can take time to act. Furthermore, the dose is strong pain killers is regulated and restricted. Furthermore, pain killers may not be suitable for use with a subject (e.g. due to allergy). While high doses of pain killer might be necessary to manage pain, the limits placed on dosage often preclude complete pain relief. There is, therefore, a need for effectively managing pain associated with the dental arch of a subject which overcomes the problems of the prior art.

AIMS OF THE INVENTION

It is an aim of the present invention to provide an autonomous device which can be fitted on the dental arch of a subject. Such a device provides therapies such as massage, pain relief, anti-bacterial treatment, anti-plaque treatment, treatment for bad breath and tissue stimulation with enhanced effects and a minimal intrusion of the oral cavity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention is an autonomous device comprising: (a) a trough, shaped for the immersion of teeth and/or gums of a dental arch, and (b) one or more means to provide physical stimulation.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, further comprising one or more means to provide heat.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein a means to provide physical stimulation is an ultrasonic transducer.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein a means to provide physical stimulation is an ultrasonic motor.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein a means to provide physical stimulation is a magnetic motor. Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein a means to provide heat is a heat transducer.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein a means to provide heat is a near-infrared light emitting diode.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein a means to provide heat is an electrical heating element.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above wherein said trough has a means to receive an insert comprising one or more agents.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein at least one means to provide physical stimulation is positioned such that physical stimulation is directed towards the anterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein at least one means to provide physical stimulation is positioned such that physical stimulation is directed towards the top surface of said teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein at least one means to provide physical stimulation is positioned such that physical stimulation is directed towards the posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein at least one means to provide heat is positioned such that heat is directed towards the anterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein at least one means to provide heat is positioned such that heat is directed towards the top surface of said teeth and/or gums. Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, wherein at least one means to provide heat is positioned such that heat is directed towards the posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above further comprising one or more means for holding a battery, such that said battery is able to be inserted and/or removed.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above further comprising one or more batteries.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above 17 further comprising one or more switches.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above further comprising one or more means to regulate said physical stimulation-providing means and/or said heat providing means.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above further comprising one or more means to provide functionality for a timed period, after which time, the device switches off.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above, further comprising one or more cleaning protrusions capable of abrasive cleaning and/or polishing teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above further comprising a second device as described above, said second device arranged so that the teeth of both the upper and lower arches are each immersable in a trough.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device as described above wherein a single switch and/or regulating means are provided. Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of a device as described above for cleaning teeth.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use as described above, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more cleaning agents

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of a device as described above for relieving pain.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use as described above, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more pain-relieving agents

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of a device as described above for treating bacterial infections.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use as described above, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more anti-bacterial agents

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of a device as described above for treating bad breath.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use as described above, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more anti-bad breath agents.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of a device as described above for loosening plaque.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use as described above, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more plaque removing agents

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of a device as described above for enhancing healing. Another embodiment of the present invention is a use as described above, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more healing agents.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert comprising one or more agents, wherein said insert has a means for receiving physical stimulation and/or heat from a device as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising a means for reciprocating with a receiving means of the dental device as described above in order to locate correctly and optionally secure the insert into a receiving means of the dental device.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising at least one cleaning agent.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above wherein at least one cleaning agent is baking soda.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising at least one pain relieving agent.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above wherein at least one pain relieving agent is ibuprofen.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising at least one anti-bacterial agent

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above wherein at least one anti-bacterial agent is chloramphenicol.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising at least one anti-bad-breath agent. Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above wherein at least one anti-bad-breath agent is cetylpyridinium chloride.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising at least one healing agent.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above wherein at least one healing agent is vitamin E.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising at least one plaque removing agent.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above wherein at least one plaque removing agent is triclosan.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising a gelling agent.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, comprising a cassette

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, where said insert is tube-shaped.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, where said insert is U-shaped.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert as described above, where said insert is in the shape of a strip.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a charging device, comprising a means for recharging a device as described above. Another embodiment of the present invention is a charging device as described above, further comprising a means for receiving a device as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a programming device, comprising a means for programming a regulating means of a device as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a programming device as described above, further comprising a means for receiving a device as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a combined programming and charging device comprising one or more of the features of the devices as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for providing dental treatment comprising the use of a dental device as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method as described above comprising the steps of - activating the device, - receiving treatment for a fixed time period, after which time the device automatically stops, and -repeating treatment a number of times, or until the power source runs out.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method as described above, comprising the step of using said device with an insert in which a concentration of agent suitable for use by a non-professional dentition is present.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method as described above, comprising the steps of: - using said device with an insert in which a concentration of agent suitable for use by a profession dentition is present, and - subsequently using said device with an insert in which a concentration of agent suitable for use by a non-profession dentition is present. Another embodiment of the present invention is a kit comprising a dental device as described above.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a as described above, further comprising at least one insert.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a kit as described above, wherein at least one insert comprises a concentration of agent suitable for use by a profession dentition, and at least one insert comprises a concentration of agent suitable for use by a non-profession dentition.

SUMMARY OF THE FIGURES

Figures 1 to 3: a single trough device of the invention.

Figure 4: a device comprising an insert. Figure 5: a double-troughed device of the invention.

Figure 6A to 6C: A device according to the invention, including a battery cover, and sub mould.

Figure 7: A device according to the invention, including a battery cover, sub mould and ultrasonic motor. Figure 8A to 8F: examples of possible components of a kit according to the invention including straight stick inserts (A), U-shaped inserts (B), a charger/programmer (C), a button battery (D), a cleaning brush (E), and an instruction booklet (F).

Figure 9: kits according to the invention for combined professional/home use (A), and for home use only (B).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an autonomous dental device comprising:

(a) a trough, shaped for the immersion of teeth and/or gums of a dental arch,

(b) one or more means to provide physical stimulation, and (c) optionally, one or more means to provide heat.

The inventors have found the physical stimulation provided by a device of the invention can enhance treatments such as, for example, cleaning, massage, pain relief, anti-bacterial treatment, anti-plaque treatment, healing, treatment for bad breath, and tissue stimulation. The combined use of heat, still further enhances treatment. Furthermore, the autonomous nature of the device (i.e. having a self contained power source) means the subject is not restricted to procedures such which normally require their presence on a dentist's chair and the equipment associate therewith. This further frees the dental chair for other patients. The use of a subject's own dental arch as a support for said functionality alleviates a dental practitioner from holding and directing an external source of, for example, ultrasound or heat, so enabling a practitioner to use both hands for performing dental manipulations.

Trough

A trough according to the present invention is any container shaped for the immersion of teeth and/or gums of the dental arch. The container may be formed by any material that is compatible with the body. Examples of material suitable for a trough include, but are not limited to polycarbonate, foam, polypropylene, rubberised polymer, composite, polymer. It is an aspect of the invention that the trough is formed of the same material throughout. It is an aspect of the invention that the trough is made from two or more materials. For example, a flexible material might be used in the portions of the trough expected to change shape to accommodate a dental arch (e.g. foam in the inner wall of the trough), and a stiff material used to support components (e.g. polypropylene in the outer walls of the trough).

