Myofunctional therapy techniques must be flexible in order to facilitate the interdisciplinary team approach and comprehensive care model that have become the standards of care in today’s healthcare delivery system. Utilizing evidence-based practices will ensure the greatest outcomes for the team and the patient. The interdisciplinary team should not be limited to certain disciplines, but rather should integrate several specialty areas.
A potential myofunctional team may include disciplines such as orofacial myology, speech-language pathology, otolaryngology, dental hygiene and dentistry, and orthodontics. Each specialist could bring expertise to the patient case. An orofacial myologist is trained to recognize OMDs and could provide individualized therapy for nasal breathing, tongue rest position, and correct swallowing. A speech-language pathologist could assess for atypical orofacial functions, and initiate speech therapy, if necessary. An otolaryngologist could properly identify airway or allergy issues that may be contributing to an OMD and provide necessary treatment. A dental hygienist could utilize knowledge of orofacial anatomy and assess for signs and symptoms of OMDs during routine intraoral/extraoral exams. A dentist could evaluate any suspected conditions and aid in the referral process. An orthodontist could provide consults to identify OMDs that may interfere with proper occlusion, and dentofacial growth and development.
Within the dental field alone, there has been documentation of various specialties successfully utilizing myofunctional therapy in patient cases, including: