Myobrace System: An evolution in orthodontics
Many have now accepted The Myobrace System is peerless in terms of the potential to cajole the orofacial muscles into widening arches and allowing good dental alignment. There exists a common misconception amongst dentofacial orthopedists, however, that although The Myobrace System is proficient at straightening teeth, traditional functional appliance systems are better for facial development.
This was a belief to which even I subscribed before I began to actually use the system myself. Although I paid lip service to role of muscles in malocclusion, I had not truly appreciated the potential to correct malocclusion by re-training these muscles.
Indeed, most experienced Myobrace practitioners have come to regard traditional functional appliance therapy as simply another allotropic form of traditional orthodontics: Mechanical interventions that ignore the role of muscles.
To be fair, much of the skepticism leveled at The Myobrace System seems to be borne out of misgivings about myofunctional therapy.
Myofunctional therapy (MT) as a science has been extant for more than 100 years, enjoying great popularity, especially in the 1970s. Although it has been proven to be able to elicit impressive results, Smithpeter and Covell (2010) have cited a number of reasons for a general lack of enthusiasm:
- Limited office space for providing therapy.
- Absence of MT providers.
- Difficulty and amount of time required.
- Inadequate training.
- Hope that function will follow form.
- Belief that there is insufficient scientific evidence to support orofacial MT.
- Observations that not all MT providers have the same expertise, so successful results are unpredictable.
The Myobrace System has managed to package traditional myofunctional therapy into a system that has ensured easily reproducible, better results, in less time, with less effort.
The system, thus, represents a confluence and evolution of fixed appliance therapy, functional appliance therapy and myofunctional therapy.
The case (Fig. 1) is a prime example of treatment outcomes satisfying the goals of proper alignment, facial development and treating muscle dysfunction for a more stable result. She was treated with an upper Farrell Bent Wire System, together with a K1 Myobrace, followed by a K2 and the Myobrace T1 and T3 for final alignment.
From a dental perspective, of note is the space recovered for the upper right and lower left canine teeth. From a facial perspective, the naso-labial angle has improved significantly, while it is clear that the vertical clockwise direction of growth has been re-orientated to a more horizontal direction. These outcomes have been achieved by harnessing the power of the muscles with a system that is more time and cost-efficient than any other system in the history of orthodontics.