It is an aspect of the invention that the walls of a trough are substantially a single continuous sheet so forming a sealed device. In the latter case, the trough may, for example, be formed in a mould, and components and working parts introduced therein during a moulding process.

It is another aspect of the invention that a device of the invention is formed of different interfitting parts. In the latter case, a device may be assembled from separately moulded parts which are clipped and/or sealed together. For example, the inner trough wall and the outer trough wall might be separately formed, so that during production, components and working parts can be readily assembled into the device. Furthermore, reversibly interfitting parts allow access to be gained to the workings of the device, for example, for repair or to change a battery etc. In another example, Figure 6C depicts a device of the invention comprising a sub mould part 68, a soft form trough 61 , and a battery cover 64. A separate sub mould part 68 facilitates convenient assembly of a device during production, and the compartment cover 64 allows the battery to be changed.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the trough is of a size, shape and flexibility to allow an adaptable fit on a wide variety of dental arch. Examples of suitable shapes include U-shaped, horse-shoe shaped troughs. A single size has the benefit of reduced mass- production costs, reduced storage space requirements and simpler consumer choice.

In another embodiment of the present invention the trough is available in a variety of sizes and/or shapes. A choice of sizes and shapes provides a close-fitting appliance, and allows the appropriate degree of treatment to be delivered for a given size of dental arch.

In another embodiment of the present invention the trough is custom-made for a particular dental arch. A custom-fitting device has the best fit which allows the functionality to be precisely delivered, and hence the appropriate degree of treatment to the dental arch.

Methods of preparing a universal fitting trough, trough with a variety of sizes, and custom- fitting troughs are known to the skilled person.

In another embodiment of the present invention, a trough further comprises a means to receive one or said electrical components. Said means are any which allow said components to be positioned so that their functionality is provided towards the desired location. Examples of such means include but are not limited to one or more hollows in the wall of the trough, one or more grooves, holes, lugs, ridges, slots, gripping means etc, provided in said hollow or a wall of the trough.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the trough further comprises a receiving means to receive one or more agents. In another embodiment of the present invention, the trough further comprises a receiving means to receive one or more inserts, said inserts comprising said agents. An example of receiving means include the base of the trough, one or more grooves, one or more holes, one or more gripping means, one or more lugs, one more ridges, one or more slots etc. Such a receiving means in the dental device allows agents which are activated or enhanced by physical stimulation and/or heat to be provided to a subject's teeth and/or gums, while being closely and precisely coupled to the source of physical stimulation and optional heat . It further allows the agents which transmit, for example, ultrasonic stimulation to be provide in intimate contact with the source of the physical stimulation and heat and a subject's teeth and/or gums.

Means for providing physical stimulation In one embodiment of the present invention, at least one means for providing physical stimulation is a transducer that can convert electrical current into vibrational or rotational movement. The frequency of such energy may be suitable for, for example, rotating a set of bristles on the surface of teeth and gums. Alternatively, the frequency of such energy may be suitable for ultrasonic cleaning of teeth by an immersible ultrasonic transducer, for example. Alternatively, the frequency of such energy may be suitable for massaging teeth and gums by use of an ultrasonic motor, for example. According to the invention any transducer producing physical stimulation is suitable for a dental device disclosed herein.

Ultrasonic transducer According to one embodiment of the present invention, at least one means for providing physical stimulation is an ultrasonic transducer.

An ultrasonic transducer according to the invention can be any type, including, but not limited to, air transducers, contact transducers, ultrasonic transmitters, piezoelectric transducers, piezo film transducers, and magnetostrictive transducers.

The number of ultrasonic transducers in a device of the invention when present may be 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, or more than 20.

The frequency range of an ultrasonic transducer according to the invention is between 20 to 800 kHz, 20 and 700 kHz, 20 and 600 kHz, 20 and 500 kHz, 20 and 400 kHz, 20 and 300 kHz, 20 and 200 kHz, 20 and 150 kHz, 20 and 100 kHz, 20 and 50 kHz, 20 and 30 kHz, or 20 and 250 kHz. An ultrasonic transducer provided in a trough according to the invention allows ultrasounic stimulation to be directly administered to the teeth and/or gums, and may be used to activate and enhance the action of substances contained in the trough such as, for example, cleaning agent, anti-bacterial agent, pain killer, massage gel etc. Ultrasonic stimulation may also be used without an active substance in the trough, or in combination with a ultrasound- conducting material in the trough to provide, for example, ultrasonic cleaning to the teeth and/or gums, increasing blood flow to the gums, loosening plaque on the teeth and below the gums, massage, healing, and stimulation of the tissues.

Ultrasonic motor

According to one embodiment of the present invention, at least one means for providing physical stimulation is an ultrasonic motor.

An ultrasonic motor according to the invention can be any type, including but not limited to ultrasonic piezoelectric motors, and thin-disc piezoceramic ultrasonic motor transducers.

The number of ultrasonic motors in a device of the invention when present may be 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, or more than 20.

Such an ultrasonic motor provides a massaging to the teeth and/or gums which increases blood flow, loosens plaque and enhances healing. An ultrasonic motor may be positioned anywhere in the device suitable for conducting physical stimulation to the teeth and/or gums. For example, an ultrasonic motor may be positioned such that it vibrates at least a portion of a trough as disclosed herein. For example, Figure 5 depicts four ultrasonic motors located towards the ends of the dental device, two of which provide vibrations to each of the upper and lower trough.

Such an ultrasonic motor may conduct movement to one or more protrusions located on the trough and described below. Said protrusions contact the teeth and/or gums, and are capable of abrasive cleaning and/or polishing thereof. Magnetic motor

According to one embodiment of the present invention, at least one means for providing physical stimulation is a magnetic motor. A magnetic motor is any which uses a magnet or magnetism to drive movement.

An magnetic motor according to the invention can be any type, including but not limited to permanent-magnet motors, AC motors.

The number of magnetic motors in a device of the invention when present may be 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, or more than 20.

Such a magnetic motor provides a massaging to the teeth and/or gums which increases blood flow, loosens plaque and enhances healing. A magnetic motor may be positioned anywhere in the device suitable for conducting physical stimulation to the teeth and/or gums.

Such an magnetic motor may conduct movement to one or more protrusions located on the trough and described below. Said protrusions contact the teeth and/or gums, and are capable of abrasive cleaning and/or polishing thereof.

Means for providing heat

In another embodiment of the present invention, at least one means for providing heat is a heat transducer. A heat transducer is any device capable of transforming electrical current into heat. Examples of heat transducers include, but are not limited to, a wire heating element, a ceramic heating element, a silicon heating element, a semi-conductor heating element, a semi-conductor light source, a far-infrared light source, a heating strip and a far- infrared (IR) light emitting diode (LED).

