This patent is for a removable orthodontic retainer for the correction of minor irregularities. It aims to retain the corrected positions of the teeth and correct any minor misplacements that may have occurred on the teeth.
15 V. Design ParametersTo come up with the customer requirements, a list first was made of the qualities of existing products that the new product will continue to use. For example, retainers keep teeth straight, so keeping teeth straight is a needed customer requirement. Next, a list of new qualities to be introduced in the new product and not currently found in modern products was written. For example, both metal retainers and plastic retainers affect speech of the patient, so the new design must allow the patient to maintain his or her ability to articulate even with the device in. To come up with the engineering requirements, the question was asked, how to quantify the needs of the customer, and how to quantify the new product in comparison to existing products. Finally, in order to come up with the constraints, some qualities were chosen that could not be compromised on. For example, the new product will most likely have to be a permanent implant of some sort in order to prevent teeth from moving for a substantially long amount of time. Customer requirements Maintenance of straight teeth –the point of this product is to maintain teeth positioning, this is the most important thing to the customer Harmless –people want nice straight teeth but they wouldn’t die for straight teethAttractive –what’s the point of having nice straight teeth if the appliance keeping them straight is highly apparent and unattractive? Comfortable –this is one of the problems with retainers. We need something that does not bother the patient in any way Articulate –retainers inhibit speech, frequently causing their users to speak with a lisp. Our appliance needs to allow patients to speak with no inhibitions.
16 Inexpensive –we want to target all patients who want to keep their teeth straight and therefore this needs to be affordable to all classes of our society. Passive –the patient needs to be able to forget about this device completely and not have to continually adjust it or anything like that. Lifetime (years) –What the expected duration of the product would be before it has to be replaced Engineering Characteristics:Size (mm×mm×mm) –how big is it determines how much the patient notices it. Braces are huge and it causes a number of problems for patients wearing them. Material –the material will determine how much the teeth are allowed to move. We would need a material that is not too rigid but obviously not too flexible either Biodegradability –Depending on the product design, we may want it to decay after a certain amount of time or stay permanently fixed Anatomical placement –where the procedure is done or the appliance inserted has a large effect on many aspects of its quality and mechanism of action Temporary implant which either