Myofunctional Research Co. was incorporated in 1989 to develop the appliance designs of Dr. Chris Farrell BDS Sydney.
Myofunctional Research Co. is committed to the prevention and treatment of malocclusion through non-intrusive retraining of the oral musculature and elimination of bad oral habits.
To achieve this, we have developed new educational media to inform professionals of the importance of myofunctional research, and created a range of prefabricated appliances which work simply and effectively. The technology is used for ORTHODONTIC, TMJ plus a new range of MOUTHGUARDS.
Over the past 100 years there has been considerable research published about the causes of orthodontic and jaw (TMJ) problems. Dr. Chris Farrell discovered that most of these causes are to do with incorrect breathing and swallowing ie Myofunctional habits. Unfortunately the majority of the Dental and Medical profession in the 1980's did not know or did not accept this research, although the majority of worldwide populations have children developing malocclusion and many adults with pain from TMJ disorder. These widespread disorders were not being adequately treated because of lack of knowledge and resources. Dr. Chris Farrell decided to address the treatment of these problems using intra-oral appliances with appropriate design characteristics built into each universal fitting model. This would allow many people access to this treatment without so many skilled professionals.
Computer aided design (CAD) technology at this time (1989) was in its infancy, and no intra-oral dental appliances had yet used this facility. However, this has been a crucial part of the development of the Myofunctional Research Co. products.
MRC Vision Statement
Continue to lead the world in application of advanced CAD technology to intra-oral appliances for orthodontics, TMJ Disorders and Sports mouth guards. Use new educational media to inform professionals of the importance of myofunctional research.
MRC Mission Statement
Improve the facial and dental development of the growing child and allow treatment for orthodontic and TMJ disorders to be available to all populations with the use of modern and less complex techniques.
Since 1991 the products have been introduced into firstly Australia and New Zealand via the Dental and Medical professions. Considerable time was needed to acquire the necessary government approvals to expand into other countries; however, by 1993 FDA approval for the USA and European approvals had been granted, allowing the educational process to commence on a wider scale. Japan, SE Asia and South America followed in subsequent years. Dr Farrell and Dr Flutter lectured extensively in these countries to illustrate the advantages of the new TRAINER and TMJ APPLIANCE™ systems.
Although the concepts were not particularly new, the acceptance by the professions has been slower than expected, sometimes due to insufficient knowledge of the subject and other times from political resistance. At the present time, the products have overcome many of the barriers and are now being used in more than 65 countries throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.
In the process of research into the subject of temporomandibular joint dysfunction and malocclusion there was an underlying commonality of cause of these two diseases reflected in the research. This myofunctional research appeared to be most neglected in Orthodontic and TMJ treatments currently being used. The more Dr. Farrell researched myofunctional problems in his patients, the more he realised a new thinking was required.
Crowded teeth were not caused by big teeth and small jaws inherited from parents. Clenching and grinding of the teeth did not cause jaw problems. The causes were all myofunctional and could be treated with a myofunctional philosophy and technique.
Practitioners lacking knowledge in this area were hampering the treatment of the disorders. Professionals were confused about widely differing opinions. From accumulated myofunctional research and clinical experience, added to 1990's CAD facilities from QUT, it was possible to produce universal size intra-oral appliances that had therapeutic characteristics to influence the oral musculature and subsequently treat function of patients. This as opposed to just moving teeth and treating pain with medication. Therefore, the two keys to this new technology were accommodation of myofunctional research and computer aided design technology.
The CAD design facility from Qld Uni Technology (QUT) and QLD Manufacturing Institute were paramount in this union with Myofunctional Research Co.
The first product produced by MRC was the TMJ APPLIANCE™. This allowed the Medical as well as the Dental profession for the first time to be able to diagnose and treat TMJ disorder quickly and effectively. Next the area of orthodontics was addressed with the Pre-orthodontic TRAINER™ allowing removal of myofunctional habits and tooth guidance to correct malocclusions in the growing child. The following TRAINER for Braces, Alignment, Functional and universal were introduced as logical steps in widening the treatment philosophy, to speed up treatment, improve stability and reduce the need for extracting teeth. The further development of other appliances is underway with new appliances due for release late this year.
Dr Chris Farrell moved his attention to sports mouthguards in 1998. Retail mouthguards were of poor fit and protection and custom-made mouthguards from a Dentist were inconvenient and expensive, often also with poor protection. Applying the same CAD technology, Dr Farrell has produced the most advanced mouthguard range for the retail market. These are sold from 2003 under the Shock Doctor brand in North America exclusively and additionally as POWRGARD® in Europe and Australia.
The Developer - Dr. Chris Farrell
Dr. Farrell graduated from Sydney University in 1971. His father was also a Dentist from Sydney University and practiced General Dentistry and Orthodontics in a Sydney private practice. Dr Chris Farrell studied the BEGG orthodontic technique at Sydney University.
Since that time he has been a clinician in private practice in Australia and England. His interests were primarily directed to the treatment of TMJ disorder. Although he was very familiar with conventional orthodontic treatment, he was not comfortable with the excessive extraction of teeth required by the orthodontists at the time.
In 1977 Dr. Farrell moved to England where he studied TMJ disorder as well as running a large multiple practice employing general dentists and orthodontists. From this location he was able to study techniques in both the USA and Europe. In particular he received much education from Dr John Mew (UK) and Dr Harold Gelb USA. Also very much influenced by Garliner, Prof. Hinz and Prof Frankel. All of whom were looking beyond the teeth and onto faces, muscles and posture.
From this educational background he observed the failures of the dental profession to treat both the many patients who have TMJ disorder and the growing children with orthodontic problems and future TMJ disorder. Observation and extensive study of research over the years also showed that extraction of teeth did not resolve orthodontic crowding and craniofacial discrepancies.
He realised that newer techniques had to be developed to treat these many patients more effectively.
In 1986, Dr Farrell returned to Australia, where he now practices treating children and adults for Orthodontics and TMJ exclusively. Here he was introduced to the work of Speech Therapists, Hale and Atkins on simpler myofunctional therapy techniques and also the findings of Dr Kevin Bourke on the orthodontic effect of his "Chewing Brush".
From this educational background, Myofunctional Research Co was created. Now, Dr. Farrell holds three worldwide patents for new dental appliances and is developing other innovations in his practice in Queensland, Australia, specific to the early treatment of orthodontic problems in children and TMJ disorder in adults.
Dr Farrell is consultant designer for Shock Doctor Inc, the world's largest manufacturer of retail sports mouthguards. He has lectured in many countries including the Europe, UK, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia.