When diagnosing a patient’s malocclusion and prescribing myofunctional orthodontic treatment, it is crucial to understand soft tissue dysfunction and how the forces of the muscles and other myofunctional habits can affect not only the crowding of the teeth, but facial development.
Soft tissue dysfunction is covered in greater detail in the Soft Tissue Dysfunction part of the Myofunctional Orthodonticssection on this website.
During consultations, it’s also important to look at a range of the patient’s characteristics. Soft tissue dysfunction, mode of breathing, occlusion, dental relationship and arch form are all important considerations when diagnosing and treating patients. This screening system was developed through MRC’s own clinical experience and allows for simple yet effective patient diagnosis.
Step 1. Analyse the Soft Tissues
Where is the tongue sitting in the mouth?
Is the patient breathing through their nose, or their mouth?
Does the patient exhibit any overactive facial muscle activity when swallowing?
Does the patient display natural downwards and forwards facial growth, more vertical growth, or a retruded mandible?
Step 2. Look at Mode of breathing
Does the patient breathe through their nose or their mouth?
Step 3. Assess the Occlusion
Is the patient’s occlusion normal, overbite, or deep bite?
Step 4. Diagnose the Dental Relationship
Does the patient have an overjet, cross bite or open bite?
Step 5. Look at the Arch Form
Are the patient’s upper and lower arches normal, narrow, or flattened?
Diagnosis & Treatment Planning
Developing a Treatment Plan