rexresearch.com



Naresh MOHINDRA

OraLift Facial Rejuvenation











http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-387250/The-brace-puts-smile-face.html


The brace that puts a smile on your face
 
A "beautifying" brace that fixes faces instead of teeth has been launched in the UK.

The device fits in the mouth and places a load on the facial muscles, improving tone and circulation.

Wearers have reported remarkable anti-ageing effects, including reduced lines and eye bags, more prominent cheekbones, smoother skin, and a firmer jaw line.

The "Oralift" brace is even said to improve hair quality and increase fullness of the lips.

Inventor Dr Nick Mohindra, a dentist based in Wimpole Street, London, developed the Oralift over five years.

It emerged from work he carried out pioneering the "dental facelift" which involves altering the height of the teeth.

A research paper published in the British Dental Journal in 2002 showed that 80 per cent of patients given the "facelift" were judged to look between five and 20 years younger.

No dental procedures required

Unlike this technique the Oralift requires no dental procedures, such as the fitting of crowns.

The tailor-made device is designed to increase the gap between the upper and lower teeth - known as the "free-way space" - which is usually no more than three millimetres.

Separating the teeth with the Oralift forces the facial muscles to adapt to a new "free way space".

This sets off a series of responses, including boosting the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles of the face and neck, and triggering healing processes.

Dr Mohindra, of Added Dimension Dentistry said: "Orthodontic braces are often associated with gawky, self-conscious teenagers who are afraid to smile because they feel so unattractive.

"It's funny to think of the Oralift as a brace that beautifies, but that's what it is. Here we have a simple device, worn in the mouth, that can turn an ugly duckling into a swan.

"People spend a fortune on cosmetic surgery, which doesn't always have the desired result and can occasionally prove disastrous. Oralift sculpts the face without the need of a scalpel, using the body's own natural healing processes, and is completely safe."

The appliance can be worn only at night, when it works passively, or during the day and while eating, said Dr Mohindra.

Daytime use involves "active exercise" and loads the facial muscles even more. Other forms of active facial exercise include talking, laughing, grimacing and chewing.

At £2,500, the Oralift is not cheap, though it is said to last a lifetime. One patient who can afford it is Janan Harb, 58, wife of the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

Quoted on Dr Mohindra's website, www.oralift.com, she said: "This treatment has given me back my youthful look and restored the vitality to my face. It is amazing."



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/beauty/article-1217316/Can-little-bit-plastic-make-look-years-younger.html
12 October 2009

Can this little bit of plastic make you look ten years younger?

by

Leah Hardy
for MailOnline

Face of the future:
Leah Hardy with the Oralift, which she says has rejuvenated her looks
 


At the age of 46, I've done a lot to try to turn back the clock on my looks. I've been Botoxed, filled and lasered, had my skin peeled and had painful light treatments. But I've never tried anything quite like Oralift.

For a start, I'm sitting in the dentist's chair - not a spot I normally associate with anti-ageing treatments.

And secondly, I'm being fitted for a decidedly unglamorous small plastic mouthguard.

Yet according to London-based dentist Dr Nick Mohindra, who invented the Oralift, this unprepossessing item has the power to resculpt my face, making it younger and prettier, with plumper cheeks, fuller lips and a nicer, wider, more even smile.

It could even, he says, make my piggily-small eyes wider and eliminate the hollows under them.

The Oralift, he says, can tighten my jawline, soften nose-to-mouth lines, tone my facial muscles and get rid of that turkey wattle on my neck.

It can even make faces more oval and more symmetrical.

Nor do the claims stop there. Mohindra says that many of his clients who wear the Oralift mouthguard for just an hour or two a day, once every three days, report clearer skin, vanishing thread veins and crow's feet that fade away.

What's more, according to Mohindra, the benefits last pretty much for ever.

He says clients start looking younger very quickly - sometimes in just days - reach a peak of youthfulness after three years of use, and carry on looking younger than the day they walked into his surgery for seven years.

Then, when ageing does finally set in, patients have a seven-year head start on their peers.

Keep using the miracle mouthguard, he says, and you can stay younger-looking for decades.

Sound a bit too much like a snake oil salesman for your liking?


OraLift

Miracle-working mouthpiece: It is claimed the Oralift will make you look younger and prettier

Well, it's certainly a pretty big claim to make for such a small thing, and I have to admit to feeling pretty sceptical - especially when I see the device that is supposed to achieve all this.

The Oralift is really a basic plastic mouthguard.

Dr Mohindra pops it into the microwave for a few seconds to soften it, then fits it to my bottom teeth as it cools.

But this device has a 'secret'. It wears a little platform shoe - a tiny block of plastic - that is claimed to be the real secret of its success.

Dr Mohindra believes that many of us look older, plainer and more tired as we get old because we lose lower facial 'height'.

In other words, the depth of our face from nose to chin is reduced as we age. Think of the collapsed, 'gurning' appearance of an old person with no teeth.

A modified version of this look comes to most of us, he says, just through the ageing process. We grind our teeth, or simply wear them down with eating.

This reduces the height of the bottom third of our face, from nose to chin. As someone who has been grinding their teeth in their sleep for years, especially when busy and stressed, I feel suddenly rather panicky about my poor shredded teeth.

The Oralift - which costs from £575, including fitting - helps us learn to separate our back teeth, putting the height back in our face.

When we are relaxed, we tend to have what dentists call a 'freeway space' between our back teeth of between one and three millimetres.

The Oralift gradually stretches and activates facial muscles to increase that freeway space to between five and ten millimetres.

As the stretching begins, the facial muscles instantly experience small amounts of stress, which, says Dr Mohindra, triggers them to release proteins that increase the amount of collagen around the muscle fibres.

There is an instant increase in blood flow and oxygen to the skin, too, making it brighter and healthier.

As we age, our faces lose volume, especially from under our eyes and our cheeks. It is this loss of volume, not gravity, that makes our skin become loose. Instead of a tight 'triangle of youth' - with the point being our narrow chin and the widest point our cheekbones - we develop a reversed ageing triangle, with thin cheeks and wide, saggy jowls.

This change has been well-documented, but in cosmetic medicine the sole focus has been on the fat we lose from our cheeks, and how it can be replaced with synthetic fillers.

Dr Mohindra believes he can get the same result, or even better, by using the Oralift as a kind of personal trainer for the face, building muscle and collagen in the cheeks naturally.

'You lose 40 per cent of the muscles of your face from the age of 20 to 60,' he points out. 'That means you lose a lot of volume. But just as exercising your body can help you maintain muscle mass in your body, so using an Oralift can help you maintain it in your face, so it looks firmer, tauter and younger.'

And there is science to back up Dr Mohindra's claims. The inspiration for the Oralift is his dental facelift.

People who had lost teeth were given specially built-up dentures to wear, and a 2002 study published in the British Dental Journal found that 80 per cent of patients looked five to 20 years younger after treatment.

The Oralift was then developed to give the same effect to people with all their own teeth.

So what is the Oralift like to wear? The best thing about it is that it is painless. It simply sits comfortably over my bottom back teeth. The worst thing is that you do look pretty stupid with it in.
Leah Hardy

Don't wear in public: Leah admits the Oralift makes her look ridiculous

For the Oralift to work, you have to concentrate on not allowing your upper back teeth to touch the appliance, which is more difficult than you might think, and you have to keep your lips closed.

When the photographer first sees me do this, he bursts out laughing, and a quick glance in the mirror reveals why.

I look as if I am struggling with a particularly frightening gobstopper sweet.

My mouth protrudes and my eyes look round and surprised.