The number of heat transducers in a device of the invention when present may be 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 , 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20, or more than 20.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, a far-IR light source is capable of emitting far IR radiation at a single wavelength or at a range of wavelengths in the far-IR spectrum. Examples of the wavelengths include, but are not limited to Examples of the wavelengths include, but are not limited to 1400 to 14 000 nm, 1 400 to 10 000 nm, 1 400 to 8 000 nm, 1 400 to 7 000 nm, 1 400 to 6 000 nm, 1 400 to 5 000 nm, 1 400 to 4 000 nm, 1 400 to 3 000 nm, 1 400 to 2 000 nm.

The provision of at least one heat transducer in a device according to the invention enhances the effects of physical stimulation. The combination of physical stimulation and heat further enhances treatments such as pain relief, cleaning, massage, healing, anti-bacterial- treatments, and plaque loosening. At least one heat transducer provided in a trough according to the invention allows heat to be directly administered to the teeth and or gums. Heat may be used to activate and enhance the action of substances contained in the trough such as cleaning agent, anti-bacterial agent, pain killer, plaque loosening agent etc. It may also be used without a substance in the trough, or in combination with a heat conducting material in the trough to provide therapeutic heat treatment to the teeth and/or gums.

Multi-components

It is an aspect of the invention that a dental device comprises one or more means to provide physical stimulation. Said means may a number of ultrasonic motors, a number of ultrasonic transducers, a number of magnetic motors or a combination of both. Optionally, a dental device, may comprise one or more heat providing means. Said heat-providing means my be a number of far IR-LEDS, a number of heat transducers, or both. Such physical stimulation and heat may be provided simultaneously or during separate treatments.

"Electrical components" and "functionality"

For ease of description below, the physical stimulation providing means and optional heat providing means are referred to as "electrical components". The physical stimulation and heat therefrom are referred to as "functionality" of the respective electrical component.

Position

According to one embodiment of the present invention, an electrical component is positioned such that functionality (e.g. ultrasonic vibration, or heat) is directed towards the desired location. The positioning of electrical components is known to the skilled person. According to another embodiment of the present invention, at least one electrical component is positioned such that functionality is directed towards the anterior surface of said teeth and/or gums. This may be achieved, for example, by providing an electrical component on or in the inner anterior wall of the trough. It may also be achieved by providing an electrical component in a hollow between the anterior inner and outer trough walls.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, at least one electrical component is positioned such that functionality is directed towards the posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums. This may be achieved, for example, by providing an electrical component on or in the inner posterior wall of the trough. It may also be achieved by providing an electrical component in a hollow between the posterior inner and outer trough walls.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, at least one electrical component is positioned such that functionality is directed towards to the top surface of said teeth and/or gums. This may be achieved, for example, by providing an electrical component on or in the inner base wall of the trough. It may also be achieved by providing an electrical component in a hollow between the base inner and outer trough walls.

According to one aspect of the invention at least one electrical component may be disposed within the wall of the trough so that the functionality is provided through the material of the wall of the trough. According to another aspect of the invention at least part of an electrical component is exposed, so that functionality does not necessarily pass though the material of a wall of the trough. According to the latter aspect, at least part of a component is recessed, proud or flush with the surface of the trough.

It is an aspect of the invention that a dental device comprises electrical components arranged so that functionality is directed towards two or more of i) the anterior surface of the teeth and/or gums, ii) the posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums, iii) the top surface of said teeth and/or gums. By providing electrical components so arranged, the top, front and/or back of a subject's teeth and/or gums may be treated by a single device.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, at least part of an electrical component is provided in a hollow between the inner and outer walls of a trough, so providing functionality to the top surface, anterior surface, and/or posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums, depending on how said component is positioned in said hollow.

In another example, a dental device according to the present invention may be provided with one or more ultrasonic motors, disposed in separate hollows towards the ends of a trough (see for example, Figure 7 which depicts a single ultrasonic motor, 73). They provide vibration to one or more the surfaces of the teeth and/or gums of a dental arch. In another example, a dental device according to the present invention may be further provided with a row of far-IR LEDs positioned in a hollow between the anterior inner and outer trough walls; they may project IR heat through the material of the inner trough wall towards the anterior surface of the teeth and gums.

The number of physical stimulation providing means in a device is at least one. The number of electrical components may be sufficient to provide treatment in the regions required. The number of electrical components may be sufficient to provide functionality of an intensity required. The number may be sufficient to provide sufficient coverage of the dental arch.

Regulating means

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device further comprising one or more means to regulate said electrical components. Such a means includes a controller comprising circuitry. A controller may regulate each electrical component, or may regulate two or more components as part of the same circuit. In one aspect of the invention, the means may regulate the intensity of the functionality e.g. the heat output from a ceramic heating element, the intensity of the ultrasound from an ultrasound transducer, the intensity of heat from an IR LED etc. In another aspect of the invention, the means may provide a programmed pulsing of an electrical component e.g. a flashing of an IR LED, a sinusoidal or saw-tooth output of an ultrasonic transducer etc. In another aspect of the invention, the means may provide an electrical component with timed on and off periods. Such timing would provide a fixed treatment time, a variable treatment time, a progressively shorter treatment time or a treatment regiment prescribed by a dental practitioner or manufacturer. Such means may be programmable or "hard-wired". Controlling the functionality of one or more components allows the treatment to be precisely modulated according to the needs of the subject. It further allows the treatment to be compatible with any substance or concentration thereof placed in the trough. It further allows a single device to have multiple functionality, said functions being activated depending on the treatment required (e.g. heat and vibration for pain relief, vibration only for plaque removal, the necessary components therefor being present in the same device).

Programming device

Another embodiment of the present invention is a programming device comprising a means for transmitting regulating information to the controller. The means for transmitting information to the controller may be any, including, but not limited to one, or more electrical contacts, electromagnetic radiation, optical link. A programming device may optionally comprise one or more of the following features: a supporting means for the dental device, a user input means, a display, a computer interface. It is a further aspect of the invention that said programming device comprises one or more of the features of the charging device mentioned below.

Audible/vibration indication

Another embodiment of the present invention a dental device further comprising a sound transducer or a vibration transducer which indicates to a subject by sound or by vibration a stage of the treatment, while the subject is wearing said dental device. A sound may be any audible signal, and includes but is not limited to a buzz, one or more tones, clicks, or speech or music. A vibration may be any that is felt by a dental arch. A device may signal by means of said transducer, for example, the start of treatment, end of treatment, number of minutes until the end of treatment, an error, a change in the program, battery life etc. When speech is used to indicate an event, sound may be transmitted to the ear via the bones of the jaw.

