Scientific contributions from Dr. Klaus Berndsen und Sabine Berndsen

Comparative evaluation of the effectiveness of the FaceFormer

Goal

Because there are many examples of orthodontic malpositions, soft tissue dysfunctions exist and are seen as causal factors of the malpositions. Besides the exercises, which were developed over time in context of myofunctional therapy, single therapy is also offered with supporting equipment. The goal of this study was to comparatively evaluate the effectiveness of the FaceFormer, a device which primarily modifies the soft tissue of the lips.

Material and Methods

Forty children and youth between the ages of five and 17 were treated for differing disorders such as lip incompetence, mouth breathing, sucking habits and their resulting orthodontic problems like overbite. The control group also consisted of 40 persons and split into two groups. Twenty persons were treated with other myofunctional therapy techniques and 20 were not treated. For the present study, the lip strength was measured with a myoscanner and a spring scale before and after treatment (Fig. 1&2). In addition, intra and perioral photographs as well as profile and full face exposures were made (Fig. 3&4).

Pictured is the myoscanner, a device to determine the lip pressure of closed lips.

Bild 1: Myoscanner

Fig. 1: Myoscanner

A spring scale used to quantitatively determine the tension on the lips caused by resistance.

Bild 2: Federwaage

Fig. 2: Spring scale

A seven-year old child before treatment with the FaceFormer, holding the device in the mouth. Noticeably visible are the wrinkles which form through the contraction of the M. mentalis, compensating partially for lip weakness.

Bild 3: Vor der Behandlung

Fig. 3: Vor der Behandlung

The same child after three-months of treatment with the FaceFormer. The lip strength is increased through the training and the use of the M. mentalis is no longer necessary.

Fig. 4: After three months of treatment

Fig. 4: After three months of treatment

The average values between the first and final measurements of lip strength of the three evaluated groups. The FaceFormer treated group showed the most improvement.
Myoscanner: p-value <0.0005
Spring scale: p-value <0.0023

y-axis = Difference between first and final measurements
x-axis = FF-treated group, Other treatment group, Control group
Red = Difference first – final measurement with myoscanner (kp)
Green = Difference first – final measurement with myoscanner (kp)

Bild 5: Lippenkraft vor und nach dreimonatiger Behandlung

Bild 5: Lippenkraft vor und nach dreimonatiger Behandlung

The scatter plot shows the difference of the lip strength after treatment with the FaceFormer in relationship to age. At a younger age, the tendency for eventual improvement in lip strength is more probable.

y-axis = Difference between first and final measurements
Red = measured with a myoscanner
Green = measured with a spring scale

Bild 5: Lippenkraftveränderung bei verschiedenen Lebensaltern

Bild 5: Lippenkraftveränderung bei verschiedenen Lebensaltern

After three-months of treatment, an improvement on the lip strength, mouth and tongue positioning with the FaceFormer was seen.

This improvement of the lip strength was maximal in the FaceFormer treated group and was eventually dependent on age (Fig. 5&6). Regarding comfort and simplicity of the single myofunctional techniques, there were different individual assessments. The FaceFormer was well to very well accepted and tolerated by the majority of patients. The exercises with the FaceFormer were more manageable by the parents and the young patients in comparison to the other myofunctional methods. Hereby, the motivation to continue the exercises for longer periods was increased.

The probability for increased improvement in the lip strength lessened with age. Young children had an increased tendency for improvement.

Conclusions

The treatment success of the myofunctional therapy with the FaceFormer is dependent on the frequency and length of its application.

Literature

  1. Berndsen, Klaus-Jürgen: Ein einfaches Übungsgerät bringt Hilfe. Zahnarzt-Woche 1, 2000
  2. Garliner, Daniel: Myofunktionelle Therapie in der Praxis. Verlag zahnärztlich-medizinisches Schrifttum. Schmitt, München 1982
  3. Thiele, E. / Clausnitzer, R. / Clausnitzer, V.: Myofunktionelle Therapie. Hüthig, Heidelberg 1992

Universität Mainz