However, says Dr Mohindra, this means that the device is also working the eye area, and 30 per cent of Oralift users found it improved crepey-looking skin around the eye.

He suggests wearing my Oralift while I'm driving or watching TV.

I'd say you could wear it on the bus or train, and with the boggle-eyed loon expression it creates, you might even ensure you keep the double seat to yourself.

The device leaves my speech muffled and indistinct, but I'm not supposed to talk or eat with it in anyway. Which my husband might say was a bonus - especially if he's watching football.

I must confess to a few worries. Will my face become so long that I end up looking like Mister Ed, the Talking Horse? Will I get a Desperate Dan jaw? Will I hate the result and want my own 'short' face back?

Dr Mohindra says no one has yet regretted their treatment. After my consultation, which includes viewing a lot of impressive 'before and after' pictures and having my own photographs taken so my progress can be monitored, I am sent away from the surgery with a 'training schedule'.

On the first day, I have to wear the appliance in two sessions of 15 minutes. I choose a solo car journey and a bath as the best times. Then I have two days off. On day four, I need to wear the Oralift for two half-hour sessions, building up gradually to two two hour sessions every third day.

When I get used to this device, depending on the results, I might be given another one, with a higher 'platform', to increase the effect.

After my first 30-minute Oralift session, I can feel a definite stretch in my cheeks. The prospect of instant youth is so tempting that I find myself sneaking in a couple of extra sessions on my 'day off'.

This is something that Dr Mohindra expressly forbids, as he says I must be careful not to overwork my muscles.
Who knew?

The leading Harley Street orthodontist Les Joffe says 12 per cent of his adult clients are getting braces to straighten their crooked teeth
 
After ten days of using the Oralift every few days, often for just ten or 20 minutes at a time, I have to admit that the skin on my cheeks feels a little firmer and springier.

But after much peering into mirrors, I'm convinced that, physically, there has been no change at all.

I arrive at the clinic feeling as if I'm wasting everyone's time, but Dr Mohindra takes new pictures anyway, in exactly the same spot as before, and then flashes them on a big screen next to my old photos.

I'm astonished to see that there is already a subtle but definite difference. My lips look fuller, my jawline is tighter and more defined, and my cheeks look firmer and higher.

Even my skin looks smoother. Best of all, my profile, which I'd always loathed, looks so much better - younger even - because of the new smoothness of my neck, increased lip volume and the tightening of slackness under the jaw.

I am genuinely surprised and impressed. So much so that I pop in my Oralift on the train home, regardless of how daft I might look. I also book in to see Dr Mohindra again in a month, and feel genuinely excited about how my face might look then.

Oralift is fairly demanding in terms of the time you need to spend using it, but it is also natural, scalpel-free, much cheaper and safer than surgery - and painless.

All I can say is, watch this face.



http://www.oralift.com
Added Dimension Dentistry,
020 7636 9978
Sensational Facial Rejuvenation...Naturally

The Oralift device is designed to reduce and delay the signs of facial ageing. It fits over the lower teeth and looks similar to a small mouth guard. It is worn for just 2 hours, every third day. There is no exercise programme, the facial muscles are activated by just having it in the mouth. Oralift has gained international recognition from cosmetic surgeons as being one of the most impressive products to reduce and delay the signs of facial aging.

In 1996 Nick Mohindra's first paper was published in the British Dental Journal showing that vertical dimension (lower facial height) could be increased by 20mm at a time in some cases. The thinking hitherto had been that vertical dimension could not be increased by more than 1 - 3mm. A subsequent paper was published in 2002 with JS Bullman Emeritus Reader in Public Health at the Eastman Dental Institute and University College London, entitled "The effect of increasing vertical dimension on facial aesthetics".

From their research of 96 patients with a 72% response rate, Dr. Mohindra and Mr. Bullman discovered that 80% of those patients whose vertical dimension had been increased permanently looked between 5 and 20 years younger. The amount of increase in vertical dimension was determined by using the pivot appliance. These views were supported by an independent panel, which consisted of a dentist, a dermatologist, a health and beauty journalist, an artist and a patient who considered before and after photographs of the patients.

Nick calls the above procedure The Dentalfacelift.

Subsequent to this research and as a continuation of this work, Dr. Mohindra developed the Oralift appliance, which is a device which fits over the lower teeth. The appliance separates the teeth to a degree greater than the original space between the upper and lower teeth (the "freeway space") and the muscles adapt by creating a new resting length and freeway space. The majority of patients fitted with the appliance have reported benefits and improvements to their skin and facial features.

Nick Mohindra qualified as a dentist from Edinburgh in 1969. After gaining general dental experience at a number of practices in London he became principal of practices in South Wales and Kent, where he was appointed a vocational trainer over a nine year period. Nick lectured to various postgraduate and BDA groups.

In the 1990's he developed an interest in TMD syndrome, which led him to working with and researching difficulties faced by edentulous patients, which in turn led to an interest in facial aesthetics.

In 1999 Nick decided to leave general practice to concentrate his work in this field and to set up Added Dimension Dentistry in London where he continues his work.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPMmTBWmGP4

The Dental Facelift: Oralift Facial Rejuvenation - Dr Nick Mohindra





http://www.dentalfacelift.com/

DentalFaceLift

Cosmetic dentistry as we know it is all about improving the smile—by tooth whitening, tooth straightening, crowns, veneers, cosmetic dentures. However, the smile is not just about lips and teeth. When you look at it as part of the bigger picture i.e. the face, we have to consider other aspects:

The eyes- do they smile too?
The corners of the mouth - how much do they lift up when we smile?
How much tooth and how much gum show when we smile?
How do our teeth look when we are talking?
How does age affect our smile?

These are the extra dimensions we look at when we are designing your smile at Added Dimension Dentistry. Improving the smile is not just about restoring the teeth but improving the muscle tone and the slackness of the face. Our Dentalfacelift and Oralift procedures address these issues.

There is unprecedented interest in cosmetic surgery from both the media and the British public. More and more people in the U.K. every year are going under the plastic surgeon's knife. This webpage explains the different types of facelift available including the revolutionary new Dentalfacelift™ as well as examining alternatives.

Everyone's heard of going under the knife to have a facelift. Growing numbers of people every year lay down in operating theatres. They put up with having to take time out of their lives and brave the anxiety, fear and stress. As well as the courage it takes to voluntarily have your face cut with a scalpel there's also the discomfort and pain of recovering from the operation in the weeks following the surgery.

So why do people have facelifts?

Because they work. Unlike many of the pills and potions advertised so much on television having a facelift will make you look younger. Let's be honest. Would facelifts be so popular if they didn't work? Why else would people voluntarily agree to be put to sleep and have their face cut open with a sharp knife?

What about the latest anti-aging fine line reducing cream?

It's likely you've tried many of the face creams, moisturisers and so called "anti-aging aging" formulations on the market. Some of these may produce minor improvements in "fine lines" but they won't make you look dramatically younger. Most simply do not work. Several major cosmetics companies have been repeatedly told to stop making claims they can't back up by the advertising standards authorities.

But what about the special formulations I've seen on the internet?

Think about it. If the major cosmetic companies who have been household names for decades and have many millions with which to spend on research (as well as on all that advertising) haven't come up with a "miracle" cream what are the chances that some company you've never heard of before has suddenly discovered a cream or powder which produces real results?

So what's dentistry got to do with facelifts?