Visual indicator

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device further comprising at least one visual indicating means. An indicating means may be used to provide information such as, for example, battery life, type of program, programming information, program intensity, and any other aspect of the treatment. Examples of indicating means include, but are not limited to LEDs or LCDs. Power source

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device further comprising one or more power sources. A power source may be a battery, a rechargeable cell or any other self- contained means for providing electrical current. A battery may be any, such as, for example, a button battery. A rechargeable cell may be recharged through a mains powered adapter, a car-battery powered adapter, a solar charging means or any other suitable source of electrical current.

It is an aspect of the invention that a device comprises at least one power source which is removable. For example, a button battery might be removed once it has expired, and be replaced with a fresh battery. In another example a device might be supplied with a battery present not as part of the device, for insertion into a device upon use. In another aspect of the invention a device has a means for holding a power source, such that said source can be inserted and removed by a user of the device. Said means may comprise, for example, a battery compartment comprising one or more electrical contacts. Said means may further comprise any of a shaped recess complementary in shape to at least part of a battery, a removable compartment cover, a battery clip, a battery cartridge. Any means for holding a power source so that said source changable is suitable according to the present invention.

It is another aspect of the invention that a device comprises at least one sealed power source which is designed to last for a fixed number of treatments. Once the treatment has finished or battery life has expired, the device and battery therein are disposed of.

Charging device One embodiment of the present invention is a charging device comprising a means for providing charging current to a rechargeable cell of the dental device. The charging current may be provided by any means, including electrical contact, conductance, electromagnetic radiation. A charging device may optionally comprise one or more of the following features: a supporting means for the dental device, a user input means, a display, a computer interface. It is a further aspect of the invention that said charging device comprises one or more of the features of the programming device mentioned above. Switch

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device further comprising at least one switching means. A switching means may be used to allow control of the device. For example to turn the device on or off, to select a program, to select an intensity, to program the regulator.

Reading means

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device further comprising at least one reading means for reading information provided by an insert. Such inserts are described in more detail below. Said reading means may read information regarding the insert such as the agents held therein, the concentration of agents, the appropriate functionality (e.g. heat, ultrasound), the intensity of functionality required, the duration of functionality required. Such as reading means may be any, including but not limited to electrical contacts, optical reader, electromagnetic receiver.

The one or more of the electrical components, controller, sound or vibration transducer, and switch may be wired and configured in a trough using methods and technologies known to the skilled person.

Double-trough device

Another embodiment of the present invention is a dental device further comprising a second device as disclosed herein, said second device arranged so that the teeth and/or gums of both the upper and lower arches are each immersable in a trough.

The upper and lower trough are provided with the electrical components and functionality as disclosed herein.

Such a double-troughed dental device allows both the upper and lower arches to be treated simultaneously, so halving the time for the treatment of both arches.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a double-troughed dental device described above further comprising a means for the passage of air between the posterior and anterior of said dental device. Such a means may be any, and includes, but is not limited to, one or more openings between the upper and lower troughs, one or more ducts connecting the posterior of the dental device to its anterior end. Said means allows a subject to breathe comfortably while receiving treatment from the device.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a double-troughed dental device described above wherein each trough is provide with its own controller, battery and/or switch. Another embodiment of the present invention is a double-troughed dental device described above wherein the device is provided a single controller, battery and/or switch.

Colours and styles

One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device provided in a colour, style and/or material to enable identification of a personal dental device. For example, a device may be provided in a variety of opaque bright colours, translucent materials, patterned polymers, composites, designer styles, custom painted, photographically etched, embossed, engraved etc. styles. Such identification may be required, for example, in families wherein each family member is in possession of a dental device of the present invention.

Insert

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert comprising one or more agents, for receiving the functionality of at least one electrical component of a dental device as disclosed herein.

Another embodiment of the present invention is an insert comprising one or more agents and a means for reciprocating with the receiving means of the dental device in order to locate correctly and optionally secure the insert into a receiving means of the dental device.

The physical stimulation and optional heat emitted from the dental device interacts with the insert to activate the agents, to enhance their effect or to enhance the effect of the functionality. An insert of the present invention allows agents which are activated or enhanced by, for example, physical stimulation and heat to be provided to a subject's teeth and/or gums, while being closely and precisely coupled to the source of physical stimulation and heat. Thus, treatment can be exquisitely controlled and adjusted according to the needs of the subject.

An insert of the present invention may also allow the agents which transmit physical stimulation and/or heat, to be in intimate contact with the source of the physical stimulation/heat and a subject's teeth and/or gums. Good conductance so achieved allows efficient conductance of the physical stimulation and heat to the teeth and/or gums and further means that treatment can be controlled and adjusted according to the needs of the subject.

Specific agents of the insert

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises one or more cleaning agents, which are suitable for cleaning with teeth and gums. Examples of cleaning agents include baking soda, tooth paste, and tooth gel.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises one or more pain-relief agents, which are suitable for relieving pain associated with teeth, gums and nerves thereof. Examples of pain-relieving agents include, but are not limited to, aspirin, ibuprofen, and brufen.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises one or more anti-bacterial agents, which are suitable for treating bacterial associated with the teeth gums and nerves. Examples of anti-bacterial agents include, but are not limited to penicillin, erythromycin, chlroamphenicol, and tetracycline.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises one or more anti-bad-breath agents, which are suitable for treating bad breath (e.g. halitosis). Examples of anti-bad breath agents include, but are not limited to cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), zinc chloride, and chlorhexidine. According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises one or more healing agents, which are suitable for treating wounds, operational openings, swellings or lesions caused by dental braces, dental implants etc. Examples of healing agents include, but are not limited to Vitamin E and aloe vera.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises one or more plaque-removing agents. Examples of plaque removing agents include, but are not limited to triclosan, chlorhexidine gluconate, cetylpyridinium chloride, sanguinarine, stannous fluoride, octenidine, bispyridine, and delmopinol.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises tooth polish.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, an insert comprises a formulation, suitable for conducting a physical stimulation and/or heat to the teeth and/or gums. Such a formulation enables the efficient and effective transfer of physical stimulation and/or heat from the wall of the trough to the teeth and/or gums.

In another embodiment of the invention, an insert may comprise a combination of agents and/or formulations which permit multiple treatments, enhanced by physical stimulation and/or heat. For example, an insert may comprise heat-enhanced menthol agents and agents for conducting ultrasonic vibration; a suitably configured device may simultaneously or sequentially enhance the methanol agents and provide message therapy. Such a multiple therapy delivered by a single unit provides enhanced treatment for the subject in a conveniently-delivered form.

