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US 20090168953A1

(19) United States


(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2009/0168953 A1
Szommer (43) Pub. Date: Jul. 2, 2009

(54) DENTAL X-RAY BITE BLOCK AND (57) ABSTRACT


ALIGNMENT METHOD An improved biteWing x-ray ?lm holder for interproximal
_ . radiographic analysis is provided. The device includes a den
(75) Inventor ?lly? Llsbetcs?ommer tal medium holder for placement of a dental x-ray imaging
lsslssauga ( ) medium (electronic sensor or ?lm) and a bite block contain
ing an alignment guide to aid the dental professional in
Correspondence Address: achieving a perpendicular or near perpendicular relationship
Tanya L: szommer _ of the x-ray medium to the interproximal region of clenched
5305 swlftcurrent Trall maxilliary and mandibular teeth.
Mississauga, ON L5R 2J3 (CA) _ _ _ _
The b1te block is preferably molded from a single piece of
(73) Assigneez Tanya L_ szommer Mississauga polyethylene (a thermoplastic) to ensure that the x-rays pass
(CA) unhindered therethrough since x-rays are required to pen
etrate the bite block. The bite block is joined to a mid-region
_ of the so that the bite block rests along the occlusal plane of
(21) Appl' NO" 12/220324 the arch of the teeth being radiographed. The device also
_ includes a guide rod Which is detachably adapted to the bite
(22) Flled: Jul 24 2008 block and a sighting ring adapted to a x-ray nose cone of a
x-ray unit.
Related US. Application Data _ _ _ _ _ _
When the b1te block 1s pos1t1oned so that the alignment gu1de
(60) PFOViSiOIlal application N0~ 61/018,308, ?led 011 1360- is adjacent to the clenched buccal surfaces of the maxilliary
31, 2007. and mandibular teeth, the dental imaging medium Will be
positioned perpendicular or near perpendicular to the inter
Publication Classi?cation proximal region of the tooth or teeth to be examined. A
plurality of transverse ridges adjacent to the alignment guide
(51) Int. Cl. limits the potential movement of the ?lm holder after it has
A61B 6/14 (2006.01) been aligned, thereby enabling the dental professional to
G03C 5/16 (200601) align the aiming ring and consequently the nose cone of the
A61B 6/08 (200601) x-ray unit, Whereby the x-ray beam is projected from the nose
cone to capture the interproximal relationship of the teeth
(52) US. Cl. .......................... .. 378/38; 378/170; 378/205 being examined onto the dental x-ray medium.
Patent Application Publication Jul. 2, 2009 Sheet 2 0f 7 US 2009/0168953 A1

Q 3
5
l/
45

3O 2O 15

25 1O

3O\ 2O 15

FIG. 2
Patent Application Publication Jul. 2, 2009 Sheet 3 0f 7 US 2009/0168953 A1

Q 5
l/

3O
/ 45

20
a 15

25 \ (:2) 10
LA:

30\ 2O 15

FIG. 3
Patent Application Publication Jul. 2, 2009 Sheet 4 0f 7 US 2009/0168953 A1

FIG. 4
Patent Application Publication Jul. 2, 2009 Sheet 5 0f 7 US 2009/0168953 A1

FIG. 5
Patent Application Publication Jul. 2, 2009 Sheet 6 0f 7 US 2009/0168953 A1

FIG. 5A
Patent Application Publication Jul. 2, 2009 Sheet 7 0f 7 US 2009/0168953 A1