With time the lower facial height (the area between the nose and chin) decreases due to the loss of teeth and/or the wearing down of teeth. Dr. Mohindra discovered that this is one of the key factors in facial aging. You have only to think an elderly person who has lost their teeth to see the difference this can make. Missing and ground down teeth result in the sucked in and collapsed appearance around the mouth which causes vertical lines on the upper and lowers lips and all around the mouth. The effects don't stop there. Because the tension on the skin of the face has been slackened the whole face is effected.

So in other words missing/worn teeth can make the whole face age?

Exactly. The lack of tension on the skin results in the jawline loosening, the chin falling, the cheeks flattening and wrinkles appearing around the eyes and forehead. Literally the skin loosens on the whole face.

How does the Dental Facelift work?

It works by re-building and replacing missing and worn teeth. This builds the muscles in the face back up and tightens the skin.

Why have a Dentalfacelift™ as an alternative to cosmetic surgery?

Why? Because a Dentalfacelift™ is a real alternative to surgery. One that can achieve real results and make you look dramatically younger. Unlike surgery, as it is founded on existing dental techniques, there are no more risks than going to your dentist for a clean and polish.

Facial ageing is regarded as the gravity assisted downward migration of the soft tissues of the face. Nowadays we believe this is not the only reason. Bones of the face also change, which causes flattening of the cheek bones exacerbating this downward movement of the soft tissues.

Cosmetic surgeons think of the face in terms of a triangle. In youth the base of the triangle is at the cheeks and the point is at the chin. As we get older the triangle reverses. The formation of the jowls means that the base of the triangle is now at the chin and the tip goes upwards towards the nose.

Up until now surgery was the only answer to reverse the triangle. But after a short time the soft tissues would sag again. Now there is another answer – the ADD Dentalfacelift . This can reverse the triangle and because this procedure is truly anti aging the ageing process gets put into reverse gear. As we get older, the face keeps on improving. (See the long term effects). The pictures below show this reversal of the triangle.

///

So why haven't I heard of Dentalfacelift™ before?

It's new. Dr. Mohindra invented this revolutionary new technique after over 30 years in general dental practice.

How do I know it works?

The technique has received coverage in the national press and on the BBC. The British Dental Journal has published an independently evaluated scientific study into its effectiveness. This is an academic journal not a glossy magazine supported by advertising. The study concluded...view study

Dentalfacelift Facts
   
Home    
Why A Dental Facelift    
Dental Facelift Facts    
Cosmetic dentistry    
Implants    
Dentures    
Anti aging    
Facial exercise    
Adult orthodontics    
Maxilla facial surgery    

How do I get a Dental Facelift?

Call 020 7636 9978 to book a consultation

What a Dentalfacelift is not...

NO NEED TO BE PUT TO SLEEP
NO SURGERY
NO KNIFES OR SCALPELS
NO BRUISING
NO NEED FOR TIME OFF

What a Dentalfacelift is...

SAFE
SCIENTIFICALLY TESTED
PROVEN RESULTS
 FULLER LIPS
 LESS WRINKLES
 SMOOTHER SKIN
 CHANGES THE UNDERLYING STRUCTURE OF THE FACE
 BETTER PROFILE & JAWLINE
 MORE PROMINENT CHEEKS
 TIGHTER SMOOTHER SKIN



http://www.thedentalmaven.com/2009/10/why-long-face.html
Monday, October 5, 2009
The Dental Maven

Why The Long Face?

London based dentist, Dr. Nick Mohindra, is marketing his new anti-aging device, the “Oralift.” Mohindra claims a patient can have plumper cheeks, fuller lips, wider smile, a tightened jawline, softer nose to mouth lines (naso-labial folds), make small eyes wider and eliminate the hollows below them as well as eliminate the dreaded chicken neck. He further claims that patients who wear the device for only a few hours a day, every three days, have reported clearer skin, vanishing thread veins and no more crow’s feet! Yowza! Where do I sign?

The device, which appears to be a glorified night guard, essentially keeps the patient from being able to close completely. At rest, most people don’t keep their teeth closed together. This provides what dentists refer to as “free-way space.” The Oralift mouth guard trains the patient to keep their teeth wider apart, increasing the amount of free-way space, and lengthening the distance from nose to chin. So if you look in the mirror and separate your teeth a bit while keeping your lips closed you’ll see the effect.

Science tells us that as we age our face loses volume due to a decrease in collagen production. Mohindra claims we also lose 40% of our facial muscle mass from ages 20 to 60. Oh really? Nearly HALF of your facial musculature goes away?? Seems like that would look pretty creepy.
Mohindra took some liberties with age related muscle loss (Sarcopenia) data by cutting and pasting the statistics to support his claims. Sarcopenia largely affects inactive adults and is also influenced by diet. Moreover, the muscle loss is replaced by fat which fills the void, leaving the patient looking largely unchanged.

The Oralift website has a photo gallery of befores and afters. There’s definitely an improvement in hairstyle and makeup, camera angle, lighting and in one case probably a good dosing of Botox Cosmetic. The Maven can detect a slight increase in lower facial height, which is the goal of the treatment. But She can’t help but ask: What happens when the patient eventually closes her mouth?? It’s something we do every time we chew. So, your “facelift” is dependent upon never bringing your teeth together?

The Maven could see this happening:

Freshly “Oralift-ed,” a forty-something divorcee lands a hot date. The evening is perfect, a few drinks, conversation…and then dinner. A few minutes into the marinara and the transfiguration begins. The baggy eyes, chicken neck, loose jawline, crow’s feet and thread veins are back. Our 30 year old hot momma is morphing into the 40 something (okay, 50 year old) dowager she is. Horrified and puzzled by his initial babe-o-meter assessment, our handsome bachelor makes a quick break for his blackberry, offers up an excuse about “his boss needing something… immediately” and sprints to the nearest exit.

The Oralift sells for 575£ which equates to roughly $911 at todays’ exchange rates. When Mohindra makes the “Oralift Plus” which does laundry, grocery shopping and drags the recycle bin to the curb? Yeah. The Maven with be all over that.



PATENTS

US7156774
Reducing facial ageing and appliance therefor

A mass produced universal dental appliancee ( 1 ) comprises two parts, the parts intended in use to contact the posterior teeth on respective opposite sides of either the upper or lower jaw, each part comprising a composite structure comprising: i) a first layer ( 2 ) formed a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from 35 to 100 DEG C. and which in use contacts and grips the occlusal biting surfaces of the posterior teeth; and ii) a second layer ( 3 ) formed from a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100 DEG C. and which in use provides a bite plate;; wherein the second layer of each part is provided with a protrusion ( 5 ), formed of durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100 DEG C., which extends from at least 2 mm up to 20 mm from the surface ( 4 ) of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use the protrusion extends from the surface of the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer. The appliance is useful in a method for reducing facial aging.

This invention is concerned with a method of reducing facial aging and an appliance which is intended to be worn in the mouth during an exercise programme which, over time, can lead to a reduction in facial aging.

Pivot appliances have been used in dentistry since the 1930s to alleviate pain experienced by patients suffering from misaligned jaws, caused by inclines of the teeth The original purpose of the pivot appliance was to separate the jaws so that inclines of the teeth would not dictate how the jaws met and thereby allow the bite of the patient to be adjusted to a more comfortable position. Use of the appliance on a temporary basis would allow the facial muscles to relax, resulting in the jaw and the condyle in the temporo mandibular joint (tmj) resting in an unrestrained position. This consequently would result in relief of pain associated with the tmj disorder.