Cassette

According to another embodiment of the invention, an insert comprises a cassette which holds one or more agents formulated in a suitable carrier. According to one aspect of the invention, a cassette is at least partially trough-shaped and is suitable for insertion into at least part of the trough of the device. Said cassette permits the immersion of teeth and/or gums of a dental arch therein. Said cassette permits physical stimulation and/or heat provided by the trough to be conveyed to the agents held within the cassette. The conveyance of physical stimulation and/or heat maybe provided, for example, - by one or more holes in the wall of the cassette which correspond with the position of the electrical components,

-by using a material for the cassette which allows the physical stimulation and/or heat to pass therethrough (e.g. a heat conducting substance for the transmission of heat) - by one or more windows in the wall of the cassette which correspond with the position of the electrical components, said windows constructed from a material which allows the physical stimulation and/or heat to pass therethrough.

According to one aspect of the invention, said cassette is made from a solid, polymeric material.

According to one aspect of the invention, said cassette is provided with a means for indicating the contents held therein which can be read by a reading means in the trough. For example, a cassette provided with cleaning agents formulated in a suitable carrier, may provide an indication of one or more of the following: the cleaning agents held, the concentration of cleaning agents, the appropriate functionality (e.g. heat, ultrasonic stimulation) required to interact with the agents, the intensity of functionality required, the duration of functionality required. Thus, a cassette provided with an indicating means may be inserted into a dental device, and said device will automatically select the treatment program for use with the contents of the cassette. If the device is not equipped with the appropriate functionalty, it may indicate so through, for example, an audible signal, and not proceed with the treatment. Such an indicating on the cassette means may be, for example, light readable, electronically readable (e.g. a chip), physically readable (e.g. one or more grooves), electromagnetically readable etc.

According to another aspect of the invention, said cassette is provided with a means for reciprocating with the receiving means of the dental device in order to locate correctly and optionally secure the cassette into the dental device. This means may interact with any of the trough base, ridges, grooves, holes, lugs etc. of the receiving of the dental device means mentioned above.

Suitable formulations of the agents for a cassette are any which provide the appropriate viscosity, stickiness, friction, and are compatible with the cassette, teeth/gums and trough. Considerations include the ability of the formulation to enter crevices of the teeth and gums, ability to be contained within the cassette without undue spillage, ability to conduct functionality (e.g. vibration, heat) to the agents and the teeth, ability to remain on a dental arch for a period of time, compatibility with the agents. Suitable formulations of agents and carrier are known to the person skilled in the art.

A cassettes facilitates the cleaning of the trough, since the agent is contained within the cassette. This allows a trough to be constructed from light weight and less robust materials which are not required to withstand abrasive cleaning. After use, for example, a trough may be left to soak. The cassette may be refillable or disposable. The refillable option allows a cost-saving for the subject, while the disposable option provides convenience.

Stick gel According to one embodiment of the present invention, an insert is formulated as a stick gel for insertion into a dental device disclosed herein.

Suitable formulations of the agents for a stick gel are any which provide the appropriate viscosity, stickiness, friction, and are compatible with the teeth/gums and trough. Considerations include the ability to enter crevices of the teeth and gums, ability to be contained within the trough without undue spillage, ability to conduct physical stimulation and/or heat to the agents and the teeth, ability to remain on a dental arch for a period of time, compatibility with the agents, ability to maintain a form which can be inserted and removed from the trough. Suitable formulations of agents and carrier are known to the person skilled in the art.

In an embodiment, the stick gel can be formulated in a high viscosity aqueous or nonaqueous gel. Non-limiting examples of gelling agents useful in the present invention include carboxymethyl cellulose, carboxypolymethylene, carboxypropyl cellulose, poloxamer, carrageenan, silica and natural gums such as gum karaya, xanthan gum, Guar gum, gum arabic and mixtures thereof. For example, the amount of gelling agent to form the gel composition can be from 0.1% to 15%, preferably from 1% to 10% by weight of the substance. Humectants may be added when formulating the bleaching agent in a gel. Non limiting examples of suitable humectants useful in the present invention include glycerin, sorbitol, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol and other food grade polyhydric alcohols. Typically humectants can be present in an amount of from 10% to 95% by weight of substance. A pH adjusting agent may be added to optimize stability of the gel and make it safe for the hard and soft tissues in the oral cavity. Non-limiting examples of suitable pH adjusting agents include sodium hydroxide, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, citric acid and combinations thereof.

According to one aspect of the invention a stick gel is a straight tube-shape having sufficient flexibility to be bent for insertion in a trough.

According to one aspect of the invention a stick gel is essentially tubular, its shape complementing at least part of the receiving portion of the trough.

Med hand

According to one embodiment of the present invention, an insert is formulated as a band of gel ('med band') for insertion into a groove or other receiving means of the trough. Such a band allows the treatment of a specific part of the dental arch with agent, such as, for example, the front gums only.

Suitable formulations of the agents for a med band are any which provide the appropriate viscosity, stickiness, friction, and are compatible with the teeth/gums and trough. Considerations include the ability to contact the crevices of the teeth and gums, ability to be contained within the trough without undue spillage, ability to conduct functionality (e.g. light, heat, electrical stimulation) to the agents and the teeth or gums, ability to remain on a dental arch for a period of time, compatibility with the agents, ability to maintain a form which can be inserted and removed from the trough. Suitable formulations of agents and carrier are known to the person skilled in the art.

It is an aspect of the invention that the med band include is formulated using the same gelling agents and additives as used in the stick gel. According to one aspect of the invention a med band is a straight strip of gel having sufficient flexibility be shaped for insertion in a receiving means in the trough.

According to one aspect of the invention a med band is a straight strip of gel, its shape complementing at least part of the receiving means of the trough.

According to one aspect of the invention a med band comprises a backing strip, said backing strip provided with a means for reciprocating with the receiving means of the dental device in order to locate correctly and optionally secure the med band into the dental device. This means may interact with any of the trough base, ridges, grooves, holes, lugs etc. of the receiving of the dental device means mentioned above.

Packaging

The inserts according to the present invention, may be packaged as a plurality of inserts. Such a package provides a course of treatment wherein the number of inserts indicates the length of the treatment. For example, a teeth cleaning course might be packaged to contain between 1 and 10 inserts. Alternatively, an insert might be singly packaged.

Types of packaging for the inserts of the invention are any and include, foil pouches, blister packs, foil-sealed trays, etc.

Treatments

One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in treating teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for home treatment.

Examples of treatments include, but are not limited to cleaning of teeth and gums, pain, bacterial infections, bad breath, healing, loosening plaque. Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for treating teeth and/or gums comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches. Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for treating teeth and/or gums further comprising a step of placing an insert as disclosed herein into said dental device. Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for treating teeth and/or gums further comprising a step of placing toothpaste into a trough of a dental device as disclosed herein.

According to one embodiment, a device may be programmed to treat the gums and/or teeth for a fixed period of time (e.g. 2 to 30 minutes), after which time, an audible signal is emitted indicating the end of the treatment. The device may be used in this way daily, for example, for a number of prescribed days, or until the batteries run out.

