Patents by Inventor Jack Keith Hilliard

Jack Keith Hilliard has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20170112594
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method of fabricating a successive set of patterns representing incremental stages of an orthodontic treatment plan, and then sending all or a portion of the successive patterns at the same time to the dentist. The dentist is provided with a vacuum machine for thermoforming a set of aligners as negative impressions of the positive teeth patterns. A polymeric sheet is inserted into a vacuum forming machine and sucked down over the positive pattern, forming a polymeric shell with cavities shaped to receive the teeth and resiliently bias or reposition at least some of the teeth into alignment with the aligner cavities. When the aligner is formed and while still on the stereolithographic plastic pattern, excess portions of the aligner polymeric material are trimmed using manual tools and/or a laser cutting machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2017
    Publication date: April 27, 2017
    Inventor: Jack Keith HILLIARD
  • Patent number: 9610140
    Abstract: The orthodontic alignment of misaligned teeth includes preparing a digital and/or physical overlay model which is the superimposed positioning of the patient's original misaligned dentition with the target or final position. The superimposition of one upon the other creates an open space through which teeth may move in a natural manner, allowing for a treatment plan that takes into account the physical interaction of one tooth with another or the differences in tooth movement rates due in part to differences in underlying bone density or the like. An aligner tray fabricated using the model will likewise represent the before and after tooth positions and will also have the open space to allow tooth movement. Force exerting structures are preferably placed into the aligner tray to impinge upon the patient's teeth in a prescribed manner when the aligner tray is inserted into the patient's oral cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Dentsply Sirona Inc.
    Inventors: Michael C. Anderson, Bradford H. Clatt, Jack Keith Hilliard, Daniel Julié
  • Publication number: 20160228216
    Abstract: The orthodontic alignment of misaligned teeth includes preparing a digital and/or physical overlay model which is the superimposed positioning of the patient's original misaligned dentition with the target or final position. The superimposition of one upon the other creates an open space through which teeth may move in a natural manner, allowing for a treatment plan that takes into account the physical interaction of one tooth with another or the differences in tooth movement rates due in part to differences in underlying bone density or the like. An aligner tray fabricated using the model will likewise represent the before and after tooth positions and will also have the open space to allow tooth movement. Force exerting structures are preferably placed into the aligner tray to impinge upon the patient's teeth in a prescribed manner when the aligner tray is inserted into the patient's oral cavity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2016
    Publication date: August 11, 2016
    Inventors: Michael C. ANDERSON, Bradford H. CLATT, Jack Keith HILLIARD, Daniel JULIÉ
  • Patent number: 8282392
    Abstract: A clip for a self-ligating orthodontic bracket assembly has a lifting element between the labial surface of the bracket and the labial portion of the clip that can be rotated to provide a range of adjustability in lifting the labial portion of the clip with respect to the bracket. The lifting element thereby controls the range of motion of the tongue of the clip in its closed position. This limits the forces applied by the clip to an archwire held in the archwire slot of the bracket, and also allows an archwire to slide freely in the slot. A threaded shaft or camming mechanism can be employed as the lifting element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Patent number: 8060236
    Abstract: A system produces orthodontic aligners by CNC machining. A digital model of the patient's dental anatomy is manipulated using CAD software to create a solid CAD model of an aligner. A CNC milling machine is then used to machine the inside and outside surfaces of the aligner from a block of suitable material. A progressive series of aligners can also be designed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20110212407
    Abstract: A clip for a self-ligating orthodontic bracket assembly has a lifting element between the labial surface of the bracket and the labial portion of the clip that can be rotated to provide a range of adjustability in lifting the labial portion of the clip with respect to the bracket. The lifting element thereby controls the range of motion of the tongue of the clip in its closed position. This limits the forces applied by the clip to an archwire held in the archwire slot of the bracket, and also allows an archwire to slide freely in the slot. A threaded shaft or camming mechanism can be employed as the lifting element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2011
    Publication date: September 1, 2011
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Patent number: 7963768
    Abstract: A clip for a self-ligating orthodontic bracket assembly has a lifting element between the labial surface of the bracket and the labial portion of the clip that can be rotated to provide a range of adjustability in lifting the labial portion of the clip with respect to the bracket. The lifting element thereby controls the range of motion of the tongue of the clip in its closed position. This limits the forces applied by the clip to an archwire held in the archwire slot of the bracket, and also allows an archwire to slide freely in the slot. A threaded shaft or camming mechanism can be employed as the lifting element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Patent number: 7950131
