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Патент USA US3033637

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May 8, 1962
D. A. HOFFMAN
3,033,628
INSTRUMENT TRAY FOR DENTAL OPERATING ROOMS
Filed March 18, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
1,
4.
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May 8, 1962
D. A. HOFFMAN
3,033,628
INSTRUMENT TRAY FOR DENTAL OPERATING ROOMS
Filed March 18, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
3333,6258
States
Patented May 8, 1962
2
any interference from or with the chair or a patient seat~
ed therein, so that instruments carried on the device will
3,033,628
INSTRUMENT TRAY FOR DENTAL
OPERATDIG ROOMS
David A. Hotiman, 2631 N. 95th St., Milwaukee, Wis.
Filed Mar. 18, 1960, 591'. No. 16,018
1 Claim. (Ci. 311'-—17)
always be within easy reach of the dentist.
It is also an object of this invention to provide support
ing means for holding a tray at any of a wide range of
locations, heights, and positions, which supporting means
occupies no ?oor space and therefore does not interfere
with use of the ?oor area beneath the tray, and leaves the
entire upper surface of the tray completely open and un
This invention relates to dental operating room equip
> ment and refers more particularly to a device for con
veniently and readily accessibly supporting dental instru 10
ments at any desired location and position in the neigh
borhood of a dentist’s operating chair.
Heretofore the standard equipment in a dentist’s operat
ing room has included a fountain pedestal secured to the
floor adjacent to the operating chair and which supported
several pieces of apparatus including a tray for holding
instruments that the dentist intended to put to immediate
use in work being performed. The instrument tray was
swingable edgewise through a restricted are which carried
it approximately over the patient’s thighs, and the dentist,
when working from in front of the patient, was required
to turn through an angle of about 45° in order to reach
an instrument on the tray. From a position behind the
patient it was necessary for the dentist to take two or
three steps in order to reach the instrument tray.
The change in position and posture and the loss of time
involved in picking up and laying down instruments on
N3
obstructed.
.
With the above and other objects in view which will ap
pear as the description proceeds, this invention resides
in the novel construction, combination andarrangement
of parts substantially as hereinafter described and more
particularly de?ned by the appended claim, it being under
stood that such changes in the precise embodiment of
the hereindisclosed invention may be made as come within
the scope of the claim.
7
The accompanying drawings illustrate one complete
example of the physical embodiment of the invention con
structed according to the best mode so far devised for the
practical application of the principles thereof, and in
which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the device of this in
25 vention installed in a dentist’s ollice and shown in rela
tion to the operating chair; and
FEGURE 2 is a view of the device, partly in side eleva
tion and partly in longitudinal section.
such a tray consumed both nervous and physical energy,
but this was not the only disadvantage of the prior arrange
Referring now particularly to the accompanying draw
ment. Ordinarily the area around the patient’s head is very 30 ings, the numeral 5 designates generally the dental instru
brightly lighted, to provide su?icient illumination for the
ment holder of this invention, which comprises, in gen
close and minute work involved in dental practice, while
eral, a mounting head 6 adapted to be fastened to‘the ceil
the area around the pedestal mounted instrument tray was
ing 7 of a dental operating room, over the operating chair
lighted with substantially less intensity. As a result of
8, a telescopingly extensible and retractable leg 9, the up
this difference in illumination levels, the dentist’s eyes
per end of which is connected with the mounting head by
changed their light adaptation adjustment as he looked
a ball and socket joint 10 and a tray 11 connected to the
away from the patient’s head to the instrument tray, and
lower end of theleg by another ball and socket joint 12.
again when he looked back at the patient. The necessity
It will at once be apparent that the ball and socket con
for constant readaptation to different lighting intensities
nection lit between the leg 9 and the mounting head 6 pro
during the course of work on a patient was a source of 40 vides for universal swinging adjustment of the leg to per
fatigue and annoyance, and one that was particularly in
>mit the tray to be moved laterally to practically any de
sired location in the neighborhood of the operating chair,
sidious because no conscious effort is involved in changing
while the telescoping of the leg provides for adjustment of
the iris diameter to accommodate the eye to diti‘erent light
levels, but a noticeable time interval is required for each
the height above the floor at which the tray is situated, and
the lower ball and socket connection 12 provides for ad
' such readaptation to take place.
justment of the attitude of the tray.