Dental practice and continued home treatment

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for treating the teeth and/or gums of a subject comprising:

(A) a use of a dental device and insert on a subject as disclosed herein by a dental practitioner, wherein the concentration of agent is suitable for supervision by said practitioner, and

(B) a subsequent application and use of said dental device and insert by a non-dental practitioner, wherein the concentration of agent in the range not requiring supervision by said practitioner.

Thus, a subject may visit a dental practitioner for one or more treatments, wherein a high concentration of agent is used, suitable for use by a dental professional. Subsequent treatments may be performed at home, using less concentrated amounts of agents, by the non-practitioner, preferably the subject. The dental device may be the same device throughout the treatment. The practitioner may provide the subject with instructions on how to use the device, may program the device for the course of treatment, and/or may select the most appropriate concentration of agent. The method provides an advantage that the subject receives professional advice and treatment, said treatment being conveniently continued away from the dental surgery. Cleaning

One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in cleaning teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for cleaning teeth and/or gums.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for cleaning teeth and/or gums comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches.

In one embodiment, a dental device is configured with the physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which activate or enhance a pain-relieving agent. For example, for use with an insert comprising a pain relieving agent ibrufen, a dental device is provided with an ultrasonic motor and a plurality of far-IR LEDs.

In another embodiment a dental device is configured with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which act directly on the teeth and/or gums to provide cleaning. For example, the dental device may deliver physical stimulation via a protrusion and/or heat directly to the gums and/or teeth, optionally with the use of a ultrasonic/heat conducting agent.

Pa/t? relief One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in relieving pain.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for relieving pain.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for relieving pain comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches. In one embodiment, a dental device is configured with the physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which activate or enhance a pain-relieving agent. For example, for use with an insert comprising ibuprofen, a dental device is provided with an ultrasonic motor and a plurality of far-IR LED.

In another embodiment a dental device is configured with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which act directly on the teeth and/or gums to provide pain relief. For example, the dental device may deliver physical stimulation and/or heat directly to the gums and/or teeth, optionally with the use of a ultrasonic/heat conducting agent.

Bacterial infections

One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in treating bacterial infections.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for treating bacterial infections.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for treating bacterial infections comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches.

In one embodiment, a dental device is configured with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which activate or enhance an anti-bacterial agent. For example, for use with an insert comprising an antibacterial agent chloramphenicol, a dental device is provided with an ultrasonic transducer.

Bad breath One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in treating bad breath. Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for treating bad breath.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for treating bad breath comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches.

In one embodiment, a dental device is configured with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which activate or enhance an anti-bad-breath agent. For example, for use with an insert comprising cetylpyridinium chloride, a dental device is provided with an ultrasonic transducer.

Enhanced healing

One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in enhancing healing.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for enhancing healing.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for enhancing healing comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches.

In one embodiment, a dental device is configured with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means, either or both of which stimulate blood flow. By stimulating blood and optionally providing heat, healing times are greatly reduced. This benefits the recovery of a subject after dental procedures such as, for example, tooth extraction or any procedure which causes lesions. It may further assist in the control of discomfort associated with wearing orthodontic braces that need adjusting, and with post dental implants. The treatment may be combined with the use of an insert comprising, for example, any of vitamin E, aloe vera, heat conducting formulation, pain-relieving agent etc.

Loosening plaque

One embodiment of the present invention is a dental device as disclosed herein for use in loosening plaque. Another embodiment of the present invention is a use of dental device as disclosed herein for loosening plaque.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for loosening plaque comprising the step of applying a dental device as disclosed herein to either or both dental arches.

In one embodiment, a dental device is provided with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means. By physically stimulating the gums and/or teeth, plaque is removed above and below the gum line.

In one embodiment, a dental device is configured with physical stimulation-providing means and optionally heat-providing means which activate or enhance a plaque loosening agent. For example, for use with an insert comprising triclosan, a dental device is provided with an ultrasonic transducer.

Cleaning protrusions

Another embodiment of the present invention is a device or insert disclosed herein further comprising one or more protrusions which contact the teeth and/or gums, said protrusions capable of abrasive cleaning and/or polishing teeth and/or gums. The protrusions may be one or more bristles, moulded protrusions, rubber beading, abrasive pad, polishing pad etc. Said abrasion or polishing may be achieved by movement of said protrusions such as, for example, vibrational, rotational, lateral movement etc. Said movements may be provided by one or more physical stimulation-providing means in said dental device, such as, for example, an ultrasonic motor, ultrasonic transducer, a magnetic motor, an AC motor etc.

Where the protrusions are provided in a dental device, they may be located in a wall of the trough, and arranged so as to contact any of the anterior, posterior or top surfaces of the teeth and/or gums, or a combination thereof. For example, to clean the front teeth, a set of bristles may be provided in the anterior inner wall of a trough To enhance the treatment provided by the protrusions, a cleaning agent such as toothpaste, or tooth polish may be added to a trough. Where the protrusions are provided in an insert, they may be located and arranged so as to contact any of the anterior, posterior or top surfaces of the teeth and/or gums, or a combination thereof. The protrusions may be provided on a wall of a cassette or backing strip of a med band mentioned herein, or on the wall of an insert.

Kit

Another embodiment of the present invention is a kit comprising a dental device as disclosed herein and one or more inserts as disclosed herein.

According to one aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise a high concentration of cleaning agent suitable for use by a dental practioner, and one or more inserts which comprise a lower concentration of cleaning agent, suitable for home use. The dental device of the kit is provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for enhancing or stimulating the effect of the cleaning agents. The kit is intended for use in the first instance by a dental practitioner for cleaning teeth: The inserts comprising a higher concentration of cleaning agent are intended for use by the practitioner on the subject, and the inserts comprising a lower concentration of cleaning agent are intended for use by non-practitioner, for example by the subject.

According to another aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise a concentration of cleaning agent suitable for home teeth cleaning. The dental device of the kit is provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for enhancing or stimulating the effect of the cleaning agents. The kit is intended for use by a non-practioner for self-cleaning of a subject's teeth.

According to another aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise one or more anti-bad breath agents suitable for treatment of bad breath and a dental device provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for enhancing or stimulating the effect of the anti-bad breath agent (s). One aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which anti-bad breath agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery or suitable for use at home. Another aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which anti-bad breath agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery and one or more inserts in which a concentration of anti-bad breath agent is suitable for continued use at home.

According to another aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise one or more anti-bacterial agents suitable for treatment of bacterial infections and a dental device provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for enhancing or stimulating the effect of the anti-bacterial agent(s). One aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which antibacterial agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery or suitable for use at home. Another aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which antibacterial agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery and one or more inserts in which a concentration of antibacterial agent is suitable for continued use at home.

