Referrals to an oral motor dysfunction team – evaluation of diagnoses and treatment strategies, with special reference to intraoral training devices
Norderyd J, National Oral Disability Centre, The Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden
In Jönköping, Sweden, a multiprofessional oral motor dysfunction team started as a project in 1994. The team consisted of a speech therapist, a physiotherapist, a paediatrician (neurologist), and a specialist in paediatric dentistry. Children and adolescents living in Jönköping county with different forms of oral motor dysfunctions were referred to the team for evaluation of symptoms and need of treatment as well as planning and performance of the treatment. The team started to see patients in 1995 and a total of 59 children 0–18 years of age took part in the project. Reasons for referral varied and a variety of treatment options were suggested and carried out by the team. Twenty-one of the children received some sort of intraoral training device. The project was finished in 1997 and is described in a report (Rapport angående projekt inom habilitering och rehabilitering, Projekt nr 12).
The aim of this study was to analyse the relation between the medical diagnoses of the patients and performed treatment, with special reference to intraoral training devices.
Method and material
The study is retrospective and the protocols of all children and adolescent 0–18 years of age referred to the team 1995-1997 are analysed concerning reasons for referral, diagnoses and treatment performed.
Fifty-nine children and adolescents 0-18 years of age took part in the project. Only 32 (54 %) were registered at the county habilitation center. Thirty-two (54 %) of the patients had a mental retardation or psychological developmental delay. Ten children (17 %) had no other diagnosis except the oral motor dysfunction.
Twenty children (34%) got an intraoral stimulation device as part of their oral motor training. Of these, a majority were registered at the habilitation center and 14 (70%) had a mental retardation/developmental delay.
The multidisciplinary approach to children with oral motor dysfunction has been beneficial when discussing and deciding on treatment strategies. The oral motor dysfunction itself was in most cases combined with or part of a general diagnose. Intraoral devices as part of the treatment were twice as common among the children with mental retardation or psychological developmental delay.