35

55

FIG. 6
US 2009/0168953 A1 Jul. 2, 2009

DENTAL X-RAY BITE BLOCK AND [0009] The alignment guide may also differ in appearance
ALIGNMENT METHOD from the remainder of the biting portion of the bite block
(including differing in color from a remainder of the biting
FIELD OF THE INVENTION portion of the bite block).
[0010] The bite block may further comprise a plurality of
[0001] This invention relates generally to the ?eld of an elevated, transverse ridges extending substantially adjacent
improved dental positioning apparatus and method of use for to and parallel to the alignment guide, said ridges assisting in
taking of biteWing radiographs Which alloWs for the place holding of maxillary and mandibular teeth When the patient is
ment of the dental x-ray medium perpendicular or near per biting on the bite block.
pendicular to the interproximal surfaces of teeth, thereby [0011] The bite block may also comprise openings on the
minimizing distortion and improper focus. This application dental medium holder on one or both sides of the bite block.
claims priority under 35 U.S.C. ll9(e) from provisional [0012] A portion of the bite block substantially adjacent to
application Ser. No. 6,l0l8,308, ?led Dec. 31, 2007. the dental medium holder may also be of a greater Width than
a Width of the bite block substantially adjacent to the handle
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION portion of the bite block.
[0013] A method of taking biteWing x-rays on a dental
[0002] BiteWing x-rays are an integral aspect of ongoing x-ray medium is also provided comprising the steps of: plac
dental patient care. They have a host of uses including the ing a bite block Which comprises an alignment guide on a
diagnosis of interproximal caries and incipient lesions, loca biting portion of the bite block into an oral cavity of a patient,
tion of subgingival calculus, the documentation of existing said alignment guide extending at least part of the Way
treatment and any other normal or abnormal pathology, betWeen a handle portion and a dental medium holder portion
amidst other things. Today dental professionals have a choice of the bite block, said dental medium holder containing
of dental x-ray mediums including x-ray sensitive ?lms or an mounted unexposed dental medium Which medium is placed
x-ray sensitive image sensor (digital). In both cases, a bite adjacent to an area of radiographic interest; having the patient
block or a bite tab is often used to attempt to align the x-ray bite doWn on the biting portion of the bite block; While the
collimator apparatus With the interproximal surfaces of the patient is biting on the biting portion, aligning the alignment
teeth. guide substantially parallel to interproximal surfaces of inter
[0003] HoWever, it is very dif?cult With existing bite block est of meeting mandibular and maxillary buccal surfaces; and
or bite tab apparatus to precisely align the x-ray collimator at exposing the dental x-ray medium by emitting x-ray beams.
right angles to the interproximal surfaces of radiographic [0014] The method may also further comprise the steps of
interest, thereby necessitating the exposure by the patient to sliding an aiming ring along a guide rod adjacent to a patients
additional radiation as re-takes are often required. cheek, said guide rod connected to the handle portion of the
[0004] Therefore, a need exists for a biteWing holder per bite block and said aiming ring slideably mounted on the
mitting the dental professional to securely place the dental guide rod; and positioning an x-ray collimator tube parallel
x-ray medium perpendicular or near perpendicular to the and adjacent to the aiming ring prior to exposing the dental
interproximal surfaces being radiographically examined by x-ray medium by emitting x-ray beams but after aligning the
providing a visible and tangible marker Which may be alignment guide.
adjusted to accommodate the positioning needs of individual [0015] The method may also comprise tWo alignment
patients. guides, one of Which is placed on a front portion and the other
of Which is placed on a rear portion of the bite block, thereby
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION enabling the bite block to be used on both sides of the patients
oral cavity by reversing the bite block in the patients mouth.
[0005] An improved biteWing x-ray ?lm holder for inter [0016] The method may also comprise an alignment guide
proximal radiographic analysis and method for use is pro differing in color from a remainder of the biting portion of the
vided. bite block and also optionally the bite block may further
[0006] A bite block for taking biteWing x-rays on a dental comprise a plurality of elevated, transverse ridges extending
x-ray medium is provided comprising an alignment guide on substantially adjacent to and parallel to the alignment guide,
a biting portion of the bite block. The alignment guide extends said ridges assisting in holding of maxillary and mandibular
at least part of the Way betWeen a handle portion and a dental teeth When the patient is biting on the bite block.
medium holder portion of the bite block, Whereby the align [0017] The method may also comprise the step of aligning
ment guide can be substantially aligned parallel to interproxi the alignment guide With pre-molars and molars of a patient.
mal surfaces of interest of meeting maxillary and mandibular
buccal surfaces upon insertion into an oral cavity of a patient, BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
thereby positioning the dental x-ray medium perpendicular or [0018] The invention may be further understood With ref
near perpendicular to the interproximal surfaces of interest. erence to the folloWing draWings Which illustrate but do not
[0007] The alignment guide may further comprise a ?at limit the invention described therein:
topped section Where at least a portion of the ?at topped [0019] FIG. 1 is a top perspective vieW of a dental x-ray bite
section is elevated relative to the biting portion of the bite block;
block. [0020] FIG. 2 is a front vieW thereof;
[0008] The bite block may also comprise tWo alignment [0021] FIG. 3 is a rear vieW thereof;
guides, one of Which is placed on a front portion and the other [0022] FIG. 4 is a left side vieW thereof;
of Which is placed on a rear portion of the bite block, thereby [0023] FIG. 5 is a right side vieW thereof;
enabling the bite block to be used on both sides of the patients [0024] FIG. 5A is a right side vieW of an alternate embodi
oral cavity by reversing the bite block. ment; and
US 2009/0168953 A1 Jul. 2, 2009

