Splint Orthodontic Myofunctional Appliance

A person’s posture, tongue habits, muscle, upper airway obstruction and facial abnormalities can all contribute to his or her occlusion (bite position) and facial appearance. This is especially true in a child, whose teeth, jaws and facial structure is still in the process of change and growth. 

To find out more about what SOMA can do for you, contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.

In consideration of all these elements at play, it is easier to apply gentle means to expand your upper palate without causing pain in order to help straighten your teeth and enhance your facial patterns. In other words, we can give you a beautiful smile, while treating any underlying issues you may have – such as breathing patterns, jaw position, orthopaedic structure, etc. – and even improve your overall visage!

That is exactly what our adoption of Splint Orthodontic Myofunctional Appliance (SOMA) is about.

Splint Orthodontic Myofunctional Appliance (SOMA) is a dental appliance that has a world wide patent status. With its own unique system of adjustment and protocols, the SOMA appliance can help to fix the jaw joint, the musculature and the airway. 

At Molonglo Dental Surgery, we support the SOMA philosophy that “Force should not be placed against the direction of a natural growth.” Rather, our focus is on the your development and optimal growth.

Instead of simply straightening your teeth, we take a holistic approach to what underlying issues your malocclusion may suggest – neurology, growth patterns, breathing and sleep patterns – so as to better treat your condition. That’s why our patients do not simply get their teeth corrected by us, but report other equally tangible benefits like: Better jaw symmetry, relaxed neck muscles, reduced muscle pains and discomfort.

With SOMA’s innovative appliance technologies, we are able to manage and treat a wide range of issues, including: Malocclusion, poor jaw growth, airway dysfunction and TMJ disorder.

To find out more about what SOMA can do for you, contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.   

How does Splint Orthodontic Myofunctional Appliance (SOMA) work?

Initially developed for treating Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), a painful jaw dysfunction, Dr Joseph Da Cruz (SOMA’s inventor) found that the “TMD would not resolve satisfactorily without also treating the malocclusion”. 

After an orthodontic approach was incorporated into the treatment process, Dr Da Cruz found that a third component – that of tongue positioning – also needed to be addressed. Only when all three components were properly addressed – TMD, orthodontics and a stable jaw position (tongue position) – could highly satisfactory results be derived. 

The SOMA innovation, although birthed out of incorporating three components of treatment to provide rapid, effective and stable TMD treatment, also produced beneficial side effects of reduced headaches, migraines, posture pain and sleep disordered breathing. 

The relationship between seemingly disparate elements is consistent with Dr Da Cruz’s background and experience in holistic dentistry, where many patients present with chronic pain problems despite having seen a multitude of medical physicians. 

Collaboration with physicians in other fields had confirmed Dr Da Cruz’s stance on the correlation between these features, further reinforcing that “collaborative dentistry and medicine can provide assistance and can improve quality of life for many people who have been neglected by the current medical format.”

By integrating splint therapy, orthodontics, and myofunctional treatment, the SOMA can help in the realignment process of the cranial base thus establishing a sound dental architecture from which teeth can be aligned and remain stable.

Dr Da Cruz’s aim, which aligns with the holistic goals of Molonglo Dental Surgery, is “to give dentistry greater importance by providing a whole body approach to treatment, thus offering a more effective, preventative health treatment and quality of care to patients.”

With SOMA’s innovative appliance technologies, we are able to manage and treat a wide range of issues, including: Malocclusion, poor jaw growth, airway dysfunction and TMJ disorder.

Benefits of SOMA Dental Treatment

The SOMA dental therapy takes a multifaceted approach to the treatment of Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) – correcting its dysfunction, growth and development while relieving its painful symptoms. In so doing, it helps to alleviate sleep and neck issues and a host of other related problems.

By gently and painlessly expanding bony structures in the upper palate, the SOMA mouthguard is able to enhance facial patterns and straighten teeth. At the same time, the SOMA dental appliance pacifies the nervous system by dampening down the sympathetic overdrive.

The SOMA mouthguard corrects orthodontic problems with greater efficiency by addressing issues commonly produced by conventional appliances.

One issue with standard fixed and removable dental appliances is that they lock the maxillary sutures and teeth, thereby inhibiting the Cranial Respiratory Impulse (CRI). The CRI is the continuous pulsation in the cranium whose strength is essential for optimum health.

Another problem with standard appliances lies in their use of metal across the mid-line of the palate, which is a source of stress that affects the CRI.

TMJ Decompression

The SOMA design avoids these problems by creating sufficient retention without jamming the cranial sutures. The metallic circular design also eliminates the stress factor for the wearer.

The technique prevents strain on the CRI and relaxes the chewing muscles. When the muscles of mastication are relaxed, it reduces a common problem among standard appliances: muscle fight-back.

By preventing muscle fight-back from occurring around the bones of the face and jaw, the SOMA therapy can effectively decompress the TMJ into a stable and comfortable position. In many cases, it also provides immediate relief for Temporo-Mandibular Dysfunction (TMD) – although difficult cases require more time and follow up.

This technique further enables teeth to be orthodontically moved faster without relapsing. The SOMA Orthodontic Splint Therapy integrates splint therapy, orthodontics, and myofunctional treatment, to aid the realignment process of the cranial base. This establishes a sound dental foundation upon which teeth can be aligned and remain stable.

Improves Sleeping Disorder and Breathing Issues

The SOMA therapy can also be used to bring about the forward positioning of the lower jaw, which helps to improve breathing. This is an important benefit used to address sleep apnoea patients.

The unique design of the SOMA appliance means it can substantially position the lower jaw forward without force. Compared to a conventional sleep device that does not consider the health of the jaw joints and which forces the lower jaw forward, the SOMA therapy is gentler on the jaw muscles and those around the face and neck.

It also relaxes the chin muscle (mentalis), reducing the chin groove resulting in an improved facial profile.

This therapy keeps the mouth close while encouraging nose breathing – both of paramount importance for relaxation and de-stressing. This significantly impacts airway and breathing in a positive way.

Improves Facial Profile and Orthodontic Correction

The maxilla is the bone that forms your upper jaw. It consists of both a left and a right bone that are not fused. When the maxillary bones are compressed, it distorts the shape of the palate – which is the area around the “floor” of the nose – resulting in a ‘tent-like” shape.

Light subtle expansion of the maxilla decompresses the palatal sutures in such a way that makes the palate flatter and more rounded. As well as lowering the palate, the slight expansion changes the “tent-like” shape to a more rounded dome.

The SOMA Orthodontic Splint Therapy is also beneficial in improving airway, nasal breathing and reducing mouth breathing. It also brings about the relaxation of muscle fibres around the neck, face, throat and improved jaw opening.

To find out more about what the SOMA Orthodontic Splint Therapy can do for you, contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.  

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