Pre-formed myofunctional appliances. If wishes were horses…

Once my grandpa said, “If wishes were horses, beggars would be riders.”
There have been a lot of claims about pre-formed myofunctional appliances. Personally, I feel that whenever we are considering adding anything new into our patient treatment regiment, it’s important to make sure that we know that the new treatment method is actually as effective as it is claimed to be.
I have read many claims about pre-formed myofunctional appliances correcting skeletal class III, class II, overjet, and crowding. I have to admit, it would be nice if our patients could just wear a pre-formed mouth piece and their retrognathic maxilla would be corrected in 6-8 months.
But do these pre-formed appliances really work effectively, and is there any evidence for these claims? We are all trying to help our patients, but I think it is crucial that we make sure that any appliance we use actually works effectively.
Let’s take the reverse-pull head gear or facemask as an example. It has been well established with research that it is a very effective appliance to correct retrognathic maxillary position in growing children. It works quickly and effectively.
Here is an example case we treated in just 5 months. You can see the significant skeletal correction of the maxillary position moving forward.

But, how about pre-formed myofunctional appliances? Well, the problem is that there are a lot of claims for their effectiveness, but there is little evidence to back it up in the scientific journals. So, as far as science is concerned, there is little that we know.

Actually, some of the recent research shows that a simple activator was more effective in reducing overjet, ANB, and wits then a pre-formed myofunctional appliance. See below link. (They did show in one study that the pre-formed myofunctional appliances were effective in reducing some dental crowding; however, there was no evidence for skeletal corrections.)
So, I think before we jump into using these “new” appliances, I think it’s important to make sure that we understand their effectiveness (or potential lack thereof), and we use appliances for our patients that will successfully and effectively correct their orthodontic problems beyond just wishful thinking.
Here is a good review of pre-formed myofunctional appliances.

In our seminars, we will cover what orthodontic appliances work effectively, and how you can get beautiful results with fundamental orthodontic treatments.