[0025] FIG. 6 is a top plan vieW of the dental x-ray bite bite block (5) is generally parallel With the occlusal surfaces
block holder positioned on the teeth for taking a bite-Wing of the teeth and the dental medium holder (25) is generally
x-ray, adjacent to an x-ray collimator tube. perpendicular to the interproximal region of the clenched
maxilliary and mandibular teeth. At a proximal end of the
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS metal guiding rod (35) is a conventional aiming ring (55)
Which is positioned adjacent to a cheek of the patient. A
[0026] With reference to FIG. 1, a bite block (5) is depicted
collimator tube (60) is positioned generally parallel to the
Which has a handle (10). The bite block (5) has an alignment
guide (15) on an upper and loWer side of a biting portion (45) aiming ring (55).
of the bite block (5). The alignment guide (15) preferably runs [0031] In operation, a clinician intra-orally places the bite
substantially doWn a length of a biting portion of the bite block (5) into the posterior of the mandible (5), orienting the
block (5) and is preferably of a contrasting colour to the rest dental medium holder (25) With mounted unexposed dental
of the bite block (5), thereby enabling a dental professional to medium (65) adjacent to the teeth of radiographic interest.
quickly identify the alignment guide (15). Preferably, there The body of the bite block (5) is superior to the occlusal
are also a plurality of transverse ridges (20) adjacent to the surfaces of the teeth of the mandible (50). The clinician then
alignment guide (15) Which assist in the holding of the max instructs the patient to sloWly bite along the bite block (5) and
illiary and mandibular teeth When the bite block (5) is inserted on the plurality of transverse ridges (20). While the patient is
into a patients oral cavity. The transverse ridges (20) are biting, the clinician aligns the alignment guide (15) parallel to
preferably a plurality of raised ribbed ridges for securely the meeting maxillary and mandibular buccal surfaces and
holding the bite block (5) once it has been intra-orally posi instructs the patient to maintain a ?rm bite upon the bite block
tioned. The alignment guide (15) comprises a ?at-topped (5). The clinician then ensures that the alignment guide (15) is
section Which is elevated relative to the transverse ridges (20) aligned With meeting pre-molars and molars in the patients
but does not exceed the height of a tooth croWn such that it mouth (and if not, then the patient is instructed to release the
Will not signi?cantly interfere With an exposed radiographic bite block (5) and bite doWn on the bite block (5) again or if
image. only a slight adjustment is necessary, the clinician may adjust
[0027] The bite block (5) is preferably composed of poly the bite block (5) While the patient is biting until the alignment
ethylene ( a thermoplastic) having a How rate of betWeen 40 guide (15) is aligned With the meeting pre-molars and
and 80, and more preferably 60, such that the bite block (5) molars). The clinician then slides the aiming ring (55) along
may be economically produced and therefore designed for a the metal guiding rod (35) and positions the collimator tube
single use. However, it is understood that the bite block (5) (60) parallel and adjacent to the aiming ring (55). The patient
may consist of any type of material that is suitable for intro is instructed to continually and ?rmly bite upon the bite block
duction into the oral cavity of a patient provided that x-rays (5) While the clinician exits the operatory and exposes the