The pivot appliance was made from a plaster mould of the patient's mouth, which mould was made by taking an impression of the lower teeth with a dental impression material. From this impression, a mould was made in plaster, which was an exact duplicate of the patient's lower jaw. This mould was then used to make a pivot appliance from a rigid moulding material, which would include wire clips to fit the appliance in the patient's mouth. The optimal thickness of the moulding material of the appliance that provided the biting surface was determined e.g. by using the command swallowing technique to establish the correct biting position for the particular patient. The patient would wear the fitted appliance under the direction and supervision of a dentist for such time until relief of pain was achieved. The appliance was then removed. The problem with this temporary procedure was that it sometimes tended to provide only temporary relief: after the appliance had been removed, there was a tendency for the jaws to return over time back to their original, painful biting position.

Some dentist would advocate that the bite of the patient had to be permanently altered to achieve permanent relief from tmj disorder. In such circumstances, orthodontic treatment was usually employed, to change the position of the teeth or by crowning the teeth.

In 1996, Dr N. K. Mohindra published a paper, in the British Dental Journal, entitled "A preliminary report on determining the vertical height of occlusion by the position of the mandible in the swallowing technique". In this paper, Dr Mohindra reported that a pivotal appliance could be used to increase the vertical dimension significantly, e.g. by up to 19 mm, beyond the normal resting position of the mandible without patients experiencing problems. Prior to this report, doctors and dents had considered that the vertical dimension should not be increased by more than about 2-3 mm and definitely not beyond the resting position of the jaw. The appliance used in these experiments was made in a laboratory by a trained and approved dental technician.

In 2002, Dr Mohindra published a second paper in the British Dental Journal, entitled "The effect of increasing vertical dimension on facial aesthetics". In this paper, Dr Mohindra reported that 80% of patients whose vertical dimension had been increased permanently by the use of a pivot appliance thought they looked between 5 and 20 years younger, and that these views were backed up by an independent panel who studied before and after photographs of the patients and reached same conclusions.

Subsequently, Dr Mohindra developed a facial rejuvenator which improved facial aesthetics without permanently increasing vertical dimension of occlusion. The rejuvenator, like the earlier dental appliance, required to be custom made for each patient in a laboratory by a trained dental technician The rejuvenator comprised a substantially U-shaped layer formed from a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. which was custom moulded to fit over all the teeth on the lower jaw and which in use provided a bite plate. Two projections extended from the surface of the bite plate and were positioned on the bite plate over at least a part of the fist molar tooth on both sides of the jaw. The projections were made of a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 50[deg.] C., and were custom moulded to the vertical height of occlusion for each patient, as determined by the command swallowing technique.

The rejuvenator was removable and so only increases the vertical dimension of occlusion for the short period of time when the appliance is in the mouth of the patient. The rejuvenator was based on the original pivot appliance and is made in the same way, i.e. in a laboratory by a trained and approved dental technician.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,415,794 and 6,539,943 disclose a dental appliance for use by athletes during periods of exertion. The appliance consists of an occlusal posterior pad made of quadruple composite material comprising four layers of distinct materials, further comprising a first layer of a durable, resilient material, a second layer of non-softenable, flexible material, a third layer of a hard, very durable material, and a fourth layer of softenable material, engageable with the occlusal surfaces to space apart the upper and lower teeth, to absorb shock and clenching stress. An adjustable arch adapted to expand and contract to be moulded to the palate is provided connecting the posterior pads together with the mouth and out of the way of the tongue to maintain the position of the occlusal posterior pads within the mouth during use and to prevent loss of the pads such as by swallowing. The appliance may be fitted using a boil and bite technique, for example by a doctor or dentist, with no requirement for customized laboratory moulding processes.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,523 discloses an anti-snoring device having a dental overlay portion and a guide ramp portion slidably mounted in the dental portion. The device may be fitted using a boil and bite technique, for example by a doctor or dentist, with no requirement for customized laboratory moulding processes.

The object of the present invention is to provide an appliance for reducing facial aging that can be mass produced on an industrial basis, thereby obviating the hitherto necessity for customized manufacture in a laboratory of an appliance that has been individually designed and made for a particular patient.

The present invention is as set out in the accompanying claims.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided a mass produced universal dental appliance suitable for use in a method of reducing facial aging, which appliance comprises two parts, the parts intended in use to contact the posterior teeth on respective opposite sides of either the upper or lower jaw, each part comprising a composite structure comprising:

i) a first layer formed a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from 35 to 100[deg.] C. and which in use contacts and grips the occlusal biting surfaces of the posterior teeth; and
ii) a second layer formed from a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. and which in use provides a bite plate;
wherein the second layer of each part is provided with a protrusion, formed of durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., which extends from at least 2 mm up to 20 mm from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use the protrusion extends from the surface of the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer.

The universal appliance is adapted to provide a predetermined vertical separation of the jaws determined by the command swallowing technique and, advantageously, can be either fitted by e.g. a doctor or dentist without requiring use of customized laboratory processes or a dental technician, or it may be purchased over-the-counter and fitted by the individual user.

The universal appliance is intended to be used by a patient to reduce the signs of facial aging. The universal appliance advantageously does not have to be made individually for a patient, unlike the rejuvenator.

The appliance may be worn at any time of the day, when the patient is awake or asleep. Preferably, the appliance is worn during eating or during sleeping.

Use of the universal appliance will be generally prescribed by a doctor or a dentist or, in the case of an over-the-counter purchase, as prescribed on the accompanying instructions for use.

The appliance is preferably worn for from about 3 to about 12 hours in any day. It is recommended not to wear the appliance for 24 hours of the day.

The appliance is preferably used over a continuous period of from 4 to 10 weeks, typically 6 weeks, with a preferred interval before reuse of from 3 to 6 months e.g. 4 months.

The appliance of the present invention is shaped to fit over at least the biting surface of the posterior teeth of the upper or lower jaw, preferably the lower jaw. It is preferred that the appliance is substantially U-shaped, so as to fit comfortably over both the anterior and posterior teeth. Alternatively, the appliance may comprise two separate portions which fit over only the posterior teeth on either side of the respective jaw, with a bridging means to connect the two portions.

Each part of the two parts of the appliance of the present invention which fit over the posterior teeth on both sides of the upper or lower jaw consists of a composite structure comprising

i) a first layer formed a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from about 35 to 100[deg.] C. and which in use contacts and grips the occlusal biting surfaces of the posterior teeth; and
ii) a second layer formed from a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. Band which in use provides a bite plate.

The second layer is provided with a protrusion formed of durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. which extends from at least about 2 mm up to about 20 mm, preferably from about 5 mm up to about 15 mm, most preferably from about 7 mm to about 10 mm e.g. 9 mm, from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use it is on the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer.

The protrusion is preferably formed integrally with the second layer.

Preferably, the protrusion is centrally located above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth. More preferably, the width of the protrusion is less than the width of the molar(s) above which the protrusion is intended to be positioned.

The shape of the protrusion is not important, provided that in use it is comfortable for the patient and when the appliance is fitted the protrusion provides a point above the first and/or second molars on the lower jaw about which the lower jaw may pivot, if forced to do so.

In another aspect, the present invention provides a method of reducing facial aging, which method comprises fitting an appliance as described above on either the upper or lower jaw, preferably the lower jaw, and exercising the lower jaw by repeatedly dropping the lower jaw and then lifting the lower jaw and closing it against the upper jaw with the appliance between the teeth.

Exercising may be undertaken when the patient is conscious or asleep. Exercising may take place actively, for example during eating or at a time when the patient deliberately exercises. Alternatively, exercising may take place passively, for example when the patient is asleep or simply performing normal daytime activities. In such passive exercise, the facial muscles are stretched by the jaw adopting a new resting position.