With the foregoing in mind it is a general object of
The mounting head 6 is substantially T~shaped. Its
I this invention to provide a supporting device by which a
cross bar‘ portion 14 has holes 15 to receive screws 16 by
group of dental instruments may be readily moved to and
which the mounting head may be secured to the ceiling
held at locations where they will at all times be convenient
to a dentist while he is working on a patient, including lo
cations directly alongside the patient’s head;
50 7 of a room, or, if preferred, to a mounting plate which
can in turn be ?xed to the ceiling.
The downwardly
Another object of the present invention is to provide
projecting stem portion of the T-shaped mounting head
a device for supporting a number of dental instruments or
provides a boss 18 over which is telescoped a closely
?tting collar 1% that supports the socket member 26 of
ments to be very readily moved, as a group, from one 55 the upper ball and socket joint it). Screws 21, or the like,
extending radially inwardly through the wall of the collar
location to another around a dentist’s operating chair,
and threaded into the boss .18, secure the collar to the
and particularly to positions closely adjacent to the patient’s
the like, which device is adjustable to enable the instru
head, so that all of the instruments required for a par
mounting head.
The socket member 20 is rotatably supported in the
ticular operation may be directly at hand and within the
?eld of illumination that is lighting the area of the work 60 collar 19 by means of cooperating oppositely facing cir
cumferential shoulders provided by a radially outwardly
being done, where instruments can be readily picked up
projecting circumferential ?ange 22 on the top of the
and laid down as the progress of the work requires with
v out any need for substantial change in the dentist’s posi
socket member and a radially inwardly projecting cir
cumferential ?ange 23 on the bottom of the collar. The
tion or posture and without requiring him to refocus his
outside
diameter of the ?ange 22 on the socket member is
65
eyes on zones of substantially different light intensities.
Another important object of this invention resides in
the provision of a supporting device for dentist’s instru
ments and the like which occupies no floor space and
which can be readily moved from place to place in the
substantially equal to they diameter of the bore in the col
lar, and the outside diameter of the main portion of the
socket member is substantially equal to the inside diam
eter of the ?ange 23 on the collar, so that the socket
member can rotate smoothly in the collar with no tenden
70
neighborhood of the operating chair at any time that the
cy to tilt.
‘
,
' dentist ?nds it desirable to change his position, without
The ‘ball member 24 ofthe upper ball and socket con
3,033,628
nection comprises a substantially spherical head 25, which
is seated in the socket member 2d for universal swiveling
motion, and an integral stem portion 27 which projects
downwardly out of the socket member to connect the ball
member with the leg 9. The socket member has a coaxial
bore 28 therethrough of substantially the same diameter
as the head 25 of the ball member, but at its bottom the
socket member has a radially inwardly projecting circum
ferential ?ange 2g de?ning an annular upwardly facing
shoulder upon which the head 25 seats. The upper sur 10
face of this ?ange is beveled'to mate with the spherical
4:
1y through the wall of the tubular member 37 and thread
ed into the ball member, fasten the leg to the upper ball
and socket joint.
Threaded onto both ends of the sleeve 36 and onto the
outer end of the ?rst lower extension member are lock
ing nuts 44 by which each element of the leg may be
readily releasably locked in any desired position of tele'a
scoping adjustment. Each of the locking nuts is adapted
to project axially beyond the end of the member onto
which it is threaded, and the projecting portion of the
locking nut has a radially inwardly projecting circumi
ferential ?ange 45. The member on which each nut is
threaded has a beveled inner surface 46 at its end adjacent
to the nut, and con?ned betweenthe nut and the exten
member.
