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Volume 27 , Issue 1
January/February 2014

Pages 61–69

Speech Intelligibility Enhancement After Maxillary Denture Treatment and Its Impact on Quality of Life

Christian Knipfer, DMD/Max Riemann/Tobias Bocklet, PhD/Elmar Noeth, PhD/Maria Schuster, MD, PhD/Biljana Sokol, DMD/Stephan Eitner, DMD, PhD/Emeka Nkenke, MD, DMD, PhD/Florian Stelzle, MD, DMD, PhD

PMID: 24392479
DOI: 10.11607/ijp.3597

Purpose: Tooth loss and its prosthetic rehabilitation significantly affect speech intelligibility. However, little is known about the influence of speech deficiencies on oral health–related quality of life (OHRQoL). The aim of this study was to investigate whether speech intelligibility enhancement through prosthetic rehabilitation significantly influences OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures. Speech intelligibility by means of an automatic speech recognition system (ASR) was prospectively evaluated and compared with subjectively assessed Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP) scores. Materials and Methods: Speech was recorded in 28 edentulous patients 1 week prior to the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures and 6 months thereafter. Speech intelligibility was computed based on the word accuracy (WA) by means of an ASR and compared with a matched control group. One week before and 6 months after rehabilitation, patients assessed themselves for OHRQoL. Results: Speech intelligibility improved significantly after 6 months. Subjects reported a significantly higher OHRQoL after maxillary rehabilitation with complete dentures. No significant correlation was found between the OHIP sum score or its subscales to the WA. Conclusion: Speech intelligibility enhancement achieved through the fabrication of new complete maxillary dentures might not be in the forefront of the patients’ perception of their quality of life. For the improvement of OHRQoL in patients wearing complete maxillary dentures, food intake and mastication as well as freedom from pain play a more prominent role. Int J Prosthodont 2014;27:61–69. doi: 10.11607/ijp.3597

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