Exercising is preferably achieved by wearing the appliance continuously for from about 3 to about 12 hours in any day (it is recommended not to wear the appliance for 24 hours of the day). Exercising is preferably undertaken on a daily basis over a period of from 4 to 10 weeks, typically 6 weeks. A break from exercising of from 3 to 6 months e.g. 4 months is preferably taken before commencing another period of exercising.

The first layer of the appliance is formed from a durable, resilient, elastomeric material preferably having a softening point in the range from about 35 to 100[deg.] C., preferably about 35 to 50[deg.] C., more preferably from about 35 to 40[deg.] C. Such materials are well known in the art and are commonly used in the manufacture of boil and bite type dental products, such as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,092,253, 6,415,794 and 6,539,943. Examples of suitable materials are styrene block copolymers, polyolefin rubbers, acrylate based elastomers and ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers, and mixtures thereof Commercially available materials include Elvax and Engage available from DuPont, Kraton thermoplastic rubber available from Shell, Santoprene available from Advanced Elastomer Systems and Dynaflex available from GLS. The material used to form the first layer must become mouldable when placed in water at or close to boiling temperatures.

The first layer is preferably from 5 to 15 mm thick, more preferably 8 to 12 mm thick, before fitting. After fitting, the thickness of the layer will vary from point to point along the length appliance. Preferably, after fitting, the thickness of the first layer does not go below 1 mm.

It is the employment of the first layer material in the composite structure of the appliance that enables the appliance during fitting to adjust to provide a vertical separation of the jaws determined by the command swallow technique.

The second layer of the appliance is formed from a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., e.g. 150[deg.] C. or more. Such materials are well known in the art and are commonly used in the manufacture of boil and bite type dental products, such as those described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,092,253, 6,415,794 and 6,539,943. Examples of suitable materials include polycarbonate resins, high density polyethylene and polypropylene and methylmethacrylate based thermoplastics. Commercially available materials include Escorene HD-6706 available from Exxon and AP6112-HS available from Huntsman. The material used to make the second layer must not become softened in boiling water.

The second layer is preferably from about 1 to about 15 mm thick, preferably from about 3 to about 9 mm thick The thickness of the second layer is not affected by fitting.

The second layer is provided with a protrusion formed of durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. which extends from at least about 2 mm up to about 20 mm, preferably from about 5 mm up to about 15 mm, most preferably from about 7 mm to about 10 mm e.g. 9 mm, from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use it is on the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer.

The appliance may comprise a third layer of material located between the first and second layers. If present, such a third layer is preferably formed of a durable resilient material having a softening point above 100[deg.] C., preferably above 150[deg.] C. Such suitable materials are mentioned above.

The protrusion is preferably formed out of the same material as the second layer and is preferably formed integrally with the second layer. Together, the protrusion and second layer are preferably no more than 22 mm thick at their thickest point, more preferably no more than 15 mm thick at their thickest point.

The appliance of the present invention can be fitted to a patient employing a similar boil and bite procedure as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,415,794, 6,539,943 or 6,092,523. The fitting should include the use of the command swallow technique.

The appliance of the present invention is useful for reducing facial aging. The aging of the face basically involves two factors. These are intrinsic and extrinsic actors. The intrinsic factors basically involve atrophy i.e. the reduction in number of cells for instance by the age of 60 (typically, we only have 60% of the muscle cells that we had when we were in our 20's). The extrinsic factors involve damage done to cells by environmental factors e.g. sun, smoke, toxins produced by bacteria and viruses. The process involved is basically a form of chronic inflammation. Both these processes (cell death and chronic inflammation) in their early stages are reversible. Exercising with the appliance of the present invention can help reverse these processes in their early stages. Accordingly, all diseases, which are related to facial aging or inflammatory conditions, could be alleviated to some extent by exercising with the appliance. For example, exercising with the appliance could help to alleviate, to some extent, some of the symptoms associated with suffers of Alzheimer's, chronic sinusitis, age related deterioration in eyesight, tangelacetasis, solar damage to the skin, acne, and bacterial infections, such as ear infections. This list is not exhaustive.

The invention in its various embodiments shall now be further described by way of exemplification with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an appliance in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the appliance shown in FIG. 1 along the line A-A.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the appliance shown in FIG. 1 along the line B-B.

FIG. 4 is an end view of the appliance shown in FIG. 1 along the line C-C.

FIG. 5 is a view from above of another appliance in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an end view of the appliance shown in FIG. 5 along the line D-D.

FIG. 7 is a view from below of the appliance shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the appliance shown in FIG. 5 along the line E-E.



A U-shaped universal facial rejuvenator appliance 1, as shown in FIGS. 1-8, may comprise a first layer 2, about 10 mm thick formed of a commercially available substantially transparent elastomeric EVA copolymer having a softening point of about 36[deg.] C., and a second layer 3, about 1.5 mm thick formed of a commercially available substantially transparent polycarbonate having a softening point of about 190[deg.] C. The surface 4 of the second layer 3 remote from the first layer 2 forms, in use, a bite plate. Extending from the surface of the bite plate 4 are two projections 5 which may be formed integrally with the second layer. The projections extend approximately 3 mm above the surface 4.

The first layer 2 and second layer 3 may be adhered together, with the use of an appropriate adhesive, or may be heat formed together. If heat forming is employed, the second layer may be provided with a plurality small orifices 6 or projections into which or around which the first layer engages to secure itself in position.

The universal appliance 1 can be fitted to a patient by initially heating the appliance by submerging it in near boiling water for about 30 seconds, or such other time so as to render the material of the first layer 2 mouldable. The patient is required to open the mouth and the appliance is then placed over the teeth on the patient's lower jaw, with the first layer 2 in contact with the teeth and the two projections 5 positioned over both first molar teeth. The patient is then required to gently raise the lower jaw until the teeth on the upper jaw contact the top of the projections 5. The patient then closes their lips and swallows. The pressure applied to the to the appliance 1 by swallowing causes the material of the first layer 2 to deform and mould itself to the shape of the teeth on the lower jaw. The appliance can then be carefully removed from the mouth of the patient and submerged in cold water to accelerate the cooling of the appliance to ambient. Once the appliance has cooled, any excess of the first layer material can be trimmed away until it forms a comfortable fit.

The fitting of the appliance can readily be performed by a doctor or dentist, without the services of a dental technician or having to resort to custom moulding practices in a laboratory, or by the patient without third party assistance.

Once the appliance 1 has cooled to ambient temperatures and been trimmed it may be used by the patient for reducing facial aging.

The process for reducing facial aging can commence as soon as the appliance has cooled to a temperature where the material used to form the first layer has solidified sufficiently for use of the appliance not to cause remoulding of that layer. The patient positions the appliance 1 in the mouth, preferably just before eating a meal The patient then exercises the lower jaw, e.g. during eating or sleeping, by raising the lower jaw thereby to bring the teeth on the upper jaw into contact with the protrusions and then closing the teeth on the upper and lower jaw around the appliance. In so doing, the lower jaw is forced to pivot slightly about the protections and cause the facial muscles controlling the lower jaw to work harder. The muscles are then permitted to relax and the lower jaw is dropped. The exercise is preferably repeated for about 6 to 7 hours a day over a period of about 6 weeks.