The socket member has a lengthwise extending slot 30 15 sion member with which it lockingly cooperates is a split
ring 47 of ?bre or the like. As each nut 44 is drawn
in its wall, at one side thereof, opening to its lower end,
up onto its thread, the ?ange 45 on the nut forces the
which is wide enough to receive the stem of the ball
surface of the head 25, thus enabling the ball member to
have smooth universal swiveling motion in the socket
member to permit the latter to be swung to an angle at
split ring 47 into engagement with the beveled surface
which the leg 3 is disposed nearly horizontally. Because
46, thus imposing a'wedging force upon the split ring
of the rotatability of the socket member 20 in the collar, 20 which clamps the latter into secure frictional engage
ment with the extension member that it embraces, lock~
the leg thus has a wide range of universal swinging mo
ing the extension member against axial movement rela
tion.
tive to the tubular member on which the nut is threaded.
The stem portion 27 of the ball member 24 of course
The outer surfaces of the nuts are preferably knurled so
has a smaller diameter than that of its spherical head por
tion 25, so that the ball member can be inserted into the 25 as to permit them to be readily turned, and it will be
recognized that each nut need be rotated through only a
socket member 20 from the top of the latter. The socket
fraction of a turn to either lock or release its cooperating
member is likewise axially inserted into the collar 19
from the top of the latter.
extension member.
The locking nut 44 which provides for adjustment of
To insure that the leg 3 will tend to remain in any posi
tion of swinging adjustment to which it may be moved,
the upper extension member 37 will normallyrbe situated
-a plunger-like friction shoe 32 is at all times urged against
at a height where it will not be readily accessible, but this
the head of the ball member by means of a very stilt
is not an actual disadvantage because the upper exten
coiled compression spring 31 that reacts against the
sion member is mainly provided to accommodate the de
mounting head 6. The friction shoe has a cylindrical‘
vice to installation in operating rooms having various
head 34 of a diameter to be loosely slidable axially in .35 ceiling heights. Once the installation is made there will
the bore 28 of the socket member, and which is concave
be little or no occasion to make further adjustments to
at its underside so as to make good frictional engagement
the upper extension member, since the two lower exten
with the spherical head 25 of the ball member in all posi
sion members 38 and 39, which are always readily ac
tions of the latter. Projecting upwardly from the head
cessible, provide for a sufficient range of adjustments of
portion 34 of the friction shoe is a concentrc smaller 40 the length of the leg 9 to meet all ordinary requirements.
diameter stem portion 33 which is embraced by the lower
The lower ball and socket joint 12 provides for ad
portion of the spring 31. The upper end portion of said
justment of the tray ll to any desired attitude, so that
spring is received in and steadied by a shallow, concentric
the tray may be maintained substantially horizontal and
downwardly opening well 35 in the boss 18 on the mount
upright in any position to which the leg 9 may be swung
ing head, while its lower end bears downwardly upon the 45
or swiveled.
head of the friction shoe.
The connection between the ball and socket joint 12
The leg 9 consists of a plurality of telescoping tubular
and
the second lower extension member 39 is provided
members and means for readily releasably locking said
members in any of a wide range of positions of telescop- 1 by a substantially T-shaped connector 49, the stem por
ing extension and retraction. Preferably the leg com 50 tion 50 of which is telescoped into the lower end por
tion of the second lower extension member 39 and se
prises a sleeve 36, an upper extension member 37 tele
cured thereto by screws 51 or the like extending radially
scoped into the upper portion of the sleeve, a ?rst lower
inwardly through the extension member and threaded
extension member 38 telescoped into the lower portion of
into the connector. The cross member 52 of the con
the sleeve, and a second lower extension member 39 tele
scoped into the ?rst lower extension member 38. The 55 nector provides a collar in which the socket element 53
upper extension member 37 and the ?rst lower extension
of the lower ball and socket joint is rotatably carried.
member 33 have outside diameters slightly smaller than
As in the case of the upper ball and socket joint, the
the inside diameter of the sleeve 36, so as to be smoothly
collar 52 has a radially inwardly projecting circumferen
telescopingly slidable therein, and the sleeve has inwardly
tial ?ange 54 at one axial end thereof which cooperates
rolled circumferential ridges 40 near each of its ends, 60 with a radially outwardly projecting circumferential
adapted to be engaged by outwardly ?ared shoulders (not
?ange 55 on the axially inner end of the socket element
shown) on the inner ends of the extension members 37
53 to constrain the latter to rotation in the collar, and
and 38 to prevent said extension members from being
the socket element has a bore 56 therethrongh which is
withdrawn completely out of the sleeve. Similarly, the
of substantially the same diameter as the spherical head
second lower extension member 39 has an outside diam
57 of the ball element 58. A small radially inwardly
eter slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the ?rst
projecting circumferential ?ange 59 at the axially outer
end of the socket element provides a beveled inwardly
scopingly slidable in the latter, and has an inwardly
facing surface upon which the head 57 of the ball ele
rolled circumferential ridge 42 near its outer end adapted
to be engaged by an outwardly ?ared shoulder (not 70 ment is seated for universal swiveling motion. The ball
lower extension member 38 so as to be smoothly tele
shown) on the second lower extension member 39.