can pass substantially Without distortion through the bite mounted ?lm by emitting the x-ray beams. The bite block (5)
block (5). In the case of a re-usable bite block, it is understood and exposed mounted ?lm are then removed and processed. If
that the bite block (5) Would be comprised of a polyethylene necessary, the bite block (5) may be mounted With another
With a higher ?oW rate such that it can be safely steriliZed via unexposed ?lm and inverted (?ipped) to accommodate radio
an autoclave. graphic exposure of teeth of the opposite side of the arch of
[0028] A dental medium holder (25) is provided for inser the patients mouth.
tion of a desired x-ray medium (including ?lm or digital). [0032] It is to be expressly understood that there are a
Metal guide rod receiving slots (40) are provided on the number of modi?cations that may be made to the overall
handle (10) for insertion of a metal guiding rod (35) (depicted design Which Would still be Within the scope of this invention.
in FIG. 6). For illustrative purposes only, the number of transverse ridges
[0029] Turning to FIGS. 2 and 3, in a preferred embodi (20) may be varied, the alignment guide (15) can vary in
ment, the bite block (5) generally has a T-shaped appearance appearance and the bite block (5) can also be manufactured in
and the dental medium holder (25) has a horiZontal rectangu various siZes to accommodate ?lms of different siZes (that are
lar shape and is of uniform thickness. HoWever, the dental used in different siZed mouths). One skilled in the art Would
medium holder (25) can be adapted by the addition of one or realiZe that there are numerous modi?cations that could be
more openings or cut-outs. The bite block (5) slants doWn made Which are still Within the scope of this invention.
Ward and inWard to a proximal end and attaches to a mid [0033] The above description is intended in an illustrative
region of the dental medium holder (25) on both sides of the rather than restrictive sense. Variations may be apparent to
bite block (5), thereby reducing open bite and minimizing those skilled in the art Without departing from the spirit and
distortion of the exposed x-ray medium. In one embodiment scope of the invention as de?ned by the claims set out beloW.
and as illustrated in FIG. 5A, an opening in the dental medium
holder (25) is provided on either side of the mid-region of the
dental of the dental medium holder (25). The bite block (5) is What is claimed is:
generally perpendicular to the dental medium holder (25) and 1. A bite block for taking biteWing x-rays on a dental x-ray
the handle (10). Dental medium receiving slots (30) are pro medium comprising an alignment guide on a biting portion of
vided in the dental medium holder (25) for insertion of a the bite block, said alignment guide extending at least part of
dental medium (65) such as a ?lm or digital packet. the Way betWeen a handle portion and a dental medium holder
[0030] Turning to FIG. 6, the bite block (5) is depicted in portion of the bite block, Whereby the alignment guide can be
operation. The bite block (5) With mounted ?lm in the dental substantially aligned parallel to interproximal surfaces of
medium holder (25) is placed in a posterior of an intra-oral interest of meeting maxillary and mandibular buccal surfaces
cavity of a patient While the handle (10) and part of the bite upon insertion into an oral cavity of a patient, thereby posi
block (5) extend outWardly from a patients jaW and betWeen tioning the dental x-ray medium perpendicular or near per
a patients lips. When orientated in the patients mouth, the pendicular to the interproximal surfaces of interest.
US 2009/0168953 A1 Jul. 2, 2009