    Abstract: A robotic system for forming features in orthodontic aligners includes a control system, a platen for three-dimensional positioning of the aligner, a heating station for selectively heating a small region of the aligner, and a thermoforming station for manipulating the heated region to form a desired feature in the aligner. Optionally, a laser cutting and trimming station can also be included to trim excess material from the aligner or to cut features into the aligner. The control system can include a processor with CAD software to enable a user to design features for aligners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20100062387
    Abstract: A clip for a self-ligating orthodontic bracket assembly has a lifting element between the labial surface of the bracket and the labial portion of the clip that can be rotated to provide a range of adjustability in lifting the labial portion of the clip with respect to the bracket. The lifting element thereby controls the range of motion of the tongue of the clip in its closed position. This limits the forces applied by the clip to an archwire held in the archwire slot of the bracket, and also allows an archwire to slide freely in the slot. A threaded shaft or camming mechanism can be employed as the lifting element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Publication date: March 11, 2010
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20080254403
    Abstract: A method for setting an orthodontic archwire involves creating a model of a patient's dental anatomy and manipulating the virtual teeth to a desired finished condition. Virtual orthodontic brackets are installed on the virtual teeth. The virtual teeth with their virtual orthodontic brackets are returned to their original positions. A CAD model of a fixture can then be designed for setting a wire in a desired shape based on the arch slots in the virtual brackets, with activations so that the resulting archwire will store and transfer corrective energy to the patient's teeth. A CNC milling machine is employed to produce a fixture based on the CAD model of the fixture. The fixture is then assembled to hold a wire. The fixture and wire are heated to a predetermined temperature for a period of time to set the wire.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 24, 2008
    Publication date: October 16, 2008
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20080254402
    Abstract: A system produces orthodontic aligners by CNC machining. A digital model of the patient's dental anatomy is manipulated using CAD software to create a solid CAD model of an aligner. A CNC milling machine is then used to machine the inside and outside surfaces of the aligner from a block of suitable material. A progressive series of aligners can also be designed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 12, 2007
    Publication date: October 16, 2008
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20080141534
    Abstract: A robotic system for forming features in orthodontic aligners includes a control system, a platen for three-dimensional positioning of the aligner, a heating station for selectively heating a small region of the aligner, and a thermoforming station for manipulating the heated region to form a desired feature in the aligner. Optionally, a laser cutting and trimming station can also be included to trim excess material from the aligner or to cut features into the aligner. The control system can include a processor with CAD software to enable a user to design features for aligners.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2007
    Publication date: June 19, 2008
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20080050692
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method of fabricating a successive set of patterns representing incremental stages of an orthodontic treatment plan, and then sending all or a portion of the successive patterns at the same time to the dentist. The dentist is provided with a vacuum machine for thermoforming a set of aligners as negative impressions of the positive teeth patterns. A polymeric sheet is inserted into a vacuum forming machine and sucked down over the positive pattern, forming a polymeric shell with cavities shaped to receive the teeth and resiliently bias or reposition at least some of the teeth into alignment with the aligner cavities. When the aligner is formed and while still on the stereolithographic plastic pattern, excess portions of the aligner polymeric material are trimmed using manual tools and/or a laser cutting machine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 21, 2007
    Publication date: February 28, 2008
    Inventor: Jack Keith HILLIARD
  • Patent number: 7077646
    Abstract: A method for producing orthodontic aligners uses a CAD system to modify a digital model of the patient's oral anatomy to incorporate features that accommodate attachment of aligner auxiliaries to the completed aligner(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Patent number: 6702575
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for orthodontic treatment employs a removable orthodontic aligner having a polymeric shell with a plurality of cavities shaped to receive teeth. A number of openings are formed that extend through the shell of the orthodontic aligner into a cavity. An orthodontic aligner auxiliary can then be secured to the opening in the shell of the orthodontic aligner to exert a therapeutic force on a tooth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2004
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard
  • Publication number: 20030190575
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for orthodontic treatment employs a removable orthodontic aligner having a polymeric shell with a plurality of cavities shaped to receive teeth. A number of openings are formed that extend through the shell of the orthodontic aligner into a cavity. An orthodontic aligner auxiliary can then be secured to the opening in the shell of the orthodontic aligner to exert a therapeutic force on a tooth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2002
    Publication date: October 9, 2003
    Inventor: Jack Keith Hilliard