How can an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist enhance your dental practice?

Are you one of the many dental professionals seeking for the latest and most innovative treatments out there to not just help your patients; but to make you the #1 dental professional in your community?  With that in mind, having an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist as part of your team WILL enhance your practice.

What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist?

Orofacial Myofunctional therapists are highly trained medical/dental individuals whom work in a multidisciplinary way with other medical and dental professionals; in order to provide neurological re-education of the oral facial muscles in the treatment of Myofunctional Disorders.  The therapy they provide is known as Myofunctional Therapy, and is well known for the re-patterning of the stomatognathic functions which include breathing, mastication, deglutition and positive behavioral modifications.  Hence, through time and repetition neuroplasticity is developed.

What benefits can an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist bring to my practice?

Benefits of having an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist as part of your team can include, but are not limited to:

  • Decrease in orthodontic relapse

  • Elimination of tongue thrust (which can not only create malocclusions, but periodontal disease, digestive problems and more)

  • Facial esthetic benefits

  • Breathing re-education (helps patients suffering from mouth breathing)

  • Lip seal

  • Aide in the treatment of sleep disordered breathing (obstructive sleep apnea)

  • Decrease snoring

  • Aide with TMD (Jaw pain)

  • Aide with proper oral resting posture

  • Aide in the treatment of Myofunctional Disorders

The sad part is that Myofunctional Disorders are often an undiagnosed condition, which leads to seemingly unrelated physical problems and symptoms.  As a dental professional, incorporating an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist as part of your team, can help you stand out from the crowd. Providing your patients, a non-invasive therapy can help increase their overall quality of life, while enhancing your dental treatments.

Understanding Myofunctional Disorders

The real key to understanding Myofunctional Disorders is to realize that the muscles of our bodies form and shape our bones.  The tongue, being the biggest muscle positioned in the center of the mouth is critical in developing the proper shape of the upper jaw.  People who are “tongue tied” or have an abnormal tongue position during swallowing due to an “open bite” often suffer from a Myofunctional Disorder.  Since the upper jaw is also the base of the skull, its shape affects the upper airway and the shape of the face.  Disruption in normal breathing pattern can affect head posture resulting in neck pain, TMD pain and facial muscle pain.  In addition, airway issues have major consequences and varied symptoms.  Many people live with these symptoms their entire life not knowing that it is not normal or there is a solution.  Dental health care providers are in a unique position to identify Myofunctional Disorders because we primarily deal with the oral cavity and see patients on a regular recurrent basis. (Dr. Alex Shvartsman)

In memory of Dr. Alex Shvartsman.  Dr. Shvartsman was one of the first dentists’ on Long Island, NY to incorporate an Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist into his dental practice.
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