Over the past 100 years, there has been considerable research published about the causes of orthodontic and jaw joint (TMJ) problems. Dr Chris Farrell discovered that most of these causes relate to incorrect breathing and swallowing, also known as incorrect myofunctional habits. Unfortunately the majority of the dental and medical profession in the 1980s did not know or did not accept this research, although the majority of children in any population had a developing malocclusion and many adults suffered pain from TMJ disorders. These widespread disorders were not being adequately treated because of the lack of knowledge and resources. Dr Chris Farrell decided to address the treatment of these problems using intraoral appliances with appropriate design characteristics built into each universally fitting model. This would allow many more patients access to this treatment and would allow both doctors and trained auxiliaries to perform this type of treatment in a more efficient manner than was previously possible.
Computer-aided design (CAD) technology was in its infancy in 1989 and no intraoral dental appliances had yet used this technology. However, CAD technology served as a crucial part of the development of MRC's products.
Since 1991, the products have been introduced into the dental and medical professions, beginning with Australia and New Zealand. Though, considerable time was needed to acquire the necessary government approvals to expand into other countries. By 1993, FDA approval for the USA and Europe had been granted, allowing the educational process to commence on a wider scale. Japan, South East 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 systems.
Although the concepts were not new, acceptance within the professions has been slower than expected, sometimes due to insufficient knowledge of the subject and/or political resistance. At the present time, the products have overcome many of these barriers and are now being used in more than 100 countries throughout Europe, the Americas and in Asia.
In the process of researching into the subject of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction and malocclusion, an underlying commonality was found between the causes of these two diseases. Research into myofunctional issues appeared to be most neglected in orthodontic and TMJ treatments methods. The more Dr Farrell researched myofunctional problems in his patients, the more he realised that a new approach to treatment was necessary.
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.
The lack of knowledge within the profession in this area was hampering the treatment of the disorders and many held widely differing opinions. Extensive myofunctional research and clinical experience combined with the latest CAD facilities at the time (1990) meant it was possible to produce universal size intra-oral appliances that had therapeutic characteristics to influence the oral musculature and subsequently treat patients myofunctionally.
The CAD design facilities from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and The Queensland Manufacturing Institute were paramount in the development of MRC's appliances and treatment methods.
The first product produced by MRC was The TMJ Appliance®. This allowed the medical and dental professions to diagnose and treat TMJ disorder quickly and effectively. The area of orthodontics was the next to be addressed with the Pre-orthodontic Trainer which assisted in improving poor myofunctional habits while providing tooth guidance to correct malocclusion in the growing child. The following Trainer for Braces, Trainer for Alignment, Trainer for Function and Trainer for Universal were introduced as logical steps in improving treatment stability, reducing treatment time, and lessening the need for extractions.
Dr Chris Farrell moved his attention to sports mouthguards in 1998. Retail mouthguards were often of poor fit and provided very little protection. Custom-made mouthguards from a dentist were inconvenient and prohibitively expensive at the time. Applying the same CAD technology as used in the TMJ and orthodontic appliances, Dr Farrell produced the most advanced mouthguard range for the retail market. These mouthguards were introduced into the North American market under the Shock Doctor brand and additionally as Powrgard® in Europe and Australia.
CEO and Founder of Myofunctional Research Co.
Dr Chris Farrell BDS (Sydney)
Dr Farrell graduated from Sydney University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery. His father was also a graduate of Sydney University's School of Dentistry (1950). During his studies, Dr Farrell was trained in orthodontics, particularly in the Begg Technique. After graduation, he practised general dentistry in Sydney for five years before moving to England to continue general practice.
His interest developed into TMJ disorder, attending many courses on widely differing techniques. In particular, Dr Harold Gelb (New York), Professor Richard Pertes (UMD New Jersey) and Aered Fonder. This education led him to a renewed approach to orthodontics which continued his orthodontic re-education with the techniques of Dr John Witzig (USA) and Dr John Mew (UK). In 1986, Dr Farrell returned to Australia and began a practice specialising in TMD and orthodontics. Here he was also introduced to the simpler myofunctional training techniques of speech therapists, Hale and Atkins, and continue to seek out better techniques for treating breathing and myofunctional disorders.
From his clinical experience and further research, Dr Farrell realised the aetiology of malocclusion and TMJ disorder was myofunctional, thus contradicting the current views of his profession. As a result, he founded Myofunctional Research Company (MRC) in 1989 with the intent to develop myofunctional orthodontic treatment systems targeted at treating mouth breathing as a primary cause of malocclusion, as well as myofunctional habits, which occur in the majority of malocclusions.
Dr Farrell then developed a new way of efficiently delivering myofunctional orthodontics using the Trainer and Myobrace® treatment systems. In 2009, he developed a new clinical concept called the Myobrace Pre-Orthodontic Center® which has now been adopted in many countries worldwide. In more recent years, Dr Farrell’s focus has widened to include the emerging field of sleep dentistry and he has developed simpler techniques for sleep disorders and TMJ disorder with The Myosa®System. He has also recently developed the Myotalea® treatment system, focusing on active myofunctional treatment.
Dr Farrell continues to develop new myofunctional orthodontic appliances and educational programs which aim to make early orthodontics more accessible to a wider range of patients whilst providing financial benefits for both the doctor and patient. His myofunctional orthodontic appliances and treatment systems are now used by dental and medical professionals in over 100 countries worldwide.
MRC headquarters is based in Australia's beautiful Gold Coast and our regional offices are located in Rancho Cucamonga, USA, and also Waalwijk, Netherlands. The team is led by CEO and Founder Dr Chris Farrell.
Dr Chris Farrell
Chris Farrell is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MRC and established the company in 1989. He continues to create the most advanced myofunctional appliances in the industry and holds over 100 patents, design patents and trademarks globally.
Kim Golding is a Co-founder and former Operations Manager of MRC and has been involved with the company since its inception in 1989. To this day, she serves as a company director and chief adviser to the CEO at MRC.
Daniel Smith is the Chief Operations Officer of MRC and has been involved with the company since 2005. He manages and oversees international company operations, as well as the media and production department at MRC headquarters.
Dr Emad Ahangari
Emad Ahangari is the Clinical Development Officer of MRC and has been involved with MRC's treatment systems since 2014. He still serves as a practitioner, but now primarily oversees clinical company developments in addition to special projects.
Carmen van Ommeren
Carmen van Ommeren is the Chief Executive Officer of MRC Europe and has been involved with the company since 2001. She oversees MRC Europe's operations.
Tiffinie Martin is the Regional Director of MRC USA and has been involved with the company since 2010. She oversees MRC USA's operations.