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Volume 19 , Issue 5
September/October 2006

Pages 499503

Improving the Speech Function of Maxillary Complete Dentures: A Pilot Study

Alexander J. Hassel, Dr Med Dent / Thomas Holste, Prof Dr Med Dent

PMID: 17323729

Purpose: The aim of this pilot study was to investigate a universal and easy method for improving the speech function of complete maxillary dentures. Specifically, it was analyzed whether sandblasting could improve speech performance, since this process increases the tactile surface area in the region of tongue-to-denture contact. Materials and Methods: Fourteen volunteers with complete maxillary dentures in a geriatric rehabilitation center (7 men, 7 women, mean age 81.2) were recruited. Speech samples (normal conversation, logopedic standard text, and a word list) were recorded for all subjects. In 11 cases, a specific area of the denture was sandblasted, while the remaining 3 cases served as controls. After 1 week of service, the same speech samples were recorded again. The rating of the speech samples was performed by 2 experienced speech therapists. The rater did not know whether the sample was a control case or whether it was before or after intervention. Results: The speech therapists found no difference between the 2 speech samples in all 3 cases in the control group. For 8 of 11 subjects, the speech sample after sandblasting was rated better by both therapists (P = .002). In 2 subjects, no difference was observed, and deterioration was found in only 1 subject by 1 speech therapist. Conclusion: Taking into account the limited number of subjects, the results show that sandblasting may lead to moderate improvements in speech performance in most cases. Deterioration is not expected, but in such cases, it is easy to restore the denture with simple polishing. Int J Prosthodont 2006;19:499503.

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