The universal appliance may be tested on a sample of patients. The patients may be asked to wear the appliance at mealtimes over a specified period of time. 12 patients wore the appliance for 6 weeks, 1 for 7 weeks, 4 for 8 weeks, 2 for 9 weeks, 3 for 10 weeks, and 6 for 12 weeks. The results are as follows:

The patients were asked:
1) How comfortable was the appliance in the mouth on a scale of 0 to 3 (0 being very uncomfortable and 3 being very comfortable)?
4 patients thought it was 1 on the scale of 0 to 3, 15 thought 2, and 9 thought 3.
2) If you suffered from neckaches, headaches, shoulder pains, did these improve?
4 patients said they suffered from neck ache and 100% reported an improvement. 5 suffered from shoulder pain and 80% reported an improvement. 3 had headaches and 66% reported improvement.
3) Do you think the treatment enhanced your facial features? Give your response on a scale between 0 and 3, 0 being no improvement and 3 being good. The number of features listed was 11 and were as follows: skin above the upper eyelid, size of the eyes, crows feet, lateral droop of the eyes, bags under the eyes, improvement in skin, naso labial folds, lips, jaw line, cheeks. The results were as follows;

On an average patients noted an improvement in 7.5 of the 11 features:

skin above the upper eyelid: 60.7% noted an improvement; size of the eyes: 57.1%; crows feet: 64.3%; lateral droop of the eyes: 71% noted an improvement; bags under the eyes: 57.1%; skin: 85.7%; naso labial folds: 71.4%; lips: 89.3%; jaw line: 64.3%; neck: 64.3%; cheeks: 71.4%.

All these improvements were from mild to very good, suggesting that the universal appliance could be successfully employed to reduce facial aging.



US7416516
Reducing facial ageing and appliance therefor

BACKGROUND

This invention is concerned with a method of reducing facial aging and an appliance which is intended to be worn in the mouth during an exercise programme which, over time, can lead to a reduction in facial aging.

Pivot appliances have been used in dentistry since the 1930s to alleviate pain experienced by patients suffering from misaligned jaws, caused by inclines of the teeth. The original purpose of the pivot appliance was to separate the jaws so that inclines of the teeth would not dictate how the jaws met and thereby allow the bite of the patient to be adjusted to a more comfortable position. Use of the appliance on a temporary basis would allow the facial muscles to relax, resulting in the jaw and the condyle in the temporo mandibular joint (tmj) resting in an unrestrained position. This consequently would result in relief of pain associated with the tmj disorder.

The pivot appliance was made from a plaster mould of the patient's mouth, which mould was made by taking an impression of the lower teeth with a dental impression material. From this impression, a mould was made in plaster, which was an exact duplicate of the patient's lower jaw. This mould was then used to make a pivot appliance from a rigid moulding material, which would include wire clips to fit the appliance in the patient's mouth. The optimal thickness of the moulding material of the appliance that provided the biting surface was determined e.g. by using the command swallowing technique to establish the correct biting position for the particular patient. The patient would wear the fitted appliance under the direction and supervision of a dentist for such time until relief of pain was achieved. The appliance was then removed. The problem with this temporary procedure was that it sometimes tended to provide only temporary relief: after the appliance had been removed, there was a tendency for the jaws to return over time back to their original, painful biting position.

Some dentists would advocate that the bite of the patient had to be permanently altered to achieve permanent relief from tmj disorder. In such circumstances, orthodontic treatment was usually employed, to change the position of the teeth or by crowning the teeth.

In 1996, Dr N. K. Mohindra published a paper, in the British Dental Journal, entitled "A preliminary report on determining the vertical height of occlusion by the position of the mandible in the swallowing technique". In this paper, Dr Mohindra reported that a pivotal appliance could be used to determine the increase of the vertical dimension and resulted in dramatic increases in the vertical dimension of occlusion, e.g. by up to 19 mm, beyond the normal resting position of the mandible without patients experiencing problems. Prior to this report, doctors and dentists had considered that the vertical dimension should not be increased by more than about 2-3 mm and definitely not beyond the resting position of the jaw. The appliance used in these experiments was made in a laboratory by a trained and approved dental technician.

In 2002, Dr Mohindra published a second paper in the British Dental Journal, entitled "The effect of increasing vertical dimension on facial aesthetics". In this paper, Dr Mohindra reported that 80% of patients whose vertical dimension had been increased permanently by the use of a pivot appliance thought they looked between 5 and 20 years younger, and that these views were backed up by an independent panel who studied before and after photographs of the patients and reached same conclusions.

Subsequently, Dr Mohindra developed a facial rejuvenator which improved facial aesthetics without permanently increasing vertical dimension of occlusion. The rejuvenator, like the earlier dental appliance, required to be custom made for each patient in a laboratory by a trained dental technician. The rejuvenator comprised a substantially U-shaped layer formed from a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. which was custom moulded to fit over all the teeth on the lower jaw and which in use provided a bite plate. Two projections extended from the surface of the bite plate and were positioned on the bite plate over at least a part of the first molar tooth on both sides of the jaw. The projections were made of a durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., and were custom moulded to the vertical height of occlusion for each patient, as determined by the command swallowing technique.

The rejuvenator was removable and so only increases the vertical dimension of occlusion for the short period of time when the appliance is in the mouth of the patient. The rejuvenator was based on the original pivot appliance and is made in the same way, i.e. in a laboratory by a trained and approved dental technician.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,794 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,539,943 disclose a dental appliance for use by athletes during periods of exertion. The appliance consists of an occlusal posterior pad made of quadruple composite material comprising four layers of distinct materials, further comprising a first layer of a durable, resilient material, a second layer of non-softenable, flexible material, a third layer of a hard, very durable material, and a fourth layer of softenable material, engageable with the occlusal surfaces to space apart the upper and lower teeth, to absorb shock and clenching stress. An adjustable arch adapted to expand and contract to be moulded to the palate is provided connecting the posterior pads together with the mouth and out of the way of the tongue to maintain the position of the occlusal posterior pads within the mouth during use and to prevent loss of the pads such as by swallowing. The appliance may be fitted using a boil and bite technique, for example by a doctor or dentist, with no requirement for customized laboratory moulding processes.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,523 discloses an anti-snoring device having a dental overlay portion and a guide ramp portion slidably mounted in the dental portion. The device may be fitted using a boil and bite technique, for example by a doctor or dentist, with no requirement for customized laboratory moulding processes.

SUMMARY

The object of the present invention is to provide a method of reducing facial aging using a mass produced dental appliance. A further object of the present invention is to provide an appliance for reducing facial aging that can be mass produced on an industrial basis, thereby obviating the hitherto necessity for customized manufacture in a laboratory of an appliance that has been individually designed and made for a particular patient.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of reducing facial aging in a person, the person having an upper and a lower jaw each bearing at least anterior or posterior teeth having occlusal biting surfaces, which method comprises:

a) providing a mass produced universal dental appliance, which appliance comprises at least one part, the or each part intended in use to be in continuous contact with the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw, the or each part comprising an elongate structure at least a portion of which is formed of a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from 35 to 100[deg.] C. and has a surface which in use is in continuous contact with the occlusal biting surfaces of at least two teeth on either the upper or lower jaw, and wherein said appliance has dimensions such that in use it provides a predetermined vertical separation of the jaws which is at least 3 mm beyond the normal resting position of the jaws;

b) fitting said mass produced universal dental appliance to at least two teeth on either the upper or lower jaw of the individual; and

c) exercising the lower jaw passively to allow the jaw to come to rest in a new resting position. Preferably, the appliance is adapted to provide in use a predetermined vertical separation of at least 3 mm up to about 24 mm, preferably at least 5 mm e.g. from about 5 mm up to about 15 mm, and most preferably from about 8 mm e.g. about 8 mm to about 11 mm e.g. 10 mm.