According to another aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise one or more pain-relieving agents suitable for treatment of pain and a dental device provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for enhancing or stimulating the effect of the pain relieving agent(s). One aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which pain-relieving agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery or suitable for use at home. Another aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which pain-relieving agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery and one or more inserts in which a concentration of pain-relieving agent is suitable for continued use at home.

According to another aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise plaque removing agents and a dental device provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for physically stimulating the teeth and/or gums. Such a kit maybe used for the loosening plaque. One aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which plaque-removing agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery or suitable for use at home. Another aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which plaque-removing agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery and one or more inserts in which a concentration of plaque-removing agent is suitable for continued use at home.

According to another aspect of the invention, the kit provides one or more inserts which comprise healing agents and a dental device provided with one or more physical stimulation providing means and optionally one or more heat-providing means, said means suitable for physically stimulating the teeth and/or gums. Such a kit maybe used for healing dental lesions. One aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which healing agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery or suitable for use at home. Another aspect of the invention is a kit provided with one or more inserts in which healing agent is at a concentration suitable for use in a dental surgery and one or more inserts in which a concentration of healing agent is suitable for continued use at home.

Examples of components of kits are provided in Figures 8A to 8F. A kit of the invention may this by provided with one or more or items depicted in 8A to 8F, with or without a dental device.

Examples of kits are shown in Figures 9A and 9B.

A kit may be provided with any combination of inserts as disclosed herein and a dental device therein provided with any combination of electrical components. The inserts may further comprise a combination of agents, for example, one or more of pain-relief agents, cleaning agents, plaque loosening agents, anti-bacterial agents, anti-bad breath agents, healing agents etc. Thus a kit may be suitable for providing a combination of therapies such as, for example, cleaning and plaque removal, or pain relief and enhanced healing. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The present invention is exemplified by the following figures which do not limit the scope of the invention.

Figure 1 shows a dental device 1 of the present invention comprising a trough 2, wherein a row of physical stimulation-providing means, optionally comprising far-IR LEDs 3 is disposed in the inner wall of the anterior 4 of the trough. Said electrical components are connected to a regulating means 5, a switch 6, and one or more button batteries 7.

Figure 2 shows a dental device 8 of the present invention comprising a trough 2, wherein row of physical stimulation-providing means, optionally comprising far-IR LEDs 21 is disposed in the inner wall of the based of the trough. Said electrical components are also connected to a regulating means 5, a switch 6, and one or more button batteries 7.

Figure 3 shows a dental device 10 of the present invention comprising a trough 2, wherein row of physical stimulation-providing means, optionally comprising far-IR LEDs 31 is disposed in the inner wall of the posterior 32 of the trough. Said electrical components are connected to a regulating means 5, a switch 6, and two button batteries 7.

Figure 4 shows a dental device 1 of the present invention as in Figure 1 further comprising an insert 41 according to the invention, said inserted located in the base of the trough.

Figure 5 shows a dental device 51 of the present invention comprising two troughs 53, 54 suitable for the immersion of both dental arches. One row of silicon heating elements 56 is disposed in the inner anterior wall of a trough 18 suited for immersion in the upper dental arch, and another row of silicon heating elements 57 is disposed the inner wall of the anterior of a trough 55 suited for immersion in the lower dental arch. The trough is further provided with four ultrasonic motors 510, 511, 512, 513 located towards the ends of the troughs, two of which vibrate the upper trough (511 , 512), and two vibrate the lower trough (51.0, 513). In this embodiment of the invention, all the electrical components are connected to a single regulating means 58, said regulating means being connected to a switch 59 and two button batteries 510. Figure 6A depicts another example of a device according to the present invention and some of the main components therein. A device comprises a soft-form trough 61, having a channel 62 shaped to receive an insert. The device comprises a sub mould 68, which fits into the trough so forming a battery compartment 66. The sub mould 68 also provides support for battery contacts 67. A battery compartment cover 64 comprises a recess to accommodate part of the battery 65. A support board on which one or more means for providing physical stimulation (e.g. ultrasonic transducers, magnetic motors etc.) and optionally heat (e.g. far IR LEDs) is provided 63 is positioned in the wall of the anterior of trough.

Figure 6B depicts an alternative view of the device as shown in Figure 6A. One or more means for providing physical stimulation (e.g. ultrasonic transducers, magnetic motors etc.) and optionally heat are provided on a support board 63 and functionality (i.e. physical stimulation and optionally heat) is directed on to the anterior surface of the teeth and/or gums of the dental arch.

Figure 6C depicts some of the main elements of a device as shown in Figure 6A in an "exploded view". Indicated are a soft foam mouth piece 61, support board on which one or means for providing physical stimulation (e.g. ultrasonic transducers, magnetic motors etc.) and optionally heat are mounted 63, battery 65, battery compartment cover 64, submould 68, which forms a half of a battery compartment 69, and battery contact 67.

Figure 7 depicts another example of a device according to the present invention and some of the main components therein. According to this embodiment a device comprises a soft-form trough 71 and a sub mould 78, which fits into the trough so forming a battery compartment 76. The sub mould 78 also provides support for battery contacts 77. A battery compartment cover 74 comprises a recess to accommodate part of the battery 75. An ultrasonic motor 73 is positioned in the anterior wall of the trough, so that physical stimulation therefrom is transmitted to the whole trough. Figure 8A shows a package 81 of four straight, tube shaped inserts 82, each insert provided in its own sealed pouch 83.

Figure 8B shows a package 84 of four trough-shaped inserts 86, each insert provided in its own sealed pouch 85. Figure 8C shows a charging/programming device 87 disposed with a mains plug 89, and a U-shaped station 88 for receiving a dental device.

Figure 8D shows a button battery 810 for use in a dental device

Figure 8E shows a cleaning brush 811, which may be used to clean a trough of a dental device

Figure 8F depicts an instruction booklet 812, which explains the device, use and inserts to a subject and/or dental professional.

Figure 9A depicts a kit 91 for the professional and continued home cleaning of teeth according to the invention, comprising a dental device 92, inserts comprising a professional- use (Higher) concentration of agent 93, inserts comprising a home-use (Lower) concentration of agent 94, a cleaning brush 95, and an instruction booklet 96.

Figure 9B depicts a kit 97 for the home cleaning of teeth according to the invention, comprising a dental device 98, inserts comprising a home-use concentration of agent 99, a cleaning brush 910, and an instruction booklet 911.

