Have A Question About Myofunctional Therapy?

I've never heard of myofunctional therapy. Is it an actual medical practice?

It is an actual practice, with organizations like the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy and the Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences to support and train independent therapists throughout the world. This therapy, however, is not classified as medical, but rather therapeutic.

What is an orofacial myofunctional disorder?

This is a designation given to a variety of conditions and habits that involve abnormal tongue, lip or jaw positioning when a person is swallowing, resting or talking. “Myofunctional” can refer to any muscle or muscle group in the body, where “orofacial myofunctional” specifies muscles within the facial structure.

Do you work with other medical, dental and alternative medicine specialists?

I’m part of a team of other healthcare professionals including orthodontists, dentists, allergists, ENTs (ear, nose and throat doctors), osteopaths, physical therapists, speech therapists and lactation consultants. Each member of the team brings to the table specific expertise.

So, myofunctional therapists are not doctors?

No, we are trained therapists with an educational background in dental hygiene or speech therapy. Not just anyone can be a myofunctional therapist. You must have an extensive science background and take a series of myofunctional therapy postgraduate courses. As more and more healthcare professionals understand the value of this treatment, I expect to see other medical and dental specialists receive training in myofunctional therapy.

Telehealth, Zoom and HIPAA

Telehealth is a method for improving access to healthcare using telecommunications technologies. Myofunctional therapy is a perfect fit for using the telehealth concept via Zoom. I’m able to offer Zoom consultations and treatment to people all over the world, in the comfort of their own home. I send an email link with a Zoom meeting invitation. Simply click on the link and we're in an online meeting room. As a dental professional, I abide by HIPAA medical information security policies. This means that data I collect from you will always be kept secure and private. Zoom is a HIPAA compliant platform. Additionally, I use a secure website portal for patient and doctor communication.

How is it possible to do therapy through Zoom and not actually be person-to-person with the patient?

Everything I need to assess you is visible on-camera through Zoom. I will ask you to send specific pictures to establish a baseline. Good lighting, good internet and a computer are essential to successful outcomes. I require parents/caregivers to be involved, and present, during the therapy sessions for children. There are times I need an extra set of eyes. A parent's feedback is very important in helping me teach a child the proper technique of each exercise.

You mention that you prescribe exercises to help with various conditions and habits. What about medications and therapeutic devices? Do you prescribe those too?

Myofunctional therapists do not prescribe medications. The exercises I design for you will require certain gentle muscle-strengthening tools, which I will send to you at no charge before your first session.

Are there any dangers or risks in myofunctional therapy?

I will observe you to make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly so as to avoid injury. If an exercise causes you pain, we’ll make modifications. You can contact me any time if you have questions or concerns about any element of your therapy.

How long does each session take?

The Comprehensive Consultation takes approximately 2 hours. During the Comprehensive Consultation we will review your medical history, photos, your current issues and symptoms. After explaining your diagnosis, we can make a specific plan of care to work with your lifestyle. It is my mission to make all my new clients feel welcome and heard. The Patient Therapy sessions are 45 minutes. These sessions are part of the myofunctional therapy treatment program, designed specifically for each patient.

How many sessions are usually required?

It will depend on the condition being treated and types of habits being addressed. Most patients need 12 sessions. For more complex patients we may need to add additional sessions. We always aim for the shortest duration that will produce the desired results.

Do I pay you at the start for a series of meetings, or do I pay for each individual session?

After the initial exam, we’ll determine which plan will be the best fit for you. I offer a 5% discount for patients that pre-pay for a full myofunctional therapy program. This does not included the frenectomy program (tongue-tie) or habit elimination program. A payment plan is available, however the discount does not apply to the payment plan option.

Do you bill medical or dental insurance companies?

Balanced Faces Myofunctional Therapy is a fee for service provider. We are not contracted with any insurance company (Balanced Faces does not accept any form of insurance) so that your service is not affected by time or quality restrictions. Each session provides individualized care for your specific needs. We will provide a superbill of charges for you to submit to your insurance company. Please note, myofunctional therapy is not often covered by insurance.

I'm ready to get started. What's the first thing I need to do?

It’s very easy. Go to the Contact Page and send an email requesting an informational phone call. We can discuss the issues you or your child may be having. Then you can determine if you would like to move forward with scheduling a Full Comprehensive Consultation.

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20 Minute Informational Phone Call
Shelly Azevedo
Myofunctional Therapist