In another aspect, the present invention provides a mass produced universal dental appliance suitable for use in the above method of reducing facial aging of a person. The appliance comprises at least one part, the or each part intended in use to be in continuous contact with the teeth on either the upper or lower jaw, the or each part comprising an elongate layered-composite structure comprising:

i) a first layer, formed of a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from 35 to 100[deg.] C., having a surface which in use is in continuous contact with the occlusal biting surfaces of at least two teeth on either the upper or lower jaw; and

ii) a second, non-deformable layer, formed of a durable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., having a surface which in use provides a bite plate;
wherein the second layer of each part is provided with a non-deformable protrusion, formed of durable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., which protrudes at least 2 mm up to 20 mm from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer, and
wherein the appliance has dimensions such that in use it provides a predetermined vertical separation of the jaws which is at least 3 mm beyond the normal resting position of the jaws.

In one embodiment, the mass produced universal dental appliance is adapted such that in use the first layer is in continuous contact with at least two anterior teeth on either the upper or lower jaw.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a mass produced universal dental appliance suitable for use in a method of reducing facial aging, which appliance comprises two parts, the parts intended in use to contact the posterior teeth on respective opposite sides of either the upper or lower jaw, each part comprising an elongate layered-composite structure comprising:

i) a first layer formed of a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from 35 to 100[deg.] C. and which in use contacts and grips the occlusal biting surfaces of the posterior teeth; and

ii) a second non-deformable layer formed of a durable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. and which in use provides a bite plate;
wherein the second layer of each part is provided with a protrusion, formed of durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., which extends from at least 2 mm up to 20 mm from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use the protrusion extends from the surface of the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer. In this embodiment, the appliance has dimensions such that in use it provides a predetermined vertical separation of the jaws which is at least 3 mm beyond the normal resting position of the jaws.

The universal appliance is adapted to provide a predetermined vertical separation of the jaws which is at least 3 mm beyond the normal resting position of the jaws, as determined by the command swallowing technique and, advantageously, can be either fitted by e.g. a doctor or dentist without requiring use of customized laboratory processes or a dental technician, or it may be purchased over-the-counter and fitted by the individual user. Preferably, the appliance is adapted to provide in use a predetermined vertical separation of at least 3 mm up to about 24 mm, preferably at least 5 mm e.g. from about 5 mm up to about 15 mm, and most preferably from about 8 mm e.g. about 8 mm to about 11 mm e.g. 10 mm.

The universal appliance is intended to be used by a patient to reduce the signs of facial aging. The universal appliance advantageously does not have to be made individually for a patient, unlike the rejuvenator.

The appliance may be worn at any time of the day, when the patient is awake or asleep. However, at least initially, until the patient is used to wearing the appliance and exercising the lower jaw passively, the appliance is preferably worn during the day only.

Use of the universal appliance will be generally prescribed by a doctor or a dentist or, in the case of an over-the-counter purchase, as prescribed on the accompanying instructions for use.

The appliance is preferably worn for from about [1/2] to about 12 hours in any day. It is recommended not to wear the appliance for 24 hours of the day.

The appliance is preferably used over a continuous period of from 4 to 14 weeks, typically 6 weeks, with a preferred interval before reuse of from 3 to 6 months e.g. 4 months.

The appliance of the present invention is preferably shaped to fit over at least the biting surface of the posterior teeth of the upper or lower jaw, preferably the lower jaw. It is preferred that the appliance is substantially U-shaped, so as to fit comfortably over both the anterior and posterior teeth or over only the anterior teeth. Alternatively, the appliance may comprise two separate portions which fit over only the posterior teeth on either side of the respective jaw, with a bridging means to connect the two portions.

Each part of the two parts of the appliance of the present invention which fit over the posterior teeth on both sides of the upper or lower jaw consists of an elongate layered-composite structure comprising

i) a first layer formed of a durable, resilient, elastomeric material having a softening point in the range from about 35 to 100[deg.] C. and which in use contacts and grips the occlusal biting surfaces of the posterior teeth; and
ii) a second, non-deformable layer formed of a durable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. and which in use provides a bite plate.

The second layer is provided with a protrusion formed of durable, non-deformable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. which extends from at least about 2 mm up to about 20 mm, preferably from about 5 mm up to about 15 mm, most preferably from about 7 mm to about 10 mm e.g. 9 mm, from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use it is on the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer.

The protrusion is preferably formed integrally with the second layer.

Preferably, the protrusion is centrally located above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth. More preferably, the width of the protrusion is less than the width of the molar(s) above which the protrusion is intended to be positioned.

The shape of the protrusion is not important, provided that in use it is comfortable for the patient. When the appliance is fitted the protrusion preferably provides a point above the first and/or second molars on the lower jaw about which the lower jaw may pivot, if forced to do so.

In another aspect, the present invention provides a method of reducing facial aging, which method comprises fitting an appliance as described above on either the upper or lower jaw, preferably the lower jaw, and exercising the lower jaw passively to allow the jaw to come to rest in a new resting position.

Exercising may be undertaken when the patient is conscious or asleep. Exercising should take place passively, for example when the patient is asleep or simply performing normal daytime activities. In such passive exercise, the facial muscles enable the jaw to adopt a new resting position. Active jaw exercise, i.e. exercise involving clenching of the jaws on to the appliance e.g. eating, should preferably be avoided whilst the appliance is fitted in the mouth for at least such time until the facial muscles have substantially adjusted to enable the jaws to come to rest voluntarily in the new resting position.

Exercising is preferably achieved by wearing the appliance continuously for from about [1/2] to about 12 hours in any day (it is recommended not to wear the appliance for 24 hours of the day). Exercising is preferably undertaken on a daily basis over a period of from 4 to 14 weeks, typically 6 weeks. A break from exercising of from 3 to 6 months e.g. 4 months is preferably taken before commencing another period of exercising.

The first layer of the appliance is formed of a durable, resilient, elastomeric material, preferably having a softening point in the range from about 35 to 100[deg.] C., preferably about 35 to 50[deg.] C., more preferably from about 35 to 40[deg.] C. Such materials are well known in the art and are commonly used in the manufacture of boil and bite type dental products, such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,253, U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,794 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,539,943. Examples of suitable materials are styrene block copolymers, polyolefin rubbers, acrylate based elastomers and ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers, and mixtures thereof. Commercially available materials include Elvax and Engage available from DuPont, Kraton thermoplastic rubber available from Shell, Santoprene available from Advanced Elastomer Systems and Dynaflex available from GLS. The material used to form the first layer must become mouldable when placed in water at or close to boiling temperatures.

The first layer is preferably from 5 to 15 mm thick, more preferably 8 to 12 mm thick, before fitting. After fitting, the thickness of the layer will vary from point to point along the length appliance. Preferably, after fitting, the thickness of the first layer does not go below 1 mm.

It is the employment of the first layer material in the composite structure of the appliance that enables the appliance during fitting to adjust to provide a vertical separation of the jaws determined by the command swallow technique.

The second, non-deformable layer of the appliance is formed of a durable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C., e.g. 150[deg.] C. or more. Such materials are well known in the art and are commonly used in the manufacture of boil and bite type dental products, such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,253, U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,794 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,539,943. Examples of suitable materials include polycarbonate resins, high density polyethylene and polypropylene and methylmethacrylate based thermoplastics. Commercially available materials include Escorene HD-6706 available from Exxon and AP6112-HS available from Huntsman. The material used to make the second layer must not become softened in boiling water.