Claims

1. An autonomous device comprising: (a) a trough, shaped for the immersion of teeth and/or gums of a dental arch, and (b) one or more means to provide physical stimulation.
2. A device according to claim 1 , further comprising one or more means to provide heat. 3. A device according to claims 1 or 2, wherein a means to provide physical stimulation is an ultrasonic transducer.
4. A device according to any claims 1 to 3, wherein a means to provide physical stimulation is an ultrasonic motor.
5. A device according to any of claims 1 to 4, wherein a means to provide physical stimulation is a magnetic motor.
6. A device according to any claims 2 to 5, wherein a means to provide heat is a heat transducer.
7. A device according to any of claims 2 to 6, wherein a means to provide heat is a near-infrared light emitting diode. 8. A device according to any of claims 2 to 7, wherein a means to provide heat is an electrical heating element.
9. A device according to any of claims 1 to 8 wherein said trough has a means to receive an insert comprising one or more agents.
10. A device according to any claims 1 to 9, wherein at least one means to provide physical stimulation is positioned such that physical stimulation is directed towards the anterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.
11. A device according to any claims 1 to 10, wherein at least one means to provide physical stimulation is positioned such that physical stimulation is directed towards the top surface of said teeth and/or gums.
12. A device according to any of claims 1 to 11 , wherein at least one means to provide physical stimulation is positioned such that physical stimulation is directed towards the posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.
13. A device according to any of claims 1 to 12, wherein at least one means to provide heat is positioned such that heat is directed towards the anterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.
14. A device according to any of claims 2 to 13, wherein at least one means to provide heat is positioned such that heat is directed towards the top surface of said teeth and/or gums. 5. A device according to any of claims 2 to 14, wherein at least one means to provide heat is positioned such that heat is directed towards the posterior surface of said teeth and/or gums.
16. A device according to any of claims 1 to 15 further comprising one or more means for holding a battery, such that said battery is able to be inserted and/or removed.
17. A device according to any claims 1 to 16 further comprising one or more batteries.
18. A device according to any claims 1 to 17 further comprising one or more switches.
19. A device according to any of claims 1 to 18 further comprising one or more means to regulate said physical stimulation-providing means and/or said heat providing means.
20. A device according to any of claims 1 to 19 further comprising one or more means to provide functionality for a timed period, after which time, the device switches off.
21. A device according to any of claims 1 to 20, further comprising one or more cleaning protrusions capable of abrasive cleaning and/or polishing teeth and/or gums.
22. A device according to any of claims 1 to 21 further comprising a second device according to any of claims 1 to 21 , said second device arranged so that the teeth of both the upper and lower arches are each immersable in a trough.
23. A device according to claim 22 wherein a single switch and/or regulating means are provided.
24. A use of a device according to any of claims 1 to 23 for cleaning teeth.
25. A use according claim 24, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more cleaning agents
26. A use of a device according to any of claims 1 to 23 for relieving pain.
27. A use according claim 26, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more pain-relieving agents
28. A use of a device according to any of claims 1 to 23 for treating bacterial infections.
29. A use according to claim 28, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more anti-bacterial agents
30. A use of a device according to any of claims 1 to 23 for treating bad breath.
31. A use according to claim 30, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more anti-bad breath agents.
32. A use of a device to any of the claims 1 to 23 for loosening plaque.
33. A use according to claim 32, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more plaque removing agents
34. A use of a device according to any of claims 1 to 23 for enhancing healing.
35. A use according to claim 34, further comprising the use of an insert comprising one or more healing agents.
36. An insert comprising one or more agents, wherein said insert has a means for receiving physical stimulation and/or heat from a device according to any of any of claims 1 to 23.
37. An insert according to claim 36, comprising a means for reciprocating with a receiving means of the dental device according to any of claims 9 to 23 in order to locate correctly and optionally secure the insert into a receiving means of the dental device.
38. An insert according to claims 36 or 37, comprising at least one cleaning agent.
39. An insert according to claim 38 wherein at least one cleaning agent is baking soda.
40. An insert according to claims 36 or 37, comprising at least one pain relieving agent.
41. An insert according to claim 41 wherein at least one pain relieving agent is ibuprofen.
42. An insert according to claims 36 or 37, comprising at least one anti-bacterial agent
43. An insert according to claim 42 wherein at least one anti-bacterial agent is chloramphenicol.
44. An insert according to claims 36 or 37, comprising at least one anti-bad-breath agent.
45. An insert according to claim 44 wherein at least one anti-bad-breath agent is cetylpyridinium chloride.
46. An insert according to claims 36 or 37, comprising at least one healing agent.
47. An insert according to claim 46 wherein at least one healing agent is vitamin E.
48. An insert according to claims 36 or 37, comprising at least one plaque removing agent.
49. An insert according to claim 48 wherein at least one plaque removing agent is triclosan.
50. An insert according to any claims 36 to 49, comprising a gelling agent.
51. An insert according to any of claims 36 to 50, comprising a cassette
52. An insert according to any of claims 36 to 51, where said insert is tube-shaped.
53. An insert according to any of claims 36 to 51 , where said insert is U-shaped.
54. An insert according to any claims 36 to 51 , where said insert is in the shape of a strip.
55. A charging device, comprising a means for recharging a device according to any of claims 1 to 23.
56. A charging device according to claim 55, further comprising a means for receiving a device according to any of claims 1 to 23.
57. A programming device, comprising a means for programming a regulating means of a device according to any of claims 1 to 23.
58. A programming device according claim 57, further comprising a means for receiving a device according to any of claims 1 to 23.
59. A combined programming and charging device comprising one or more of the features of the devices of claims 55 to 58.
60. A method for providing dental treatment comprising the use of a dental device according to any of claims 1 to 23.
61. A method according to claim 60 comprising the steps of - activating the device, - receiving treatment for a fixed time period, after which time the device automatically stops, and -repeating treatment a number of times, or until the power source runs out.
62. A method according to claims 60 or 61, comprising the step of using said device with an insert in which a concentration of agent suitable for use by a non-professional dentition is present.
63. A method according to any of claims 60 to 62, comprising the steps of: - using said device with an insert in which a concentration of agent suitable for use by a profession dentition is present, and - subsequently using said device with an insert in which a concentration of agent suitable for use by a non-profession dentition is present.
64. A kit comprising a dental device according to any of claims 1 to 23.
65. A kit according to claim 64, further comprising at least one insert.
66. A kit according to claims 64 or 65, wherein at least one insert comprises a concentration of agent suitable for use by a profession dentition, and at least one insert comprises a concentration of agent suitable for use by a non-profession dentition.
PCT/EP2004/005029 2004-05-11 2004-05-11 Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gum WO2005107636A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/EP2004/005029 WO2005107636A1 (en) 2004-05-11 2004-05-11 Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gum

Applications Claiming Priority (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/EP2004/005029 WO2005107636A1 (en) 2004-05-11 2004-05-11 Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gum
EP20050716108 EP1744700A1 (en) 2004-05-11 2005-03-16 Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gums
AU2005239796A AU2005239796A1 (en) 2004-05-11 2005-03-16 Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gums
US11/579,916 US20080233541A1 (en) 2004-05-11 2005-03-16 Method and Device for Enhancing the Treatment of Teeth and Gums
PCT/EP2005/002788 WO2005107638A1 (en) 2004-05-11 2005-03-16 Method and device for enhancing the treatment of teeth and gums

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