2. The bite block of claim 1 wherein the alignment guide the Way betWeen a handle portion and a dental medium
comprises a ?at topped section and Wherein at least a portion holder portion of the bite block, said dental medium
of the ?at topped section is elevated relative to the biting holder containing mounted unexposed dental medium
portion of the bite block. Which medium is placed adjacent to an area of radio
3. The bite block of claim 1 comprising tWo alignment graphic interest;
guides, one of Which is placed on a front portion and the other b. having the patient bite doWn on the biting portion of the
of Which is placed on a rear portion of the bite block, thereby bite block;
enabling the bite block to be used on both sides of the patients c. While the patient is biting on the biting portion, aligning
oral cavity by reversing the bite block. the alignment guide substantially parallel to interproxi
4. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein the alignment guide mal surfaces of interest of meeting mandibular and max
differs in appearance from the remainder of the biting portion illary buccal surfaces; and
of the bite block. d. exposing the dental x-ray medium by emitting x-ray
5. The bite block of claim 4 Wherein the alignment guide beams.
differs in color from a remainder of the biting portion of the 15. The method of claim 14 further comprising the steps of:
bite block. a. sliding an aiming ring along a guide rod adjacent to a
6. The bite block of claim 1 further comprising a textured patients cheek, said guide rod connected to the handle
portion extending substantially adjacent to the alignment portion of the bite block and said aiming ring slideably
guide Whereby the textured portion provides for friction mounted on the guide rod; and
betWeen biting surfaces of the maxillary and mandibular teeth b. positioning an x-ray collimator tube parallel and adja
and the biting portion of the bite block. cent to the aiming ring prior to exposing the dental x-ray
7. The bite block of claim 6 further comprising a plurality medium by emitting x-ray beams but after aligning the
of elevated, transverse ridges extending substantially adja alignment guide.
cent to and parallel to the alignment guide, said ridges assist 16. The method of claim 14 Wherein the alignment guide
ing in holding of maxillary and mandibular teeth When the comprises a ?at topped section and Wherein at least a portion
patient is biting on the bite block. of the ?at topped section is elevated relative to the biting
8. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein the alignment guide is portion of the bite block.
aligned With pre-molars and molars of the patient. 17. The method of claim 14 Wherein the alignment guide
9. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein the bite block is comprises tWo alignment guides, one of Which is placed on a
comprised of polyethylene. front portion and the other of Which is placed on a rear portion
10. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein the dental x-ray of the bite block, thereby enabling the bite block to be used on
medium is selected from the group consisting of x-ray sensi both sides of the patients oral cavity by reversing the bite
tive ?lms or x-ray sensitive digital image sensors. block.
11. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein the dental x-ray 18. The method of claim 14 Wherein the alignment guide
medium is held either vertically or horizontally relative to the differs in color from a remainder of the biting portion of the
dental medium holder. bite block.
12. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein the dental medium 19. The method of claim 14 Wherein the bite block further
holder further comprises openings on one or both sides of the comprises a plurality of elevated, transverse ridges extending
bite block. substantially adjacent to and parallel to the alignment guide,
13. The bite block of claim 1 Wherein a portion of the bite said ridges assisting in holding of maxillary and mandibular
block substantially adjacent to the dental medium holder is of teeth When the patient is biting on the bite block.
a greater Width than a Width of the bite block substantially 20. The method of claim 14 Wherein the alignment guide is
adjacent to the handle portion of the bite block. aligned With pre-molars and molars of a patient.
14. A method of taking biteWing x-rays on a dental x-ray 21. The method of claim 14 Wherein the dental x-ray
medium comprising the steps of: medium is selected from the group consisting of x-ray sensi
a. placing a bite block Which comprises an alignment guide tive ?lms or x-ray sensitive digital image sensors.
on a biting portion of the bite block into an oral cavity of
a patient, said alignment guide extending at least part of * * * * *