The second layer is preferably from about 1 to about 15 mm thick, preferably from about 3 to about 9 mm thick. The thickness of the second layer is not affected by fitting or use.

The second layer is provided with a non-deformable protrusion formed of durable material having a softening point over 100[deg.] C. which extends from at least about 2 mm up to about 20 mm, preferably from about 5 mm up to about 15 mm, most preferably from about 7 mm to about 10 mm e.g. 9 mm, from the surface of the bite plate away from the first layer and which is positioned such that in use it is on the bite plate above at least a part of the first and/or second molar teeth which are in contact with the first layer.

The appliance may comprise a third layer of material located between the first and second layers. If present, such a third layer is preferably formed of a durable resilient material having a softening point above 100[deg.] C., preferably above 150[deg.] C. Such suitable materials are mentioned above.

The protrusion is preferably formed out of the same material as the second layer and is preferably formed integrally with the second layer. Together, the protrusion and second layer are preferably no more than 22 mm thick at their thickest point, more preferably no more than 15 mm thick at their thickest point.

The appliance of the present invention can be fitted to a patient employing a similar boil and bite procedure as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,794, U.S. Pat. No. 6,539,943 or U.S. Pat. No. 6,092,523. The fitting should include the use of the command swallow technique.

The appliance of the present invention is useful for reducing facial aging. The aging of the face basically involves two factors. These are intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The intrinsic factors basically involve atrophy i.e. the reduction in number of cells for instance by the age of 60 (typically, we only have 60% of the muscle cells that we had when we were in our 20's).

The extrinsic factors involve damage done to cells by environmental factors e.g. sun, smoke, toxins produced by bacteria and viruses. The process involved is basically a form of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation in its early stages is reversible. Exercising passively with the appliance of the present invention can help reverse the process in its early stages. Accordingly, all diseases, which are related to facial aging or inflammatory conditions, could be alleviated to some extent by exercising with the appliance. For example, exercising with the appliance could help to alleviate, to some extent, some of the symptoms associated with suffers of Alzheimer's, chronic sinusitis, age related deterioration in eyesight, tangelacetasis, solar damage to the skin, acne, and bacterial infections, such as ear infections. This list is not exhaustive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of an appliance in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the appliance shown in FIG. 1 along the line A-A.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the appliance shown in FIG. 1 along the line B-B.

FIG. 4 is an end view of the appliance shown in FIG. 1 along the line C-C.

FIG. 5 is a view from above of another appliance in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an end view of the appliance shown in FIG. 5 along the line D-D.

FIG. 7 is a view from below of the appliance shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the appliance shown in FIG. 5 along the line E-E.




DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The invention in its various embodiments shall now be further described by way of exemplification with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

A U-shaped universal facial rejuvenator appliance 1, as shown in FIGS. 1-8, may comprise a first layer 2, about 10 mm thick formed of a commercially available substantially transparent elastomeric EVA copolymer having a softening point of about 360[deg.] C., and a second layer 3, about 1.5 mm thick formed of a commercially available substantially transparent polycarbonate having a softening point of about 190[deg.] C. The surface 4 of the second layer 3 remote from the first layer 2 forms, in use, a bite plate. Extending from the surface of the bite plate 4 are two projections 5 which may be formed integrally with the second layer. The projections extend approximately 3 mm above the surface 4.

The first layer 2 and second layer 3 may be adhered together, with the use of an appropriate adhesive, or may be heat formed together, If heat forming is employed, the second layer may be provided with a plurality small orifices 6 or projections into which or around which the first layer engages to secure itself in position.

The universal appliance 1 can be fitted to a patient by initially heating the appliance by submerging it in near boiling water for about 30 seconds, or such other time so as to render the material of the first layer 2 mouldable. The patient is required to open the mouth and the appliance is then placed over the teeth on the patient's lower jaw, with the first layer 2 in contact with the teeth and the two projections 5 positioned over both first molar teeth. The patient is then required to gently raise the lower jaw until the teeth on the upper jaw contact the top of the projections 5. The patient then closes their lips and swallows. The pressure applied to the to the appliance 1 by swallowing causes the material of the first layer 2 to deform and mould itself to the shape of the teeth on the lower jaw. The appliance can then be carefully removed from the mouth of the patient and submerged in cold water to accelerate the cooling of the appliance to ambient. Once the appliance has cooled, any excess of the first layer material can be trimmed away until it forms a comfortable fit.

The fitting of the appliance can readily be performed by a doctor or dentist, without the services of a dental technician or having to resort to custom moulding practices in a laboratory, or by the patient without third party assistance.

Once the appliance 1 has cooled to ambient temperatures and been trimmed, it may be used by the patient for reducing facial aging.

The process for reducing facial aging can commence as soon as the appliance has cooled to a temperature where the material used to form the first layer has solidified sufficiently for use of the appliance not to cause remoulding of that layer. The patient positions the appliance 1 in the mouth. The patient then exercises the lower jaw passively to allow the jaw to come to rest in a new resting position. The patient should, at least initially, avoid exercising the lower jaw actively about the appliance. Accordingly, wearing of the appliance e.g. during eating or sleeping should preferably be avoided whilst the appliance is fitted in the mouth for at least such time until the facial muscles have substantially adjusted to enable the jaws to come to rest voluntarily in the new resting position Once the patient is used to wearing the appliance and substantially does not involuntarily clench the jaws around the appliance, the passive exercise is preferably repeated for about 6 to 7 hours a day over a period of about 6 weeks. Before this time, however, the patient will have to get used to wearing the appliance and train themselves not to clench their jaws whilst wearing the appliance. It is therefore recommended that the patient initially uses the appliance from about only [1/2] hour a day and builds-up the time of use over a period of about 2-3 weeks or more thereafter, depending upon the ease with which the patient gets used to wearing the appliance and exercising passively.

The universal appliance may be tested on a sample of patients. The patients may be asked to wear the appliance at mealtimes over a specified period of time. 12 patients wore the appliance for 6 weeks, 1 for 7 weeks, 4 for 8 weeks, 2 for 9 weeks, 3 for 10 weeks, and 6 for 12 weeks. The results are as follows:

The patients were asked:

1) How comfortable was the appliance in the mouth on a scale of 0 to 3 (0 being very uncomfortable and 3 being very comfortable)?
4 patients thought it was 1 on the scale of 0 to 3, 15 thought 2, and 9 thought 3.

2) If you suffered from neckaches, headaches, shoulder pains, did these improve?
4 patients said they suffered from neck ache and 100% reported an improvement. 5 suffered from shoulder pain and 80% reported an improvement. 3 had headaches and 6% reported improvement.

3) Do you think the treatment enhanced your facial features? Give your response on a scale between 0 and 3, 0 being no improvement and 3 being good. The number of features listed was 11 and were as follows: skin above the upper eyelid, size of the eyes, crows feet, lateral droop of the eyes, bags under the eyes, improvement in skin, naso labial folds, lips, jaw line, cheeks. The results were as follows;

On an average patients noted an improvement in 7.5 of the 11 features:
skin above the upper eyelid: 60.7% noted an improvement; size of the eyes: 57.1%; crows feet: 64.3%; lateral droop of the eyes: 71% noted an improvement; bags under the eyes: 57.1%; skin: 85.7%; naso labial folds: 71.4%; lips: 89.3%; jaw line: 64.3%; neck: 64.3%; cheeks: 71.4%.

All these improvements were from mild to very good, suggesting that the universal appliance could be successfully employed to reduce facial aging.

While the invention has been described and illustrated in detail, various modifications and alternatives should become apparent to those skilled in this art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.




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