The ball member 24 of the upper ball and socket joint
element 58 also includes a stem portion 60 which pro
vides a connection between the tray 11 and the lower
ball and socket joint. An axially extending slot 61 in
has a cylindrical lower end portion 48 which is telescoped
the
wall of the socket element, opening to its axially outer
into the upper end portion of the upper extension member
37, and screws 49, or the like, extending radially inward~ 75 end, can receive the stem portion 60 of the ball element
5
6
to provide a substantially wide range of angles through
which the ball element may be adjusted.
To enable the lower ball and socket joint 12 to be re
tray can ‘be accomplished simultaneously with swinging
of the leg in one quick and easy operation. In many
cases adjustment of the device will involve no lengthen
ing or shortening of the leg, but when convenience re
5 quires a change in height of the .tray this can be readily
justable means .are provided for applying friction to the
effected by loosening one or .more of the lock nuts 44
spherical head 57 .of the ball element. Preferably this p and telescopingly extending or retracting the leg to posi
comprises a plunger-like friction shoe 64 and a locking
‘tion the tray where it is Wanted. It will be observed
screw 62 by which the shoe may be forced into engage
that such lengthening or shortening of the leg resultsin
ment with the head of the ball element. The locking 10 purely translatory motion of the tray, so that the device
screw 62 is coaxially threaded through a bushing 63 se
can be adjusted as to tray height without danger that the
cured to that axial end of the» collar which is remote
tray will tilt and drop any instruments it may be carrying.
from the socket element 53, and is provided at its outer
From the foregoing description taken together with
end with a large hand wheel 68 or the like to facilitate
the accompanying drawings, it will be apparent that this
15
its manual rotation.
invention provides a simple, rugged and easily adjusted
The friction shoe 64, which is cylindrical, ?ts loosely
device for supporting dental instruments or the like at
in the inner end portion of the bore 56 in the socket ele
any desired position and location in the vicinity of a
ment 53, and it has a concave end surface 65 that engages
dentist’s operating chair, without interference from or
the head of the ball element with good frictional contact. 20 with a chair or a patient seated in the chair, so that in
A disc 66, ?tting loosely in the bore in the collar portion
struments needed by a dentist can at all times be con
of the connector, transmits tightening force of the lock
veniently located very close to the site of the work being
ing screw 62 to the friction shoe. It will ‘be observed
performed, and within the ?eld of light illuminating the
that the friction shoe has sufficient length to project in
work, to thus minimize changes of position and posture
wardly a short distance beyond the axially inner end of 25 of the dentist and readjustment of his eyes to lighting of
the socket element, to insure that the disc 66 will not
substantially different intensities. It will also be apparent
bottom on the socket element.
that the device of this invention supports a tray for
The socket element 53, ball element 58, friction shoe
dental instruments in such a manner as not to interfere
leasably locked in any position of swiveling and swing
ing motion to which it may be adjusted, manually ad
64 and disc 66 are held properly assembled with one
another and in the collar portion 52 of the connector by
means of a bowed leaf spring 67 which lies inwardly
adjacent to the disc 66 and has its ends engaged with the
wall of the bore in the collar portion 52. Speci?cally,
30 with other use of ?oor space beneath the tray and leaves
the upper surface of the tray completely clear and
accessible.
