Carolina Scholtz, D.D.S, M.S.
For the past 20 years as a practicing Pediatric Dentist, I have been able to treat and observe many dental patients. There have been several areas of special interest that have developed as a result of such exposure. It is the usual and customary procedure of my private dental practice to register molar relationships, canine relationships, overbites, and overjets at each and every initial and recall periodic appointment. It has been through this close observation that I have been able to project what developing occlusions will develop and what the stability those occlusions that have been intercepted will do. As a result of these observations, I have determined that the role of the muscle function and airway are critical to the development of occlusions. Furthermore, the stability of an orthodontic treatment result is closely associated with the address of the perioral myofunctional unit. If the muscles and soft tissues around the teeth are not stable, the dentition will not be orthodontically stable. If the breathing posture of the individual causes the individual to tongue thrust, drop the tongue into the mandibular arch, constrict the maxillary arch, and maintain poor lip seal and swallowing patterns, then definitely the malocclusion will be perpetuated.
As a result of these observations, the value of Myofunctional Trainers attracted my special interests. I was attending a Symposium on Craniofacial Development in Chicago, 2006, when I was exposed to some appliances that addressed my special interests in developing occlusions and because I want always to provide comprehensive dental care for all my pediatric patients. I was exposed to the myofunctional appliances made by Myoresearch. They addressed many of the issues that I was concerned about with my many patients. After inquiring further through literature background and addressing the one of the main researchers of these products, I incorporated these products into my practice.
My patients under the age of six, that present with malocclusions associated with habits including digit sucking, tongue thrusting, overjets greater than three millimeters, chronic bruxism, are all candidates for some form of dental/orthodontic/habit intervention. Infant trainers from Myoresearch are very effective appliances if worn as specified. We are now routinely taking study model impressions and photographs in my practice, to documents what results can be attained by the wear of these appliances regularly as specified by the researchers. The results have been positive. Depending on the stage of the dentition of the patient we select the appliances. Currently, the projected time of treatment is twelve months. The patient is seen every four to six weeks after the delivery of the appliance and after our initial follow-up appointment after one week of wearing the appliance.
I have seen a reduction of an impressive overjet from 7mm to 3mm in one month. Even with a patient that does not have an overt oral habit and the malocclusion may be a genetic condition.
I have incorporated these appliances into my practice. From protection from brusixm to correction of skeletal and dental posture, I have witnessed an improvement in the relation between maxilla and mandible, and consequently an improvement in the occlusion, function, and esthetics of patients of malocclusions in the primary and mixed dentition. Once the patient reflects an improvement in the occlusion, the eruption of the remaining permanent dentition is facilitated. The occlusion of the patient is well on its' way to adapting to the posture encouraged by the appliance and even when used in conjunction with orthodontics, it can have significant positive effects.
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