More than 80 percent of our population is thought to be presenting some kind of malocclusion.
Traditional orthodontics is aimed at moving the teeth but myofunctional orthodontics is about changing the oral environment and ridding the patient of the oral habits that are causing the malocclusion. One stream of myofunctional therapy aims to treat very early in life (~5 years of age) to assist in the alignment of the jaw first and then the teeth. The treatment is aimed at encouraging better jaw development rather than straightening the teeth later on in life but does this hold up long-term?
Dr Peter Miles Discusses Myofunctional Appliances
In his latest article, Dr Miles discusses the practice of treating patients at the young age of between 5-8 and the evidence available about this practice in orthodontics and more so by general dentists. He brings to light 2 studies that compare the prefabricated myofunctional appliances and the Activator. He also discusses the role of prefabricated myofunctional appliances.
What is the Activator?
The Activator is a custom-made functional appliance that appears as a sort of plastic plate with metal wiring to help adjust the patient’s bite and guide eruption.
What is a Prefabricated Myofunctional Appliance?
A prefabricated myofunctional appliance appears as a type of rubberized double mouth guard available in a limited range of sizes used to adjust a patient’s bite and guide eruption of the adult teeth.
Which treatment is arguably more effective than the other?
Although further studies are needed to provide definitive results, Dr Miles argues that the custom-made Activator appliance is currently considered more effective than the prefabricated myofunctional appliance.