What is claimed as my invention is:
Means for readily accessibly supporting dentist’s in
the vleaf spring 67 has a generally rectangular shape, but 35 struments or the like at any of a number of positions in
its end portions are rounded on radii substantially con
a room without occupying ?oor space, said means com
forming to the radius of the bore in the socket portion
prising: a mounting head having means thereon for
attaching the same to a ceiling; an adjustably extensible
52. Because the length of the leaf spring is slightly
greater than the diameter of the bore in the collar 52, the
ends of the leaf spring bite into the wall of the collar and
bow its medial portion slightly toward the disc 66, thereby
holding the spring, and the disc therebeneath, against in
40
ward displacement when the locking screw 62 is loosened
and retractable leg comprising at least three leg elements
coaxially telescoped into one another, each of said leg
elements that has another telescopable into it being
threaded at its end from which said other leg element
projects; a locking nut threaded onto said end portion of
each of the threaded leg elements and having a portion
by turning it outwardly away from the disc. Obviously,
however, when the locking screw is tightened against the 45 which projects axially beyond the threaded leg element,
medial portion of the leaf spring 67, the latter bowingly
which portion of the locking nut has a convergingly
?exes toward the disc, transmitting the inward force
tapered inner surface; radially compressible means con
exerted by the locking screw to the disc and thus to the
?ned between said axially projecting portion of each
friction shoe to urge the same into engagement with the
locking nut and said other leg element for bringing pres
50
spherical head of the ball element 58.
sure substantially uniformly upon the circumference of
The tray 11 may be of any desired shape, but is prefer
said other leg element upon tightening of the locking nut,
ably rectangular, with a shallow rim 70 around it and
to thus releasably lock said other leg element against
a laterally outwardly projecting lip 71 extending around
endwise extension and retraction relative to that upon
the rim. Desirably the tray is made of stainless steel or 55 which the locking nut is threaded; cooperating means on
similar hard, smooth material.
the mounting head and on one end of said leg providing
The tray is secured to the outer end of the stem portion
a ball and socket connection universally swingably and
60 of the ball element by means of an L-shaped bracket
pendantly supporting the leg from the mounting head;
72 secured to the underside of the tray near one end
friction means on said ball and socket connection for
thereof. One leg 73 of the bracket ?atwise underlies 60 yieldingly inhibiting swinging motion of the leg relative
the bottom of the tray and is secured thereto as by spot
to the mounting head so that the leg tends to resist dis
welding, while the other leg 74 projects upwardly to the
placement out of any position of adjustment to which it
lip 71 and has a threaded hole therein, on the longitudinal
may be swung; an elongated tray; a connector having a
centerline of the tray, in which is engaged the threaded
portion which is substantially coaxially secured to the
65
outer end portion 72 of the ball element. It will be seen
leg at the other end thereof and having another portion
that the connection provided by the bracket 72 in effect
which'projects laterally in one direction with respect to
cantilevers the tray from the leg 9, leaving the entire
the leg; cooperating means on one marginal end portion
upper surface of the tray clear and unobstructed.
of the tray and on said other portion of the connector
Obviously, adjustment of the tray to change its position
providing a second ball and socket connection, between
merely involves manually swinging the leg 9 about the
upper ball and socket joint, loosening the locking screw
62 with one hand while holding the tray with the other,
and retightening the locking screw when the tray is in
the desired attitude. Adjustment of the attitude of the 75
the tray and said other end of the leg, by which the tray
is supported by the leg for universal swiveling and swing
ing motion about a center spaced to one side of the leg
axis; and frictional locking means on the connector, co
operable with the last named ball and socket connection
3,033,628
means for releasably holding the tray in any desired
position of swinging and swiveling adjustment relative to
the leg, thus enabling the tray to be disposed in a sub
stantially horizontal position regardless of the angle at
which the leg is inclined, said frictional locking means
including a screw which projects from the connector in
another direction lateral to the leg and which has an
actuator on its projecting end portion by which it can
be manually tightened and loosened.
8
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,913,277
2,510,436
2,580,980
2,738,882
2,827,350
2,942,920
Hoople ______________ __ June 6, 1933
Tramrnell ____________ __ June 6, 1950
Vroom ____ __' _________ __ Jan. 1, 1952
French et al. _________ _._ Mar. 20, 1956
Galloway ___________ __ Mar. 18, 1958
French ______________ __ June 28, 1960
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